Homeless with Dogs Options for Shelter.

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Homeless with Dogs? Options for Shelter.

As the number of homeless individuals and families continues to rise, it’s important to remember that many of these individuals are also pet owners. For those experiencing homelessness with a furry companion, finding shelter can be even more challenging. However, there are resources available specifically for those struggling with homelessness and their beloved dogs. In this article, we will explore the various shelter options and support systems in place for homeless individuals and their dogs. From temporary housing to long-term solutions, there are ways to keep both humans and their four-legged friends safe and cared for during this difficult time.

Homelessness is a dire issue that affects millions of people worldwide. In the United States alone, there are an estimated 553,742 people experiencing homelessness on any given night. And unfortunately, a large portion of those individuals are pet owners, specifically dog owners. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, it is estimated that around 5-10% of homeless individuals have pets.

The Challenge of Homelessness with Dogs

For homeless individuals, their dogs provide a sense of comfort, companionship, and unconditional love in an otherwise difficult and uncertain situation. However, finding proper shelter accommodations that allow both humans and dogs can be a huge challenge. Most shelters and housing options do not allow pets, leaving many homeless individuals with the tough decision of either giving up their beloved pet or remaining on the streets.

This difficult choice often results in pet abandonment or relinquishment to shelters, adding to the already overwhelming number of animals in need of homes. However, there are resources available for homeless individuals with dogs, and with the right support and assistance, they can find safe and suitable living arrangements for both themselves and their furry companions.

Shelter Options for Homeless People with Dogs

One of the main challenges for homeless individuals with dogs is finding shelter options that allow pets. Below are some potential options for homeless individuals and their furry friends:

1. Pet-Friendly Shelters

While most shelters do not allow pets, there are a few pet-friendly shelters scattered throughout the country. These shelters provide temporary accommodation for both humans and their dogs, typically with separate sleeping areas but shared common spaces.

However, these shelters are often limited in space and resources, and many have strict rules and regulations for both the human and dog occupants. In some cases, the shelters may only accept dogs of a certain size or breed, and all dogs must be up-to-date on vaccinations and well-behaved.

2. Animal Shelters

In some cities, animal shelters offer temporary housing for pets belonging to homeless individuals. This can be a good option for those who do not want to separate from their furry friends but are also unable to find pet-friendly shelters.

However, it’s important to note that animal shelters are not equipped to house humans, so this option would only work if the individual has another living arrangement for themselves.

3. Pet-Friendly Transitional Housing

Transitional housing programs provide longer-term housing for homeless individuals while they work towards finding permanent housing. In some cases, these programs may also allow pets, providing a safe and stable living environment for both the individual and their dog.

Unfortunately, these programs are also scarce and often have long waiting lists. But, if an individual is able to secure a spot in a transitional housing program, it can greatly benefit both themselves and their furry companion.

Assistance for the Homeless and Their Furry Friends

Aside from finding pet-friendly shelter options, there are also various resources available for homeless individuals with dogs. These resources can provide much-needed assistance, support, and care for both the individual and their pet.

1. Veterinary Care

Pets of homeless individuals may not always receive the necessary veterinary care due to financial constraints. However, there are organizations such as The Street Dog Coalition and RedRover that offer free or low-cost veterinary care for pets belonging to individuals experiencing homelessness. These organizations often provide basic medical treatment, vaccinations, and even spay/neuter services.

2. Pet Food Banks

Pet food banks are another valuable resource for homeless individuals with pets. These organizations provide free pet food to those in need, ensuring that their furry companions receive proper nutrition.

In addition to food banks, some homeless shelters and transitional housing programs may also provide pet food to individuals with pets, so it’s worth inquiring about this option if needed.

3. Local Organizations

Many cities have local organizations or non-profits that focus on assisting individuals experiencing homelessness with pets. These organizations may offer resources such as pet-friendly housing referrals, temporary foster care, or even assistance with finding a new home for a pet if the owner is no longer able to care for them.

Where Can I Go If I’m Homeless with a Dog?

“Where Can I Go If I’m Homeless with a Dog?” is a common question asked by those facing homelessness with their furry companions. While the options may be limited, there are resources available to help individuals and their pets during this difficult time.

To find assistance specific to your location, you can reach out to local homeless shelters, animal shelters, and non-profit organizations that specialize in helping the homeless and their pets. Additionally, you can also contact the National Coalition for the Homeless for more information and resources.


The bond between a homeless individual and their dog is undoubtedly strong, and no one should have to make the heartbreaking decision to give up their pet to find shelter. While finding suitable housing for both humans and dogs can be challenging, there are resources available that can provide much-needed support and assistance.

If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness with a dog, don’t give up hope. With determination and the right resources, it is possible to find safe and suitable living arrangements for both humans and their furry companions.

In conclusion, for many homeless individuals, their furry companions are their only source of comfort and companionship. However, finding shelter options that allow dogs can be a challenging and daunting task. Fortunately, there are resources and assistance available for homeless individuals with dogs. From designated pet-friendly shelters to organizations that provide support and resources for pet owners in need, there are several options for those living on the streets with a dog. It is heartwarming to see communities coming together to help provide safe havens for both the homeless and their beloved pets. As a society, it is important to continue advocating for inclusive shelter options for all individuals, including those with dogs. Together, we can make a difference and offer much-needed support to those facing homelessness with their furry companions.

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