Record number of Christmas hampers delivered to homeless dog owners in Sussex

For many experiencing housing crisis, their dog is their only friend
For many experiencing housing crisis, their dog is their only friend

Dogs Trust, which has a rehoming centre in Shoreham, will be delivering a record number of hampers for dogs whose owners are homeless or in housing crisis this Christmas.

In Sussex alone, more than 130 dogs will be helped through the annual distribution of hampers to a total of 14 hostels and homeless organisations in the county.

This year has seen an increase in requests for help, with 193 organisations across the country seeking support, so teams will deliver more hampers than ever before.

Clare Kivlehan, head of outreach projects, said: “Everyone knows that the bond between a dog and its owner is a strong one but for anyone experiencing any sort of housing crisis, their dog can often be their only friend.

“As temperatures drop and with Christmas being a potentially difficult and lonely time, we’re delighted to be able to distribute these hampers.

“Sadly numbers of people rough sleeping or experiencing housing crisis has continued to rise, so much so that we’re set to send out 100 more hampers than last Christmas, but this means we can reach nearly 1,500 dogs and their owners this year.”

Every day, Dogs Trust Shoreham, in Brighton Road, helps stray and abandoned dogs but there are hundreds of others with owners in housing crisis.

Through its Hope Project, the charity brings some festive cheer by distributing canine hampers of collars, leads, coats, treats and toys.

The project was set up in 1995 and now operates in 113 towns and cities across the UK, including Brighton and Bognor Regis.

It offers free veterinary treatment all year round to dogs whose owners are homeless or in housing crisis and works with hostels and day centres to encourage them to accept clients with dogs.

Through highlighting the benefits of adopting a dog policy and providing practical guidelines and support, Dogs Trust hopes more organisations will feel comfortable welcoming dog owners.

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