This is Ty. He lives on the streets with his homeless human companion.
Luckily he is one of many who benefit from Dogs on the Streets (DOTS), a pop-up service that offers rough sleepers the chance to give their beloved pets free veterinary check-ups, food, training advice and grooming one day a week. From worming and microchipping to major surgery; DOTS is proving essential to the dogs and their homeless owners but it needs funds. We learnt about DOTS from our friend and artist, Sara Abbott who along with Natasha wanted to help in general fund-raising for dogs in need.
Sara and Natasha have arranged an evening at the gallery cum wine bar ‘The Berkeley
‘ in Berkhamsted
where Sara will show examples of her work and Michelle from DOTS will speak about the work she does.
There’s a fantastic raffle where prizes include a loose sketch work on paper portrait by Sara. And if anyone places an order for an oil on canvas portrait on the night, Sara’s £100 donation will, of course, be going to DOTS too. We hope to be attending the event.
As part of her effort to raise money to help this very important service she is giving away a bespoke pet portrait (worth £500) to a lucky winner. All you need to do – donate to this page to enter the online raffle. Tickets are £5 each, so please donate in multiples of £5 if you want to buy more than one ticket. All the money raised will go to DOTS. The winner will have a portrait in oil on canvas worth £490 – this is my portrait painted by Sara.
This is Sara drawing a picture of Ty
on the pavement which is his home.
Sara Abbott painted portraits of Darcy and George – for each one she had donated £100 to a charity she was supporting at that time.
Through the years we have seen the charities Sara had chosen to support through her art. They are mostly obscure but effective dog rescue charities and this time, I learnt about DOTS London.
Living in London we see homeless people on the streets – and often they have their best friend sitting along side them. And this is why Sara have chosen to support DOTS –
Why are we doing this? Our dogs love us, whatever we do and where ever we go, so long as we go together. It’s damn hard living rough whether human or dog, each finding themselves on the streets for a million different reasons. For dogs in good relationships with their owners DOTS provide on street vet care, grooming, food, leads and coats and toys, a place once a week where they can come and pamper the dogs. In a life as hard as theirs it’s a safe and friendly break, a place the dogs have all the attention. Any serious dog medical issues are managed, dental care, training and even operations requiring ‘bed rest’ have been arranged and hotel accommodation paid for so the dogs and their owners are off the streets for a few days to heal.
Michelle, the founder of DOTS London, through her other homeless outreach projects is also the first to hear of any dogs in serious trouble and can step in to change things. She was recently awarded care of a dog who was being passed round as a begging aid, being abused and frightened. She originally started providing essentials for the street dogs over five years ago, raising awareness and collecting donations via her original Twitter account @donatesox/@otslondon.
DOTS LONDON is the first independent voluntary ran street project that PROTECTS, CARES & SUPPORTS all street dogs covering the Borough of Westminster, Camden, Shoreditch, East and parts of North London, Michelle was the first to provide dog essentials to homeless people living on the streets of London. This was very much-needed and appreciated from the homeless community with dogs. As a result awareness grew and more grass-roots initiatives recognised the need for support with, and donations for street dogs.
This is an example of DOTS projects. They launched their second doggy station, this time in Kings Cross, London.
This new station will be a weekly thing! Every Wednesday from 7.30pm to 9.30pm, outside Kings Cross Station on the corner of York Way, DOTS will be setting up a ‘hub’ version of the main weekly street station with a table full of essentials for the homeless to pop along to and grab what they need for their trusty and loved companions.
As well as essentials like food and leads, dogs will also be able to receive full health checks and a plan of action should further veterinary treatment or investigations be required.
A main reason for this second weekly station is that having one location can be a bit tricky for some homeless dog owners to get to depending on where they usually bed down. Expanding out to other areas of London opens up a bit more choice to them.
It never occurred to me that these loyal friends who are on the streets, not through the fault of their owners, need care too. Through the efforts of DOTS, they will now have someone to help look after their needs.
Efforts like these give me faith in humans again.