We kicked off Valentines Day this year with a very special campaign to help spread the love, support and raise awareness about the amazing work being done by DOTS. DOTS (Dogs On The Street) is an organisation tending to the needs of the homeless with dogs in London as well as running regular services in other major UK cities with a view to expand even further. From vet care, food, poop bags and everything in between, they provide it all.
The campaign, ‘Get one, Gift One’, means that throughout February and March, every purchase made on our online website will be accompanied by a donation of our wet food to a 'good dog’ busy doing what they do best.
Members of the Beco team volunteered one Sunday afternoon to meet the DOTS clients and experience the amazing work done by the organisation every Sunday fortnightly between 1.30-3pm. They were fortunate enough to meet the founder, Michelle Clark, who started DOTS way back in 2016. Click here to browse their website and find out more ways as to how you can get involved and continue reading for our Q&A session with Stavi, a member of the DOTS organisation.
What was the inspiration for the launch of DOTS? How did it start?
The true inspiration for DOTS came in the waggy tailed shape of a very special street dog called Poppy who changed Michelle’s life forever. Poppy’s homeless dad was taken very ill and having heard about Michelle’s work made contact to see if she could help with Poppy’s welfare while he moved into accommodation to try and better his health. Michelle took Poppy on, welcoming her into her family (including numerous other furbabies!) like one of her own. And it was this bond that was formed with Poppy that sparked the desire in Michelle to do even more than she was for the homeless doggy owning community, to provide a more permanent and regular service.
Tell us about your projects.
At the moment, we have collaborated with Street Paws, a Charity similar to our own operating in the North of England and have formed the Dog Champion Scheme. We have recently signed a Contract with Riverside who have over 300 Hostels on their books. We will train one person from each Hostel to be a Dog Champion - once this is done each hostel will welcome dogs as residents along with their homeless owners. At the moment dogs are not allowed into hostels. We are also in talks with HMPS, with a view of us visiting London Prisons with dogs as a form of rehabilitation for inmates. It has been said that dogs can help immensely with Mental health conditions. Michelle yesterday, together with Pete Wicks (our Patron from TOWIE ) were at a school giving a talk / creating awareness of homeless and vulnerable people / dogs / how dogs can help mental health etc. Plus lots more .....
Please could you tell us a little about the team?
All our front line team are Volunteers . We can be found on the Strand every other Sunday (opposite Superdrug) giving out free food, vet checks, free medication, grooms etc.
How can people help and get involved?
By going on our website, and completing a volunteer form. At the moment, due to vast work on our 4 acre Sanctuary in Essex, we are unable to have Volunteers on site, but the work will soon be complete and volunteers here will also be welcome.
Thank you to our amazing community for all of your support so far, we can’t wait to share the final number of your donations once the campaign comes to a close. However, it’s only just the beginning. We’re excited to continue to support DOTS in the future, so stay tuned for our upcoming partnerships with the organisation. All of our donations are done through our 1 Percent for the Planet membership.