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Thread: Do you think that homeless people should own pets?

  1. #1

    Do you think that homeless people should own pets?

    Ok, here is the deal....I was driving today and came to a stop sign and there on the left hand side is a man who is holding a sign asking for money with his dog laying on the cold ground!! My question to you all is "How do you feel about homeless people owning dogs?" or "How does it make you feel when you see them begging on the side of the road with their dog?"

    I have 2 sides to this but I would like to hear what you all have to say about this, ok!!

    Personalized Pet Mats by Carla

    Carla's Web Page

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Riding my bike somewhere...
    When i was about 5 or so.. me and my mom were going to the store... Sitting on a bench by the door to the store was a homeless man and his dog. It was a male rottie named Buddy... and yes i remember this dog, and the man clearly. Instead of giving him about 5 dollars like normal we gave him a 20. I petted the dog and he was as sweet as can be. Im nto too sure about the question but i thought i would share this.... i guess it could be a good thing since it could be like protection? im not sure but its a good question

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Edmonds, WA USA
    Hmmm.....interesting question.

    I think that how I feel is this:

    Why shouldn't homeless people have pets? These pets would otherwise be at the pound or in a shelter, and we all know what happens there, don't we?
    I have seen quite a few dogs with their homeless owners, and I can definately say that they look very devoted to them, and all-in-all happy.
    Is a dog who spends most of his life in a back yard alone, or chained-up better off? I don't think so.
    Also, it is known that animals bring more contentment and happiness to the people who own them, so maybe the homeless with animals are more likely to get out of their situation...........? Just a thought.

    As far as there being homeless drug-addicts, etc. with animals, I don't really see that being too common. Most addicted people live for one thing only, and an animal would not be too condusive to their cause/lifestyle (especially by the time they got to that very low point of being on the street).

    I don't know, maybe I am wrong. I Would be interested to hear other points of view.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Netherlands (where I'm from) & Germany (where I live)
    When I first moved to Germany 5 years ago, I was shocked that so many homeless people were sitting in the shopping streets with their blankets and begging for money. What even more shocked me, was the huge amount of dogs. I used to live in Amsterdam, and even though there are quite some homeless there too, I never ever saw dogs acompany them.

    But looking closer, I saw how they first cared of the dogs, and then cared of their own needs. The dogs always have clean water next to them, lay on a layer of blankets and when it's cold they are even covered with blankets while they sleep there. They also always have food available.

    I don't mind them having pets, and for many it's their only living entity they have. I think it's often what keeps them going, their care for their beloved animal.

    In the shopping streets the police keeps an eye on them, so abuse is out of the question.

    There's only one thing that after 5 years still makes me wonder: there's a blind man sitting in Frankfurt with a cat on his lap (he's also begging). The cat won't move, just sits there and sleeps. Everyone I know wonders what he does to the cat(s) that they remain on his lap all day long... I'm too shy to ask him myself.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Edmonds, WA USA
    C.C.'s Mom- Yes, I have noticed that too: the homeless I have seen with dogs, seem to care about them deeply. They always seem to have fresh food and water.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    I feel that love often comes covered with fur. Sometimes the only love that people experience is the love of an animal. I don't believe these animals would remain with these homeless people if there wasn't an exchange of love going back and forth to each other. After all, if you are homeless there are no walls so there is always the freedom to leave. As long as both human and animal is able to have enough to eat and a place to get out of the weather I see no harm at all. In fact I would encourage it.

  7. #7
    Im not going to give my opinion I just wanted to post a little story I got in the mail a little while ago. Relates to the subject make ya think about it a little more.

    Rescued by Love
    By Lisa Duffy-Korpics

    On most days you could find him sitting on the wall in front of Saint Mary's Church next to the sign that read "Saint Mary's  A Church for Everyone." No doubt the pastor had meant to attract a larger membership with this billboard invitation, but I'm not sure he was prepared for Bobby. A towering six-footer, weighing in at over two hundred pounds, Bobby was, at twenty-something, a very large child. He spent most of his time waving and smiling at the people driving by, and shouting, "Hey, pal!" to those he recognized.

