You might think that housed people who have pets would empathize with pet owners who are homeless. The health benefits of owning a pets, including daily exercise and companionship, are well established. Yet people who have pets while being homeless are often criticized.
Two veterinarians who care for pets whose owners who are homeless have teamed up with academic researchers to create a comprehensive guide for people who are thinking about pets and homelessness. The guide includes actions needed to overcome barriers that block the way for people with pets to leave homelessness. The actions include messages to change public opinion and policies to make services more accessible. It also identifies needed collaborations between service providers.
The authors recommend adopting the One Health approach to supporting people with pets who are homeless. One Health is sanctioned by the World Health Organization. It recognizes that the health of humans, animals, and environments are inextricably connected.1 One Health provides a path to understand how people, pets and the environment can help in efforts to end homelessness.
The guide also includes an extensive review of the existing research. It is available to the public in the academic journal Animals: A Multilevel Intervention Framework for Supporting People Experiencing Homelessness with Pets
- You can read more about this at WHO: One Health