Ever notice how having a pet can bring so many benefits to a person's life? Pets signify hope and happiness regardless of the situation you're in. These creatures of joy can brighten up your day, especially with their innocence and unconditional acts of love. However, if you think about homeless people having their own pets, would it have the same effect?
Most people think that homeless people shouldn't have a pet. They can't even take care of themselves, let alone another living being. Other people would even prefer having those stray dogs put in a shelter rather than being taken care of by someone who is equally astray.
It’s sad to think that most Americans stigmatize homeless pet ownership1. Little do they know that both the homeless person and their pets provide mutual benefits to one another.
As mentioned earlier, pets have a significant impact on one’s life. They provide friendship, warmth, happiness, and security. Don't the most vulnerable people on the streets deserve this kind of companionship?
Homelessness in the United States is more rampant than most people think. While they may have some form of shelter to protect them at night and food to sustain them, they remain lonely. Our society often shuns homeless people, leaving them to seek companionship from a pet.
No Room for Judgment
Pet dogs don’t see them as “homeless”. Instead, they look at these people as their owners — nothing less. Their canine companions don’t blame them for their condition, nor will they throw a pitiful glance. Dogs would simply give the same amount of love and attention to their homeless owners no matter the circumstance.
For most people experiencing homelessness in the United States, they often do not have a family to go to. Because of this, their dog becomes the closest thing they have for a family. Some even say that the bond is even greater than that of a partner.
Safe and Secured
Despite the adversities and risks when sleeping outside, having their pet dogs by their sides gives someone sleeping rough a stronger sense of security. And unlike dogs at home, their canine companions won’t wander off for long periods without their owners by their side. They are constant companions that any person can ask for.
Having a pet dog gives them direction. It boosts their feelings of self-worth. These dogs are now their family, and their pets have now become dependent on them. This gives them more reasons to do better, which includes providing for their canine companions. Some homeless people even find ways to raise money, not for them but for their pets. With such a connection, other people are seen to be friendlier and more helpful to people with pets than those without one.
The Homeless are Better Owners
They put their pet’s lives first before their own. When you give a homeless person some food, they tend to break it in half and share an equal part to their dogs despite how hungry they are. That kind of sacrifice is incomparable. Fortunately, there have been organizations that support not only the homeless but also their pets. While these groups of people provide food, backpack bed, and other needs to the homeless, they also make sure that their pets have enough nutritious food and water. The bottom line is, there is no doubt that the homeless deserve to have pets just the same as everyone else.