SEATTLE — The story of a shelter dog is drawing attention to a bigger issue: the lack of housing and shelter for homeless families who also have pets.
“We’re a last resort for people, and that’s why we’re here — as a last resort,” said Julie McCabe, director of Seattle Humane’s Pet Resource Center.
McCabe said she sees pets surrendered every day, many with families on the brink of homelessness or other housing issues.
“A lot of requests from people in really, really terrible situations,” McCabe said.
A story about a dog named Copper brings attention to this problem.
“She had lived with the same man most of her life, but he lost his apartment and she didn’t want to put him through the stress of living out of her car,” according to the post.
Seattle Humane has support for families like the Coppers.
They have an on-site pet food bank, which is free for those who need it most.
They also have a temporary foster program that helps keep dogs in foster care for up to 90 days.
“We treat every client that comes in like this with the utmost respect, and do our best not to judge them for their circumstances. And they’re here because they do the best they can,” McCabe said. have been.”
Another organization called Feeding Pets for the Homeless helps homeless pets in need of food, veterinary care, wellness, experienced pet help, and crates at homeless shelters.
“Nobody wants to be on the streets. I mean nobody wants to be homeless,” said Genevieve Frederick, founder and president of Feeding Pets of the Homeless.
Clients who feed homeless pets can call their organization to receive free care at animal hospitals and veterinary clinics.
They have one. Online Resource Guide To help people find suitable pet shelters.
“In King County, last year, we treated 10 pets that were injured or sick at a cost of over $3,000,” Frederick said.
In the past five years, they say Washington was one of their top four states and they helped more than 400 pets at a cost of $192,000.
“Something that’s very important to me is that these pets are not separated from their humans because they need each other,” Frederick said.
Many factors contributed to the problem, Frederick said.
“Housing is an issue because the rent is so high. We see a lot of our clients who are experiencing domestic violence, and where they’re living in a shelter if they’re going to allow that pet. And we’re like that. They are also helping them,” she said.
Mary’s Place in King County accepts pets, but at this time, their shelter is full.
“Our shelters are full to capacity. We receive 50-60 calls every day from families with children seeking shelter and can only accommodate 1 or 2. He said, if the space Yes, so it’s available for those families. Pets.” Mary’s place told King 5 in a statement.
Compass Housing Alliance also shared a statement to KING 5, “All Compass Housing Alliance 24/7 Better Shelters welcome ADA-compliant service animals. Separately, in our affordable housing buildings, we have has recently partnered with Seattle Humane to provide specialized pet/owner training and health care for animals.”
The Seattle Dogs Homeless Program also provides assistance to those experiencing homelessness. They serve about 150 animals a month.
“We provide food, leashes, collars, treats, pet beds to make their lives easier and keep people with their beloved companions. We at Greenwood Hospital provide vet care for those in need. uses donations to help pets facing homelessness live longer, healthier lives with their owners regardless of housing status. We also offer foster and boarding for pets who The owners have medical issues that require a long stay.” Seattle Dog Homelessness Program said in a statement.
The organization has also had trouble referring people to shelters that have space and accept pets.
The Seattle Dog Homeless Program said, “Unfortunately people don’t have many options when referring to a shelter, only what is available at the time and when we come in, many times that person’s needs. Not fair,” said the Seattle Dog Homeless Program.
For more information, Click here.