Pets of the Homeless, the only national nonprofit organization focused on feeding and providing care to pets of homeless people, provides free collapsible crates to emergency and homeless shelters that offer assistance for people that have pets.
“Despite improvements in the economy, homelessness continues to be a reality for many people,” said Genevieve Frederick, founder. “The need for care will continue to be a pressing concern for those who find themselves homeless and the pets that rely on them.”
Research has indicated that an animal’s response is independent of its owner’s age or economic circumstance. Owners say their pets “cover their backs” when they sleep in abandoned buildings, ditches and in the woods. To break the homeless cycle requires the owner to move into a shelter. Most shelters do not allow pets unless they are service animals. Homeless pet owners will not abandon their pet, and do not have the funds to board the pet. Pets of the Homeless offers free crates to shelters that will allow a pet to stay with the owner. The organization provides crates to shelters so the homeless can bring their pets in with them and receive the necessary social services that will help support them out of homelessness.
“When pets are allowed in an emergency or homeless shelter, the opportunity for the homeless to connect with a social worker increases,” said Frederick. “Thus, there is a better chance of getting them off the streets and into permanent housing.”
Homelessness continues to be a serious national issue. In 2006, Frederick founded Pets of the Homeless, a dedicated organization comprised of expert staff and a myriad of volunteers, offering animals the food their owners cannot provide. The organization garnered nonprofit status in 2008.
If an emergency or homeless shelter needs pet crates, they can email Pets of the Homeless at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following:
- Contact name
- IRS determination letter
- Number and sizes of crates requested (small, medium or large)
- Pets of the Homeless would like to know if the pets will be required to have vaccinations before entry into the shelter
If a shelter requires that the pets have current vaccination records, Pets of the Homeless will need to speak with the shelter manager and the homeless person to arrange an appointment at the closest clinic/hospital. This will help allow the pet and owner immediate shelter.
“Once a shelter knows who we are and how we can assist, they can also have a homeless person call us when a pet is injured or ill,” said Frederick.
Since 2008, Pets of the Homeless has paid more than $711,000 to provide veterinary emergency care and wellness clinic services to over 17,800 pets, and to purchase pet food and sleeping crates. Pets of the Homeless also manages a network of donation sites. The majority of distributed pet food is collected by the donation sites and volunteers, and is delivered to food banks, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and sometimes to the streets where the homeless congregate. These donation sites have provided more than 546 tons of pet food, which translates into one less worry for a homeless person on any given day and a happy pet.
Individuals and businesses can also get involved by becoming a pet food donation site, a volunteer recruiter of sites, or by making a donation. For more information, visit petsofthehomeless.org or call (775) 841-7463 (Pacific Standard Time).