The homeless man and his dog are one. Their fusional relationship, often decried in popular culture, nevertheless allows homeless people to better manage the difficulties of everyday life. But the presence of their dog can sometimes, against all odds, be a hindrance in the return to social life. 4 speakers have observed this and are proposing solutions to make their lives better. Among them are Christopher Blancharddoctor in sociology; Yohann Severepresident of the Full Bowls Federation ; Ana Alcanstudent at VetAgro Supa Lyons ; and Giovanni Recchiacity councilor at Melun in charge of animal welfare.
The homeless and his dog form a sub-category of strays
Unlike other people on the street, Christopher Blanchard calls homeless people living there with a dog ” city prisoners », since access to reception facilities is often forbidden to them because of the presence of their animal. Even if this phenomenon tends to be reduced, it still prevents many of them from reintegrating into social life.
The homeless with animals must undergo many stereotypes to support them, which the sociologist considers false. He estimates that ” many should be inspired by the care they consume of their animal “. The relationship between a homeless person and his dog is fusional, because it integrates into a hostile environment, where the dog provides valuable support to his master and fills in his emotional deficiencies. He ensures his safety, brings him warmth in winter and also arouses the benevolent attention of passers-by.
Is there a particular profile of ” street dog »? The sociologist’s answer is yes. He even considers that they are most often cross-bred dogs of appearance Shepherdwith a pleasant and sociable character.
The street dog is often perceived as a victim that one would like to remove from his executioner, or the reality is quite different. In the collective imagination, a homeless person who cares little about his well-being will not place more importance on the health of his dog. And yet, as pointed out Yohann Severepresident of Full Bowlshomeless people place the well-being of their animal above their own.
Listen and be kind
the association Full Bowls, as its name suggests, has been feeding street dogs kibble for almost 15 years. But not only. Over time, the volunteers create a bond of trust with the homeless, who are often wary of living in hostile places, so much so that they sometimes refuse to take their dog to the vet. As summarized Yohann Severe” the human-animal relationship is essential, and even more so in precarious situations “.
Despite the obstacles, the association can congratulate itself for succeeding in helping thousands of homeless people and their dogs every year by allowing them, among other things, to eat and stay. Their relationships with partners, such as Veterinarians For Allalso provides animal care.
A fight that continues with the upcoming arrival of a digital guide, intended for vulnerable audiences and those who wish to support them, which will list all the structures that can accommodate them. The project, carried out in conjunction with the Brigitte Bardot Foundationaims to improve the care of the homeless and their animals, and to push other structures to follow the movement.
Work hand in hand
Ana Alcanstudent at VetAgro Supis at the initiative of Coach Balto. Born within a student association then integrated into the university course, the veterinary and solidarity bus travels Lyons and its outskirts since May 2022, and helps the homeless and their animals. A traveling project that allows you to be closer to the people concerned.
All of Lyon
The bus is divided into 2 parts: a fully equipped veterinary area dedicated to animal care, and a support area where the homeless person can talk to a social worker. While working on his reintegration, the homeless can keep an eye on his pet, as the two spaces are separated by a sliding door with a window. This collaborative work and this particular attention relate to the fears that the masters may manifest.
The associative operation has met with great success among the homeless but also among veterinary students, who work on a more societal vision of their profession. They mainly practice preventive medicine there (vaccination, identification), but are also equipped to treat dermatological pathologies, and sometimes have to reassure owners worried about the weight of their dog, which in general is completely within the norm.
The key to support is “joint accommodation”
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the association The Traildon’t Giovanni Recchia is a member, recently opened the first day center in Melun for the homeless and their dog. This Accommodation and Social Reintegration Center have a kennel, where the dogs can quench their thirst and feed themselves, or take refuge in a padlocked box to which only the master has the key.
Reassured to know his animal in good hands, the homeless person can take advantage of it to carry out certain administrative procedures useful for his reintegration, since the Center also acts as a domicile. The association can count on donations of croquettes from Melunais as well as on the presence of the Animal Assistance Foundationand provide for some improvements to its premises, in particular the creation of a space dedicated to washing the animal.