Thursday, 6 January 2011

Hope Project Christmas Hampers

Dogs Trust made Christmas 2010 a more festive and cosy time for homeless dogs across the UK by providing them with canine Christmas hampers of collars, leads, coats, treats and toys.

We set up the unique Hope Project in 1994 and offer free and subsidised veterinary treatment to dogs whose owners are homeless or living in temporary accommodation.

Clare Kivlehan, Hope Project Manager, explains:

“The bond between any dog and owner is a strong one but for homeless people their dog is often their only friend and comfort. Alongside offering subsidised veterinary treatments and doggy Christmas hampers the Hope Project also encourages homelessness hostels and day centres to accept clients with dogs and helps them put in place practical guidelines. We’ve found that if a hostel does not accept dogs, then the owner will stay on the streets in order to keep their companion."

A record number of 600 dogs belonging to owners in housing crisis received special hampers this Christmas, almost double the 2009 total of 350 dogs. We supplied doggie coats for all of the dogs that stayed in the shelter over Christmas and although the weather may have tried to ‘hamper’ our efforts, deliveries did arrive in time for the festive period.

It’s always great to hear our work is appreciated and the Hope inbox has started to fill up with thank you emails from the various projects we support:

“I would just like to say thank you so much from the staff and residents at John Baker House and Denis House for the Christmas parcels which we received for the residents who own dogs. It makes all the difference! We all feel the Dogs Trust is a fantastic organisation and we all wish you a very happy Christmas, and a happy new year. Thanks again for all your work.”

We also had a big bonus this week – a £500 donation from a company in Cambridge who saw a newspaper article about our work. Thank you all for your wonderful support!

For more information about the project, please check out the video above. Homelessness organisations or veterinary surgeries interested in finding out more information about the scheme should call Dogs Trust on 020 7837 0006 or email

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