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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2009, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Downtown Dog Rescue

In my Internet travels, I came across a website for Downtown Dog Rescue, in Los Angeles. Apparently, they help homeless people to keep and care for their dogs. I think this is a great idea. I have always thought it a shame that people and families who are poor or down on their luck often can't afford to have a dog and they may be the ones who need the love of a dog the most.

Here is a brainstorm: Why couldn't an organization be started, funded by donations and working with our local shelter where people who were either down on their luck or below a certain income level could adopt a dog for free? Maybe the dogs who are already on the euthanasia list could be offered. Then the organization could offer free vet care and free dogfood to the owner either for a certain temporary period or maybe as long as they continued to prove they were low income. In my mind, the food would be delivered or they would pick it up, no cash would ever be given out. Also, there would be rules that would have to be adhered to as to the care of the dog (for example, the dog would be required to live inside the house), and volunteers would make frequent home visits to make sure the dog was being taken of. Does anyone think such a thing would work? Do you think people would give money to make it work?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2009, 11:10 AM
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Re: Downtown Dog Rescue

I thought you said they help HOMELESS people to keep dogs? How can you require the dog live in the house if they're homeless?

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2009, 11:28 AM
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Re: Downtown Dog Rescue

it seems to me that these are the last people you'd want to adopt a dog because their life situation is so unstable.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2009, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Downtown Dog Rescue

No, the idea I thought of would not work for the homeless. I suppose you may be right that the poor have an unstable situation. But then I'm not sure that little money automatically equals unstable. If the dogs offered were deathrow dogs, it might provide their last chance. As an afterthought, though, I bet in this difficult economic time, when the perception is that so many people need help, it would be hard to get anyone to donate to something such as this. I bet all of the dog charities have a harder than usual time during this time.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2009, 11:49 AM
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Re: Downtown Dog Rescue

There are people who are fully capable of caring for their pets and still dump them in shelters.

I used to buy cheeseburgers and ask for extra plain burgers and bacon at the local McDonald's by my parents, and I'd take to my "pals:" three homeless men and their dog. I do the same around Atlanta as well, and you'd be surprised. The majority of the dogs that the "pals" keep as companions are better cared for than persons with a home and an income and rest assured, their dog always receives its yearly vaccinations as well as have been spayed/neutered.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2009, 11:57 AM
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Re: Downtown Dog Rescue

That is a wonderful idea. And your heart is totally in the right place.

I know the the shelters around here barely survive as it is...it would have to be a privately funded operation. Someone saving the doggies from death row, then finding the proper person down on their luck, then supporting them.

Which most doggies in MO are just lucky if a rescue gets them off death row. Then finds them any home.

It is over whelming. But I encourage your thinking. Something has to give.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2009, 12:04 PM
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Re: Downtown Dog Rescue

There was a similar program in Berkeley for years. It could still be running for all I know.

They actually did a study on pet ownership in the homeless population and discovered that those people who owned a pet were less likely to need hospitalization for chronic health problems, were less likely to experience a mental health crisis and were more likely access community programs. Basically, the conclusion was that a homeless pet owner was able to gain all the benefits from pet ownership that anyone else would be able to gain, and they did a decent job of caring for the pets. There were much lower instances of animal abandonment in the homeless population, the dogs had fewer behavioral issues than those living in homes did and the homeless owners were more likely to identify the pet as "family" than owners that were not homeless.

The program that was available in Berkeley included providing food for the pets, vaccinations and spay/neuters. It was an interesting concept.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2009, 12:10 PM
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Re: Downtown Dog Rescue

Also forgot to add, there is a petfood pantry near where I live. Supported by our local pet cematary of all places (they are these WONDERFUL people), you take the food donation to them, they get it to people in need. Good program.

~Kelly
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2009, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Downtown Dog Rescue

Great programs all! I was just so excited when I read about Downtown Dog Rescue. Southern Thistle, that was really nice of you, the McDonald's thing; not many people would think of that!!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2009, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Downtown Dog Rescue

I think I wasn't very clear that the rescue that helps the homeless and my personal idea were for two different population segments.

I did want to add that the low income portion of the population would also include many of the elderly and disabled, many of whom are not necessarily unstable, but will continue to be low income.
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