Homeless shelters need to home those who come to their doors with pets! Not turn them away

Homeless shelters need to home those who come to their doors with pets! Not turn them away

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I met John Aubrey outside Sainsbury's in Fallowfield, Manchester as me and my sister went to do our weekly shop. He set himself up as we were queuing and as I moved to the allocated waiting area (as only one person can shop) and waited for my sister to help carry it all home.

I dropped the change I had left into John's cup which had barely 20p in it and within a minute a police car drew up and got out, telling John to leave and being very dismissive and rude calling him a criminal for begging and didn't like how he was 'sat there earning money tax free' as if John would be doing so if he had any other option. The world is isolating but people also have to eat. The officer definitely had an extremely outdated mindset that John was some sort of lazy criminal. I don't know John's story and I don't care, all people should be treated with respect and even more so in such scary troublesome times. If you put yourself forward to be conversing with the public like this police officer has then you should hold some common manners, empathy and an air of respect and professionalism while on your job even if you are a small minded idiot in your personal time.
These are the people on the frontline of keeping us 'safe' and 'protected' yet they walk around with this obnoxious, mean and degrading air and it's not okay. If you can't handle power you shouldn't be given it. As I mentioned earlier John's pot had about 20p in and yet this police officer had to chip in about getting money through begging, calling him a criminal and basically saying 'how dare he get that tax free!!?'
It's embarrassing to know this is the attitude of those that represent us and our society and our views of every part of it.

I also have to raise the issue of why John was still on the streets.

I had seen and I'm sure many others had too - that during the pandemic all homeless people were to be housed, to be given beds and kept safer and off the streets as they are an extremely vulnerable group to the virus, because of low health. But they won't allow dogs, or pets in general into the shelters.  John has to make a heart-wrenching decision of whether to house himself or stay with his dog, who he referred to as 'his baby.' As a lover of pets I felt that hard and I in this pandemic completely recognise my privilege, in that the level of society I am in, we are being told to hug our dogs/pets as much as possible, use them to soothe our nerves and uncertainty and take solace in their company, while another group in society are being told they have to leave them. Save themselves or their pets. Risk themselves or lose their babies.

I tried to think of solutions for John in his position, 'could you leave the dog with someone for a night so you could at least get rest and warmth? Or even half a day for you to be able to get a meal?'-- but John's only family is his father who unfortunately is battling cancer and therefore is in the extremely vulnerable, must self isolate group, there was no one John could leave the dog with.
I suggested a dog shelter, 'is there anyway you could give her to one of those until all this is over as a last last resort?' but the shelters are all full, or not taking any animals at this time.
I asked if he would allow myself to look after the dog, give him a few days break at least, but the dog had been rescued from abuse, was extremely timid/jumpy and would not leave John's side without it causing great distress to the animal.

I left brokenhearted, let down by our systems and uninspired by the attitudes of those in power. But I want to do something to help- I have set up a petition to ask Homeless shelters to take people with dogs during this time, to just get everyone safe, then work out the details later. Let's not tear people apart when the world is already testing us all.

Please sign, share and repost!!!!

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