Jan 4 2013 By Marion Garnett
I’ve just spent a wonderful Christmas with some of the most loved dogs in the world. No, these are not expensive pedigree dogs, living in luxurious surroundings, but dogs belonging to rough sleepers.
I know that, not infrequently, we see people sleeping rough on the streets with their dogs. It seems to me that, when this happens and we are concerned about their welfare, it can be useful to know the details of a couple of schemes which may help. Firstly, the No Second Night Out scheme (Tel: 0870 3833333) aims to help those who, newly, find themselves sleeping on London’s streets. The phone line is open 24/7. This scheme accepts rough sleepers with dogs. If you are worried about a rough sleeper, online referrals can be made at www.nosecondnightout.org.uk.
Secondly, it’s also useful to know about the Hope Project organised by Dogs Trust (Tel: 020 7837 0006). This Project provides free preventative care and £250 towards vet treatment for dogs whose owners are homeless or in housing crisis.
Now, still thinking about homelessness but moving on to cats. Feli and Courtney are two beautiful, young black and white female cats who have both spent several months at the RSPCA’s Cat Adoption Centre at Southall waiting for a home. Although, in many ways they are similar, in other ways, they are very different.
I met Feli first and she couldn’t wait to come out of her pod and inspect the food trolley. She loved running round the corridor and, when she was fed, she gobbled up her food as fast as she could.
In contrast, when I met Courtney, she hid. She did not want to come out of her pod at all. When she was fed she decided to wait until after I had gone, before she ate, so she could enjoy her supper quietly in private.
But, what they both have in common is the potential, given a home of their own, to be wonderful pets. If you are able to offer one of these girls a loving home, phone 0300 123 0746 or go and see them at the RSPCA’s Cat Adoption Centre, Burket Close, off Norwood Rd, Southall UB2 4JS.