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Dogs on the Streets in Taunton

31 July 2019 : Community

The award winning charity Dogs on the Streets (DOTS) is working with SWT to support rough sleepers and homeless people with dogs.

The Clinical Director and the Founder of DOTS were in Taunton on Tuesday (30 July) for the first session at the Open Door charity in Mount Street where a team will attend on a monthly basis to provide veterinary care, equipment and advice.

The service in Taunton has been secured by SWT’s Streetwise team and is one of a number of schemes in place to address issues of rough sleeping and anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Chris Booth said: "I am delighted that we have been able to arrange these visits from DOTS who are dedicated to the welfare of dogs belonging to the UK’s homeless community.

The monthly service will make a real difference to the quality of life for dogs who live on our streets and in hostels with their owners.

It makes sense to give consideration to their welfare as part of our continuing efforts to provide the necessary support to rough sleepers which in turn will benefit the wider community."

DOTS was started in 2017 by Michelle Clark to offer 24/7 support for dogs and their homeless owners.

In Taunton DOTS will provide:-

  • free 24 hour veterinary care
  • free jabs and health checks
  • free fostering/kennelling for dogs when their owners are unable to look after them
  • free dog food so the dogs have a proper diet

Michelle said: "To a homeless dog owner, their dog is their world. They will quite often put the needs of the dog before their own, they love and care for them that much. It’s a privilege to be able to care for these devoted dogs and give support to their owners, and we are looking forward to making a real difference in Taunton."

The Council has been working with partners including the Police and other agencies to identify and address the issues of real concern and develop a joined-up service to help people break the cycle of homelessness and addiction.

It operates a Diverted Giving scheme which means that people can donate money to the local charity Open Door rather than giving to people begging on the streets.

Open Door uses the cash to provide meals, showers, laundry and support to rough sleepers from its base in Mount Street.

Donations can be made to DOTS
100% of all donations to DOTS goes on essentials and care for street dogs.