Friends on the streets, Companions for life

The new project to monitor and assist animals living on the streets of Milan

As a result of the increase in poverty, the phenomenon of homeless people sharing their lives with one or more four-legged animals has grown exponentially in all major Italian and European cities.
We are not talking about people who exploit animals to stimulate the generosity of passers-by, but about individuals who – for a wide variety of different reasons –  have lost their jobs and family networks and have taken refuge in the only stable relationship in their lives: the one they have forged with their pets.

While organizations dealing with homeless people in the Milan area have been in existence for many years, there has never before been a specific project aimed at taking care of these homeless animals, which are now being looked after and fed thanks to the good hearts of individual Milanese people who have stumbled across these difficult situations and have become involved in taking responsibility for them.

Save the Dogs has been evaluating the possibility of introducing structured assistance on the streets of large Italian cities following the English model of the Street Vet charity for some time; therefore, when the Fondazione Progetto Arca Onlus foundation contacted us about a collaboration in the Lombardy capital, we did not hesitate for a single second.

After having identified Think Dog trainer Sara Cea as being the right person to entrust this project to, we were accompanied by the Fondazione Progetto Arca Onlus operators to the neighborhoods where the homeless people with dogs were most heavily present during the months of July and August, in order that we might get to know them and better understand the needs of their pets.

Kit “Friends on the streets”

It was thanks to these initial visits (about twenty in total) that the idea of preparing a kit for animals belonging to homeless individuals was born. The kit would contain basic necessities to increase the wellbeing not only of the dogs but also the welfare of their companions.

And that’s not all: Save the Dogs will also guarantee the dogs get the necessary vaccinations and antiparasitic treatments they need during the summer months, as well as any complex treatments that are required in the event of serious health concerns.