VeggieBoards banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,098 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Touching story on people living on the streets and their companion animals.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/05/10...are/index.html

Quote:
Portland, Oregon (CNN) -- James has an unlikely reaction when he watches his gangly black puppy Bigera chow down on a can of dog food: His stomach rumbles.
"Sometimes there's not enough for the both of us that day," he said. "But I make sure she always eats. She has to. She's what keeps me sane out here."
"Out here" are the streets where James -- who asked that his last name not be used -- lives with Bigera.
They have been together for a little more than four months. At night they sleep on a doorstep.
As each day ends, James said Bigera runs back to the stoop and lies down as if she knows she's returning home.
"I wish we didn't have a doorway," he said. "I wish we had a house to go into, but it's what we call home for now."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,743 Posts
I'm sure there are some homeless people who try to treat their pets well, but in general I despise seeing homeless people with pets. They generally can't get the medical treatment they need, proper diets in case they get ill, and so on. Plenty of housed people who have pets don't or aren't able to treat them well, but I have personally seen far too many drugged out, abusive, homeless a-holes with animals. I've seen homeless people hit, scream at, not water, and otherwise abuse their animals. Often people on the street are drunks or drug users who are not able to be responsible for another being, but they pick up a dog for protection. I've more than once seen sick, dead-eyed looking cats chained up to a shopping cart as their owner carted them around, completely against cat nature.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,026 Posts
In Vegas there's a shelter for battered and homeless women and children. They accept pets. It's one of the few of its kind.
The shelter for humans: http://www.theshadetree.org/
The attached shelter for their animals: http://www.noahsanimalhouse.org/

Edit to add: A significant number of abusers use the pets to control their victims. USA Today wrote:
Quote:
Domestic abuse shelters have long recognized that abused families, often kept so isolated that pets are their only friends, won't leave the abuser because they know animals left behind may be harmed as a power play or retaliation.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...shelters_N.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,910 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irizary View Post

Often people on the street are drunks or drug users
Stereotype. Look to the above articles. Not everyone on the street does drugs, etc, many homeless people stay away from that stuff and are still lumped in the same category as everyone else.

However, I agree that there are better places for animals than the streets, and if someone is looking to fix their life up, it's a good choice to stay away from pets, and it costs nothing to get the animal to a good home by means of shelter, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,995 Posts
I was a manager at a pet store for a while.

Every so often, this old homeless man would come in and ask for something to give his dog.
I gave him bags of dog food that had accidentally ripped open, broken dog toys, anything we couldn't sell.

One day he brought his dog with him.
It was a small shaggy...I think it was supposed to be white...mutt. The little dog was just as dirty, scraggly, and smelly as the man.

What stands out in my memory is watching the two interact with eat other. This dog loved this man SO much, and even though there was a lot for a dog to be distracted by, rarely took his very happy eyes off the face of this man. The man was so proud of his little dog, and went on and on about how smart he was, the tricks he could do, etc...

Its strange... This man and this dog were the happiest two creatures I'd seen in a very long time. They absolutely adored each other, and shared their lives. It's an experience that had a great impact on who I am today.

Edited to add:
Its not like homeless people are buying pets, or even adopting them. Dogs live on the streets, too. If you slept on the sidewalk, its only a matter of time before a dog tried to snuggle up next to you. The two of you may become friends, and you may grow very concerned for your little friend, and wish to take care of it. You make it sound like something immoral is happening. Humans and dogs are social creatures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post

Edited to add:
Its not like homeless people are buying pets, or even adopting them. Dogs live on the streets, too. If you slept on the sidewalk, its only a matter of time before a dog tried to snuggle up next to you. The two of you may become friends, and you may grow very concerned for your little friend, and wish to take care of it. You make it sound like something immoral is happening. Humans and dogs are social creatures.
This is what I was thinking. If a homeless man and a homeless dog become friends, is it so much worse than than them being separate? At least some of them try to care for the animals (Which is really sad..)

