In the U.S., 2.5 to 3.5 million people experience homelessness each year, in most cases, it's a temporary condition. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, up to 10 percent of homeless people in urban areas and as many as 24 percent of homeless people in rural areas, are pet owners.
The major problem for all homeless people is housing, Shelters, welfare motels and assisted living programs for the homeless and elderly do not allow pets, forcing many homeless and elderly people to stay on the streets rather than leave behind their pet. They are often harassed by animal control and fear to take advantage of free spay/neuter or other free vet care services because if they can not provide an address, their pet may not be returned to them, There are very few programs to help the homeless pet owner and the government needs to make changes and allow homeless and elderly housing programs or incorporate new programs to permit pets to be housed with their homeless owner. An estimated 4 million cats and dogs lives are ended by euthanasia yearly, the majority for no reason other than lack of space at Animal Control facilities. it is unjust to add to that number by taking animals away from people who love and care for them because they are homeless or displaced and it is unjust to force the choice of remaining on the street rather than seeking shelter and assistance because a beloved pet would have to be given up, with a very high risk of being euthanized. By allowing pets in shelters, welfare motels and assisted living facilities for the homeless and elderly a big impact would be made upon the overall number of people living on the street. The no pets allowed policy must be changed!
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