The homeless population in Seattle, like any other big city, is quite large and increasing by the day. And with homeless people there is also the issue of homeless pets; primarily dogs but many also have cats, ferrets, mice and guinea pigs. Oftentimes, these pets mean the world to their owners, their only companion in life; the ones who stands by them loyally in times of trouble.
Unfortunately, the lives of these animals are not great, and they exist from day to day in substandard conditions. Many have medical conditions that cannot be treated due to lack of funds. Lora Cook and her husband Dennis started Seattle Dogs Homeless Program several years ago as an outreach for homeless people and their pets.
The program was created for two reasons. Lora was diagnosed with stage 4 liver disease, and she needed something to keep her mind busy and her body moving forward. Also, Lora and Dennis had experienced homelessness with their own dogs, years ago and understood completely the challenges these people face with their pets.
Seattle Dogs Homeless Program started with one bag of dog food and has since grown by leaps and bounds to what it is today. Lora never expected it to grow like it did and never expected it to have such a huge impact on the community. Social media has helped call attention to the program and has brought rescues, hospitals, shelters, social workers and some officers from the Seattle PD on board.
Seattle Dogs main mission is to ensure that every homeless dog has the same comforts in life that other pets enjoy. By helping the dogs, it relieves stress on the owners, who fear losing their companion animals. And it creates healthier pets for them. They achieve this mission by providing pet food and a full line of products to those pets living in homelessness all over the city of Seattle. They’ve also incorporated emergency vet care and boarding into their program.
For vet care and boarding (dog’s only) they require all pets be fixed, and if they aren’t, they do that at no charge to the owner. Boarding is done for those owners that are going to the hospital, drug treatment, work or school and at no cost to them.
Sometimes people will surrender their dogs to Seattle Dogs, and they in turn surrender them to local rescues that they work with. Like with any rescue network, they work with abuse cases, but getting people to come forward and report abuse is very difficult.
All this is run solely by Lora and Dennis and is supported strictly on donations. They have recently acquired their Washington State non-profit status and our filing for their 501c3 non-profit federal status. According Lora, operating on donations isn’t easy but she and her husband know how important this program is and hope they will continue to make a difference.
The fact that they are making a difference in the lives of homeless people and their pets is proven by testimonials on their Facebook page
“This program has been a blessing, the lady who helps run this program is amazing. I have been chronically homeless for three years, suffering from depression, anxiety and PTSD. I found my best friend Luffy and instantly knew she was going to be my companion forever. This program is helping me keep her healthy, spayed and up to date with her shots as I navigate the world . Thank you so much for ur help!!!! It’s means more than I could ever express ! Thank you .”
Seattle Dogs Homeless Program is integral to Seattle. To help the program, donations can be made through their Paypal at PayPal.me/seattledogs or called in directly to Greenwood Animal Hospital at 206-528-3838 and advise it is for Seattle Dogs.
For more info on Seattle Dogs Homeless Program visit their website.
“I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source.”
– Doris Day (actress)
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