    Bobby called me Goldilocks. He knew me because, as the police department's Animal Control Officer, I was as visible around town as he was. My regular duties were to uphold the leash law, patrol for loose dogs and issue tickets. Bobby had appointed himself my unpaid assistant, and he took his job seriously. Once he waved me down in traffic, ran over to the patrol car and banged on the hood.

    "Goldilocks, there's a big dog up the street gonna get hit by a car! You gotta go get 'im now!"

    Another time he found a litter of newborn kittens in a garbage can and made it his job to find a home for all of them  including the last one which, at his insistence, I ended up taking home myself!

    At first I had loved being the "dog catcher," but as time went by, the job began to get me down. It wasn't the animals  it was the people. I dreaded having to deal with negligent owners. Especially those who no longer wanted their dogs.

    In our town the city provided a dog-surrender service with the local SPCA. For a ten-dollar fee, I'd pick up a dog whose owner could no longer keep him, and, more importantly, I'd collect information about him (good with children, medical history, favorite toys, etc.) that would make it easier for him to be adopted.

    Unbelievably, sometimes the people most capable of paying this fee chose not to, and abandoned the dog to be picked up as a stray instead. They gave up their best opportunity to increase the dog's chances of finding another home  just to save a measly ten dollars. At first I felt crushed by this kind of behavior, but as time passed I toughened up. Lately, I felt so cynical I was afraid of what was happening to me.

    One October when the nights were already dropping below freezing, it occurred to me that I hadn't seen Bobby for a while. He usually spent his nights at the Salvation Army in the winter, so I stopped by and asked about him. No one had seen him. I looked at the phone call log at headquarters to see if he had been making his usual calls to report animals  or just talk. No calls were recorded.

    A week later I got a call at headquarters. "Goldilocks," he rasped, "I need you to come." He had a bad cold.

    "Bobby! Where are you? Everyone's been looking for you!"

    "I'm okay. I'm out in back of the chair factory."

    Within a few minutes, I was turning the car off the main street onto a gravel road behind the old chair factory. All at once the road stopped and I was in a large field strewn with debris. In the middle of the field, a rusting station wagon sat on cement blocks.

    I approached the car, bent over and knocked lightly on the passenger window. Bobby was curled up tightly in the front seat with his windbreaker thrown over him. Lying next to him was a chocolate Labrador puppy with long gangly legs and ears that he had yet to grow into.

    The dog looked up at my knock with bright eyes and a thumping tail. I peered in to get a closer look. The front of the car was filled with empty Styrofoam cups and potato-chip bags. The back of the wagon was covered in soft blankets. Neatly stacked boxes of dog biscuits and a bag of dog food were lined up next to two jugs of bottled water and two chewed rubber balls.

    "Bobby, are you okay?" His eyes fluttered open.

    "Goldilocks," he croaked. He struggled to sit up and get his bearings. He looked at me and I could see his nose was red and his eyes bleary. He untangled himself and climbed from the car, wincing as he stood.

    "Come on with me, Bobby. Get in the patrol car and I'll bring you to the Salvation Army, or the medical center. Okay? It's warm there." I urged.

    "No, I'm okay. Social Service says I'm gonna lose my check if I don't go into housing. You gotta take Brownie."

    It was true. I couldn't think of a single facility that would allow him to keep his dog. He was only out here in the cold because the Salvation Army didn't allow pets. He started unloading the puppy's supplies and carrying them over to the patrol car. Brownie watched every move he made with adoring eyes. I grabbed a jug of water out of the car and started to help, feeling helpless all the same.

    Everything was packed up, except for Brownie. Bobby knelt down and put his hands on each side of the puppy's head. They looked at each other for a long moment and then Brownie started to lick Bobby's face. In one quick movement, the man picked him up and placed him gently in the front seat of the patrol car. He turned to me, his eyes even redder than before.

    "Here," he said, handing me a ten-dollar bill. "For the dog pound." I stared open-mouthed at the money. I couldn't believe it. Bobby was paying the surrender fee, though it was probably all the money he had in the world.

    I put out my hand and grabbed his arm, "Bobby, don't worry about any fee. They'll understand."

    He looked at me. "No, Goldilocks. You told me ten dollars to get a good home, 'member? A home with a kid to play with would be good for Brownie."

