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New initiative aims to keep homeless people and pets together
There is compelling evidence on the positive effect having a pet can have on your mental and physical health.

Guide to provide advice on providing for dogs and their owners in need

Dogs Trust and homelessness charity Simon Community Scotland are working together to raise awareness of the value of pets for people experiencing homelessness.

According to the BBC, Simon Community Scotland's new document, titled ‘Paws for Thought’ provides advice and guidance to housing and support service providers on how to integrate pets of homeless people in to what they do. Such as how to provide dog-friendly communal rooms in temporary shelters and create risk assessments to manage issues, like allergies, that may arise from staff members being around pets.

There is compelling evidence on the positive effect having a pet can have on your mental and physical health. The companionship, responsibility and purpose that a pet can bring to someone in a traumatic situation like homelessness can be life-altering.

The ‘Paws for Thought’ guide asks readers to genuinely stop and think about the journey that people on the street may have been through and the benefits that owning a pet can have.

Simon Community Scotland are also equipping their Edinburgh and Glasgow street teams with ‘street packs for dogs’, which contain bowls, food, leads, jackets, toys and more to help homeless dog owners to provide for their pets, as they will often sacrifice their own needs to supply essentials like these.

Lorraine McGrath, CEO of Simon Community Scotland commented: “No one should ever be placed in a position where they have to choose between a safe place to stay or their pet. What makes this choice even harder is the trauma and loss many of the people we support have experienced.

“Being asked to give up the only constant in their lives that gives them company, purpose, security and love simply adds more trauma and loss to an already awful journey. The great thing is it doesn’t have to be like that, being dog/pet friendly isn’t that hard. This document shares the experiences and opportunities to provide that approach.”

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The Kennel Club appoints new chief executive

News Story 1
 The Kennel Club has announced the appointment of Mark Beazley, who was previously Cats Protection's director of operations, as chief executive. Mark replaces Rosemary Smart, who stepped down from the role in April after 18 years.

Mark has held several senior strategic and executive roles, including executive director at Dogs Trust Ireland and chair of the Companion Animal Working Group at Eurogroup for Animals. He was also heavily involved in the establishment of the Eu Cat and Dog Alliance.

Mark will take up his new role in October. 

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News Shorts
International Cat Care appoints new head of veterinary division

International Cat Care (ICC) has announced the appointment of Nathalie Dowgray as head of the charity's veterinary division.

Nathalie, who is an RCVS advanced practitioner in feline medicine, will lead the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) and a play key role in advancing knowledge and research in feline medicine.

Claire Bessant, iCatCare's chief executive said: "We're absolutely delighted to be welcoming Nathalie to the charity. She brings a depth and breadth of feline expertise and understanding which fits perfectly with the charity's work and development, and her enthusiasm for cats is infectious."