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Dogs Trust gives ‘hope’ to homeless people and their dogs

Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest welfare charity, has recently launched new scheme across the UK as its Dogs Trust Hope Project offers free preventative healthcare for dogs whose owners are homeless or in housing crisis.

The new Veterinary Entitlement Card Scheme allows homeless dog owners to easily register their pets through participating homelessness organisations and in return receive a free Entitlement Card which is valid for up to twelve months.

The Card means that homeless people can ensure their dogs get free health checks, neutering, vaccinations, worming and flea treatments. Card holders will also be able to get subsidised additional veterinary care for their dog. The card can be presented at any of the 69 veterinary surgeries participating in the scheme throughout the UK. All dogs registered with the scheme are microchipped, so that each time they visit a surgery, the dog’s microchip can be scanned and checked against the chip number on the card.

The new card scheme will allow homeless dog owners access to more surgeries and does not limit them to the geographical area where they register for a card. The new scheme also enables homelessness organisations the option to register their clients online, making the whole process more efficient, and allowing dogs to be treated faster.

Clare Kivlehan, Dogs Trust Hope Project Manager says:

“By introducing this new scheme we will be able to offer homeless clients a wider range of veterinary treatments for their pets. For many homeless people, their dog is their most loyal companion and friend, and their pet’s health and happiness is often put before their own.

Veterinary surgeons often comment on how healthy and well socialised dogs belonging to homeless people are”.

Dog owners wishing to apply for the scheme must register with their nearest homelessness organisation and have proof of their NFA status (No Fixed Abode). If this is not possible they can contact the Dogs Trust Hope Team directly on 020 7837 0006. Homelessness organisations or veterinary surgeries interested in finding out more about the scheme should also contact us on the number above or email hopeproject@dogstrust.org.uk.

Dogs Trust Hope Project has been helping dogs whose owners are homeless or in housing crisis since 1994 by providing free veterinary treatments and welfare advice UK wide. The project also works towards encouraging homelessness organisations to accept clients with dogs by providing policy guidelines and information.