DOTS is a volunteer-led, not-for-profit charity dedicated to supporting dog owners in the homeless community. Homelessness can be a lonely, alienating experience for those it affects, but the companionship of a dog can help alleviate some of the immense pressures that these individuals face on a daily basis.
However, as all dog owners will be aware, this also presents challenges: veterinary care and feeding can be extremely expensive. Additionally, for the homeless community, temporary accommodation (such as hostels) will not always allow animals on to their premises – thousands of homeless individuals were offered hotel rooms and temporary accommodation during the pandemic in 2020, but for some it was a hard choice between a bed or their pet companion.
The challenge is enormous: it is estimated that up to 75,000 homeless people own dogs. To help meet this great need, DOTS runs weekly services in London, as well as regular services in other major cities in the UK. DOTS has over 700 clients under its care, and also operates a four-acre sanctuary where it cares for over 50 animals currently separated from their owners owing to illness, temporary accommodation issues or other circumstances.
Knightsbridge, a manufacturer of lighting and wiring devices, is closely aligned with homelessness charities and is donating £10,000 from its December Weatherproof range sales to DOTS. The donation will go to help support, among other things, DOTS’s fully equipped mobile veterinary surgery plus the provision of essential items such as medicines and food.