Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, will be delivering a record number of gifts to homeless people with dogs this Christmas as requests from homelessness projects across the UK have increased by more than 12%, up from 1050 parcels last year to 1180 this year.
As demand for the Christmas hampers has doubled since 2010, Dogs Trust is asking the public to spread a little Christmas joy and buy a present for a dog in need.
The charity will be delivering gifts to homelessness projects in Wales for more than 90 dogs.
Every Christmas, through its Hope Project, the charity brings some festive cheer for homeless dogs by distributing canine hampers of collars, leads, coats, treats and toys to dogs and their owners. The charity set up the unique Hope Project in 1995 to support dogs whose owners are homeless or living in temporary accommodation and to offer free and subsidised veterinary treatment throughout the year.
Clare Kivlehan, Dogs Trust Hope Project Manager, explains:
“Everyone knows that the bond between a dog and its owner is a strong one but for homeless people their dog can often be their best friend and main companion. Each year we’re delighted to be able to distribute Christmas gifts to homeless hounds to help make Christmas happier for them and their owners. Due to the increase in requests for this service again this year, we are appealing to the public to help by buying a toy or coat from our Hope Project Amazon gift list.”
To buy a gift please visit: http://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/25QUU7Y67B5NU
Samantha Llewellyn from the Big Issue in Cardiff, which is just one of the homelessness organisations that receives support from the Hope Project, says:
“Here at the Big Issue, we see how important the relationship is between people and their dogs. Christmas can be an especially tough time for people who are homeless or in housing crisis, and we are so grateful for the help that Dogs Trust and its supporters bring. These hampers are a small way of bringing a very happy wag of the tail to these dogs, and to show that someone is thinking about them and their owner at this festive time.”
As well as offering a subsidised veterinary programme and distributing Christmas hampers, the Hope Project encourages homelessness hostels and day centres to accept clients with dogs by helping them put in place practical guidelines.
Homelessness organisations or veterinary surgeries interested in finding out more information about the Hope Project should call Dogs Trust on 020 7837 0006 or email [email protected].
Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and cares for over 16,000 stray and abandoned dogs each year.