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Dogs Trust marks milestone in homelessness support
Lulu is one of the dogs to have benefitted from Dogs Trust's project.
The project has now helped 10,000 dogs.

Dogs Trust is celebrating a milestone in its charity work, as it supports its 10,000th dog owned by a person experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Through its project, Together Through Homelessness, Dogs Trust has provided over 30,000 free veterinary treatments for dogs.

As well as obtaining free emergency and routine veterinary care for the dogs of those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, the project works with homelessness services to make them dog-friendly.

Dogs Trust provides the services with bespoke support and advice on topics including dog-friendly policies and dog behaviour resources. This includes starter packs to help dogs settle in to their new home.

The project also sees Dogs Trust distribute parcels to these services during the Christmas season. In December 2023, almost 2,000 parcels of dog supplies and toys were delivered to over 200 services across the UK.

Dogs Trust says that its work provides vital support for dog owners experiencing homelessness, who may have to choose between their dog and having somewhere safe to sleep.

In a survey, Dogs Trust found that 70 per cent of homelessness professionals had seen clients struggle to access support services because they have a dog. There were also 84 per cent of professionals which were aware of a case where someone had had to decline support because it would mean giving up their dog.

One charity supported by the service is Emmaus Cambridge, which provides those experiencing homelessness with a home, work opportunities and therapeutic support. With Dogs Trust, Emmaus Cambridge is able to support people like Lee, who lives there with his dog Lulu.

Lee said: “Lulu settled into the community really quickly, she loves being here and everyone makes a fuss of her.

“She enjoys a run around the fields which is typically followed by a long leisurely snooze.”

James Hickman, head of outreach projects at Dogs Trust, said: “We don’t believe anyone should have to choose between their dog and somewhere safe to sleep, which is why not only do we provide free health care to the dogs of those experiencing homelessness, but we also work closely with service providers to ensure pet friendly support is available at every step of the housing pathway.”

Image © Centre for Homelessness Impact

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Reporting service for dead wild birds updated

News Story 1
 The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has updated its online reporting service for dead wild birds.

The new version allows those reporting a dead bird to drop a pin on a map when reporting the location. It also includes a wider range of wild bird species groups to select from when describing the bird.

The online service, which helps APHA to monitor the spread of diseases such as avian influenza, can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
NI chief vet urges bluetongue vigilance

Northern Ireland's chief veterinary officer (CVO) has urged farmers to be vigilant for signs of bluetongue, after the Animal and Plant Health Agency warned there was a very high probability of further cases in Great Britain.

There have been 126 confirmed cases of bluetongue virus serotype 3 in England since November 2023, with no cases reported in Northern Ireland. The movement of live ruminants from Great Britain to Northern Ireland is currently suspended.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the virus is most likely to enter Northern Ireland through infected animals or germplasm (semen or ova) being imported.

Brian Dooher, Northern Ireland's CVO, said: "Surveillance for this disease within Northern Ireland has been increased to assist with detection at the earliest opportunity which will facilitate more effective control measures."

Farmers should report any suspicions of the disease to their private veterinary practitioner, the DAERA Helpline on 0300 200 7840 or their local DAERA Direct Veterinary Office.