Every day, right around Australia, there are people with pets without a place to call “home”. Often, this is through unexpected circumstances and for reasons beyond their control that may be very stressful and traumatic.
The RSPCA strongly believes in the mental, emotional and physical benefits of the relationships between people and pets. In the case of a person who finds themselves homeless, their pet is often the only positive thing in their lives during a time of uncertainty and disadvantage.
Our research has found that people facing homelessness place great value on the relationships they have with their animals, and that the idea of having to “give up” their pet/s is a cause of major distress to people who are already suffering hardship.
RSPCA NSW wants to provide a range of community outreach services for homeless pets and their people to help them remain together while they get back on their feet, and to be as healthy and happy as they can be.
Often people with pets who access soup kitchens for food will feed their animals and go without themselves. We believe both pets and people should have access to food and our partner charities have agreed to distribute on our behalf through their soup kitchens.
Most accommodation providers for homeless people do not currently accept pets. We will look after pets so that people can gain access to interim accommodation with a view to finding a permanent place to call home where they can be reunited with their loved pets. Emergency boarding will also enable people to access mental and physical health services for themselves, without the added worry of their pet’s wellbeing and safety.
We have designed a scheme to provide access to veterinary services so that pets can receive routine treatments such as vaccinations, worming and flea control. We hope the scheme will also provide assistance in the event of an illness or accident.
We attend regular scheduled events to provide advice on animal health and welfare, distribute flea and worm treatments, and raise awareness of the services that are available. We also hope to assist accommodation providers with the aim of encouraging increased availability of crisis accommodation that includes pets.
When the program is fully rolled out we believe that Living Ruff will provide a comprehensive range of much needed community outreach services that will benefit pets, people and the community. Of course, all of these great services cost money to provide and we are currently seeking funding to enable us to provide all of the services in the program as soon as possible.
If you would like more information on the Living Ruff Program or are interested in helping RSPCA NSW make a difference in the lives of pets and people doing it tough we’d love to talk to you.
Telephone: (02) 9770 7555