Homeless and other struggling dog owners in Bristol are being given some additional support from today, with an innovative new service that gives out free dog support packs to those in need.
The Hound Haus is a subscription service that allows customers around the UK to receive a monthly box of dog goodies; the company then uses the profits to produce and distribute free boxes to struggling or homeless owners.
The free boxes contain food, blankets, leads, bowls, flea and worming products as well as treats, chews and toys.
The Hound Haus is starting a new series of sessions at the end of July that will run monthly across the city. Free packs will be available to pick up, as well as access to vets, at the sessions for small queries, and the RSPCA for more serious treatment.
The Hound Haus is also working in conjunction with Caring in Bristol to provide advice and signposting for struggling owners to find work and housing options available to them and their dog.
The boxes are an important aid to struggling or homeless owners as it gives owners the confidence that their dogs are being cared for and lets them concentrate on their on other struggles be it employment, financial difficulties, disability or something else.
In attendance is also a St Mungo’s outreach worker; to help with any issues owners may be experiencing. The sessions are created to be as helpful as possible on a number of levels; from meeting the needs of the dogs to ongoing support for the owner.
The aim is to support owners to prevent more dogs from ending up in shelters. With as many as 200 dogs a day being abandoned or given over to shelters around the UK, The Hound Haus aim to help the dogs, the owners and in turn reduce the demands on animal shelters.
The Hound Haus, was started last year by Verity Jones, a young Bristolian entrepreneur who has help from friends and family volunteers to get everything started.
She said: “I have always loved dogs and have been working with homeless people for a while when I decided there needed to be a service that helped struggling owners out. Dogs are so rewarding and can be so much more than a pet to many people so to be able to help people and dogs to live a better life is an important job.
“As well as being very important, dogs can become a barrier to homeless people in accessing the services that are important to helping them. With very few shelters and soup kitchens allowing dogs in around the city these people are simply not getting the help they need.
“For the dogs; it keeps them out of kennels and away from the stress that separation can cause. For the owners, dogs can be a great sense of comfort, safety and companionship for someone suffering homelessness, depressions or a stressful situation.”
All information for either the public wanting to buy boxes or homeless or struggling owners seeking free boxes is available at: www.thehoundhaus.com