'Trusty Paws' - Helping The Homeless & Their Dogs

Wow, what a chilly start to 2017 it has been! My dogs, Ted & Millie, have been enjoying their home comforts (and I’m sure your dogs have been too!)

Do me a favour though, close your eyes for one moment and imagine if you and your dog didn’t have a home (you may not think it, but it could happen to any of us). Imagine facing the elements day in and day out, enduring the driving wind and rain (and even snow!), experiencing abuse and feeling alone, with just your four-legged friend for company.

Despite it being a new year, sadly some things never change and this includes the number of people (and their dogs) found living on the streets in the UK.

Thankfully a wonderful charity, Trusty Paws, is on hand to lend a paw and make sure dogs living on the streets have all the comforts they need. I spoke with the Founder, Ruby Shorrock.

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Let me tell you more....

WHO ARE TRUSTY PAWS?

Trusty Paws was established in 2014 and offers a monthly clinic in Glasgow and London providing free preventative treatments for dogs.

Vaccinations, microchipping, flea/worming treatment, provision of dog supplies as well as referrals for extra veterinary care; they do it all and have helped over 100 dogs already!

These clinics are run out of homeless shelters and are run entirely by veterinary students (under the careful eye of a qualified vet) to ensure the dogs living on the streets receive the veterinary care they need.

All of those who work at Trusty Paws are volunteers and rely on the generosity of the public and veterinary brands and practices to enable them to carry out their work.

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WHY DO THEY HELP?

There can often be misconceptions surrounding the homeless and their dogs, but the reality is actually very different from what you may think.

In the majority of cases, the dogs literally mean everything to those living on the streets. From speaking with Ruby, she has seen so many people refuse housing, simply because their dog wasn’t allowed at the property. Now that is what you call loyalty to your four-legged friend.

Ruby explained the main driving force behind Trusty Paws is recognising the human /animal bond and I think the above demonstrates exactly that. The bond is so strong and the result often means those living on the streets are prepared to put their dog’s welfare before their own.

Trusty Paws recognises this and helps ensure these people are given the opportunity to care for their dog’s physical wellbeing as well.

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At the same time, Trusty Paws enables those on the street to integrate with society again (if you’ve lived on the streets for a long time, you may not feel part of society or may find it overwhelming) but the Trusty Paws clinic has strived to create a very relaxed and welcoming vibe.

This provides those on the street with the opportunity to help themselves, build on these experiences and start to integrate once more. Friendships are formed and dogs are given the practical care they need to live on the streets. A pawfect combination!

The next generation of vets also benefit from the clinics and others across the UK have been so inspired to make a difference, similar clinics are now also forming including in Bristol, Hull & Sheffield. Amazing!

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WHO DO THEY HELP?

Trusty Paws helps people like Eddie, who has lived on the streets of Glasgow for 20 years. He suffers with depression and his dogs helps him through those dark days.  Eddie had 2 Staffies at one point, Tara & Bruno and both have received excellent medical care from Trusty Paws. 

Whilst Bruno sadly had to be put down due to a hereditary condition, Eddie was so grateful for the support he received while coping with the loss of his companion. Tara has also received extra care during Eddie’s regular visits to the clinic and he states without Trusty Paws, Tara wouldn’t be alive.

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 Eddie regularly speaks out about the work of the clinic (it’s his way of giving back).  

He also donated £30 which he saved on the streets.  It’s stories like this which makes you see the true value of the work of Trusty Paws.

  

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WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Do follow Trusty Paws on their Facebook & Twitter pages for the latest on their work and find out how you can help them grow. 

Click on the image below to meet the vet who treats homeless people's pets for free.

 

Link to the BBC

*Thank you to Ruby for speaking with me.

Photo credits: Karen Gordon

Ruby Shorrock

Ruby Shorrock founder of The Trusty Paws Clinic

 

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