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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Homeless losing their best friends due to restrictive housing policies

This news post is 9 months old

Call for pet-friendly policies

An animal care charity is calling for an end to restrictive housing policies after its service reported a record number of people looking to put their pets up for fostering. 

Pet Fostering Service Scotland has seen over 1,000 enquiries seeking support this year, a rise in over 20% compared to last year.

It says it is now unable to find a foster home for all pets of owners in need, which could result in pets not having a safe place to stay.  

The charity is calling for a ban on restrictive housing policies for those who have been evicted and made homeless.

Often accommodation for those who have either been made homeless or require refuge has a no pet policy. There has also been a rise in pet owners looking for new accommodation that accepts pets, currently having to wait one year for suitable housing to become available.

As a result, Pet Fostering Service Scotland has had to put pets into fostering for a year or longer, which is detrimental to the animal’s health as it is too long a period. This can also be distressing for owners due to the loss of consistent and familiar companionship provided by pets.   

Bob Sinclair chair at Pet Fostering Service Scotland, said: “For those who have been made homeless or are facing an emergency situation, being housed alongside their beloved pet is so important.

“The significance of the companionship between a pet and owner is important for well-being for both sides.

“Changing restrictive housing policies and allowing pets into temporary accommodation could be life changing for these individuals and result in far fewer abandonment scenarios.”

The cost-of-living increase has had a significant impact on finding temporary accommodation for those who have been made homeless, as most housing options exclude the homing of pets. Pet Fostering Service Scotland has processed over 1,000 enquiries for pet care across Scotland this year. 

Some 37% of those were from people in a homeless or re-housing situation and as a result could not care for their pets in the short term.