A Wigan charity is helping homeless people get off the streets by ensuring their devoted four-legged friends are looked after as well.
Helping the Homeless has set up a pet fostering service which looks after residents’ dogs or other animals while they get their lives back on track.
The charity found people living on the streets found it difficult to access accommodation and services because they had pets and were reluctant to give up the animals who had been by their side in their darkest times.
Three dogs are currently being looked after by Helping the Homeless’ first fosterer Sara Sorrell and expansion is already planned just a couple of weeks after the service was launched.
Helping the Homeless co-founder Dawn French said: “Homeless people with pets often can’t get into night shelters, cold-weather provision or accommodation.
“They can’t get the help they are entitled to but often the dog is the last thing they have and they won’t give it up.
“We look at the dog as part of a solution, not a problem. The pets are looked after while the clients get help and then they get the animals back.
“One of our first users of the pet fostering service said it was a massive weight off her mind. She said she’d never known a service like this and everywhere should have one.”
Dawn is now looking for more volunteers to get involved with the pet fostering service and is also reliant on generous animal lovers donating items such as dog food to run it.
For more information search for Helping the Homeless (Wigan) on Facebook.