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Discrimination against homeless people with pets

Request Description

Many homeless people keep dogs for security as well as comfort. Currently only 9% of hostels for homeless people in the UK are dog?friendly, meaning that many dog owners are denied access to shelter and support, simply because they have a dog. Likewise, rules on dog ownership for council housing or housing association tenants vary from place to place, with many councils forcing people to give up their pets to rescue centres ? or remain homeless.

It is NOT okay to tell people they cannot have emergency housing because they have pets. It is NOT okay to leave them in cold with these pets. It's callous. It's discriminatory. This would NEVER happen to someone with kids. To thousands of people, their pets ARE their kids. People like Hillary Barrows in Canterbury have had to live in their cars in minus degree weather because they could not have emergency help because of their dogs. You must understand the importance of pets to the homeless, the bond, the love that is exchanged. Do not take that away from them and make them suffer.

Can we please start helping our own?  Charity begins at home and we would find it much more effective to address these problems with a coherent policy than have to deal with the fall out when animals are abandoned and people are left homeless.

Please tell me, what is our council's position on this issue? Does our council provide emergency housing for people with dogs? Do we provide council housing for people with dogs? If so, what percentage of our emergency and council housing allows dogs? And what quantity of our emergency accommodation and council houses allow dogs? 

Request Date5 April 2016
Requested byIndividual
Released Date  

5 April 2016   


This information has been requested in a previous FOI response which can be found here: F15/634

The data held by the council remains unchanged in this matter