Obviously I'm not talking about the ones that are abusive to their animals. But the sad fact is shelters are overrun with animals - living with a homeless person might be the best thing that could've happened to certain dogs, better than starving to death alone on the streets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,744 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irizary View Post

I'm sure there are some homeless people who try to treat their pets well, but in general I despise seeing homeless people with pets. They generally can't get the medical treatment they need, proper diets in case they get ill, and so on. Plenty of housed people who have pets don't or aren't able to treat them well, but I have personally seen far too many drugged out, abusive, homeless a-holes with animals. I've seen homeless people hit, scream at, not water, and otherwise abuse their animals. Often people on the street are drunks or drug users who are not able to be responsible for another being, but they pick up a dog for protection. I've more than once seen sick, dead-eyed looking cats chained up to a shopping cart as their owner carted them around, completely against cat nature.
Hey lets not stereotype here. I've been on the streets. I've met homeless people with pets. And the people I met took great care of their dogs. It's nice to have a human around to get into those hard to reach places in the dumpster where all the good food is at.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,189 Posts
Lots of hard-working, home owning, pet owners who seldom have time for their pet. For many hours of the day, I bet those pets would envy the pet tagging along behind a guy picking up aluminum cans in the alley.

I can't stand the peta "better off dead than on the streets" way of doing things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,743 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegkid View Post

Stereotype. Look to the above articles. Not everyone on the street does drugs, etc, many homeless people stay away from that stuff and are still lumped in the same category as everyone else.
In the very quote of mine that you responded to I said "often," which does not mean "always," and that is true, not a stereotype.
Quote:
Substance abuse is often a cause of homelessness... In many situations, however, substance abuse is a result of homelessness rather than a cause
regardless, substance abuse and homelessness often go together.
http://www.nationalhomeless.org/fact.../addiction.pdf

Also, in my experience - having worked at a shelter - it's not usual that homeless dogs would find homeless people and they set out together like that. It's more intentional. It's that they got a free puppy from some idiot who let their dog get pregnant, or they bought a dog when they were living at their parent's house, etc. Are there lots of tame dogs running around homeless where you guys live? In my area if there are loose dogs they got out of their fencing and belong to someone who might want them back. Homeless dogs wouldn't be running around free on the streets for long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
456 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floridaisa View Post

Touching story on people living on the streets and their companion animals.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/05/10...are/index.html
Thank you for sharing this story. That is exactly how I feel about my pup. If I lost everything and ended up on the streets, I would do everything I could to feed her. I think it would be even more morale-crushing to give her up.

Also, please look on others with compassion and respect. Think about sharing your groceries with the homeless person you see on the drive home from the store. Or making care packages to keep in the car for the people you see in your town. Toiletries, non-perishables, and maybe some dog treats for the people lucky enough to have the unconditional love of a dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,098 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post

I was a manager at a pet store for a while.

Every so often, this old homeless man would come in and ask for something to give his dog.
I gave him bags of dog food that had accidentally ripped open, broken dog toys, anything we couldn't sell.

One day he brought his dog with him.
It was a small shaggy...I think it was supposed to be white...mutt. The little dog was just as dirty, scraggly, and smelly as the man.

What stands out in my memory is watching the two interact with eat other. This dog loved this man SO much, and even though there was a lot for a dog to be distracted by, rarely took his very happy eyes off the face of this man. The man was so proud of his little dog, and went on and on about how smart he was, the tricks he could do, etc...

Its strange... This man and this dog were the happiest two creatures I'd seen in a very long time. They absolutely adored each other, and shared their lives. It's an experience that had a great impact on who I am today.

Edited to add:
Its not like homeless people are buying pets, or even adopting them. Dogs live on the streets, too. If you slept on the sidewalk, its only a matter of time before a dog tried to snuggle up next to you. The two of you may become friends, and you may grow very concerned for your little friend, and wish to take care of it. You make it sound like something immoral is happening. Humans and dogs are social creatures.
you rock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,098 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockette79 View Post

Thank you for sharing this story. That is exactly how I feel about my pup. If I lost everything and ended up on the streets, I would do everything I could to feed her. I think it would be even more morale-crushing to give her up.

Also, please look on others with compassion and respect. Think about sharing your groceries with the homeless person you see on the drive home from the store. Or making care packages to keep in the car for the people you see in your town. Toiletries, non-perishables, and maybe some dog treats for the people lucky enough to have the unconditional love of a dog.
you're welcome.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top