    He turned from me suddenly and started to walk back toward the rusty station wagon. I knew better than to try to convince him to come with me. He had a mind of his own and treasured his independence, often at the expense of his health and safety.

    "Bobby! I'll find him a great home," I called after him, a voice catching in my throat.

    He made a noise, but didn't turn around.

    As I drove away, Brownie put his muzzle on my lap and fell asleep. There were times I couldn't see the road through my tears.

    Brownie was taken home that evening by a police officer who fell in love with him the moment he saw me carry him into the precinct. A year later his Christmas photos showed his little boy and Brownie sitting together in front of a fireplace.

    I tried to return Bobby's money, but the station wagon was always empty. Later, I heard that he had gone to a group home in another city and was doing fine. I dropped the ten-dollar bill into the Salvation Army donation box.

    I missed my assistant and wished I could have told Bobby what a wonderful job he'd done. He had rescued cats and dogs  and my faith in people, too.
    ~~ My House Is Not A Home Without A Hound ~~

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Denville, NJ
    There are too many homeless people and dogs in the world, why not have them get together? As with people who have homes animals who are abused should be taken away. If our animal shelters weren't full maybe I'd say the dogs should be taken away but we're not close to that situation yet!

    How great it must feel for someone with no home or family to have the companionship of a dog.

  9. #9
    That is a good question..I wouldn't know, theres not almost no homeless ppl around here..

    My babies: Josie, Zeke, Kiba, Shadow (AKA Butter)

  10. #10
    Hey Carla,

    I know what you mean... they are always sitting around on Mill Avenue in Tempe. It breaks my heart to see them with dogs. I think, how can you feed your dog if you can't feed yourself? But, the my other side is, the dogs keep them company I'm sure. So, it's hard.... The dogs never really look scrawny or unhealthy so I have to just let it go. The dog is a gift to them I'm sure.... I know that if I was homeless that is the one thing I would want at my side... a loyal 4 legged friend. And sadly, people probably feed the dogs more than they do the homeless people!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Edmonds, WA USA
    ilovehounds- that is such a great story! Thank-you for that.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Salisbury Plain, UK
    The main problem with the homeless having an animal is the lack of medical care - spaying, neutering, treatment.

    We have several charities in this country that deal with these problems.

    What most animal lovers fail to realise is that these dogs are, in around 85% of cases, in better circumstances than the average pet dog.
    More veterinary care should be offered, more hostels need to accept dogs and a bit more effort needs to go into giving these peoploe long term, safe and annonymous housing that will accomodate their dog as well.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Edmonds, WA USA
    Thanks Carrie, that's kind of what I thought: that alot of these dogs that belong to the homeless have a better life than SOME that belong to people who neglect/abuse their dogs at home.

    I have a neighbor that has a blk. lab that he keeps in the back yard (alone) 24/7! He goes back there only to feed the poor thing. He never lets it in the house, never takes it anywhere, does not pay any attention to her. I don't know why he even has a dog! She is a very friendly, nice dog, especially considering her circumstances. I have considered abducting her and finding anew home, but my hubby won't let me.

    I guess my point is that this dog would be better off with a homeless person that really loved her. She would have constant companionship and attention.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Drama Queen Rehab
    We have many homeless people here. They will fight for the street corners. (Very seriously...witnessed this while sittin' in traffic one day.)

    A friend's friend saw a homeless man--went to McDonald's and picked him up a meal. The man took the bag, looked inside, threw it back thru the car window, and threatened her b/c he was a vegetarian.

    In general, I am for it as long as the animal is fed/watered/etc. But I often wonder if the homeless do not 'collect' an animal b/c animals can generate more sympathy.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    San Diego, California USA
    I agree with what Carrie says about more shelter and care for both the dog and the person. We send money to so many countries, and most of them don't like us, I wish it would be used for purposes such as this. Many homeless people have withdrawn from society for one reason or another and don't care to mingle with people on a daily basis and their only touch with a little warmth and love is their dog. As many of you have said, these dogs fare better than the dogs who are put out in the backyard and the only time they see anyone is feeding time, that is if the people think of it. It is hard for me to understand why a person will get a dog just to put them outside and tie them up.

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