Street Dawg Crew of Utah is a nonprofit with a mission to serve pets of the homeless and other low-income and vulnerable populations through providing free pet food and supplies, promoting positive and responsible pet ownership (including spay and neuter), and identifying and providing pet owners useful information on low-cost pet resources.
Everyone wants a healthy pet – they give us unconditional love and comfort. No pet should go hungry or suffer.
Did you know?
Of the 600,000 homeless Americans on any given night, 5-10% (or more) have a dog or cat.
People experiencing homelessness who keep pets have difficulty accessing services. The majority of homeless shelters providing social services do not allow pets, and the majority of homeless people will not abandon their pets to receive care. So in lies the problem many of our homeless friends struggle with every night.
So why would they keep pets? It boils down to some basic human needs.
Relationship: For many people experiencing homelessness, their dog is the only source of unconditional love that they’ve ever received. How could someone give up their companion, who unconditionally stays by their side when so many others in their life have left?
Responsibility: Pets offer a sense of responsibility and purpose for people experiencing homelessness, and can positively influence the decisions these individuals make. For example, a person struggling with drug addiction may consider the consequences of their addiction on their pet, and may subsequently make choices that reduce those consequences (such as avoiding drugs). Similarly, someone experiencing homelessness may aspire to find housing for the benefit of their pet.
Social Interaction: People experiencing homelessness are often ignored by the general public, but their pet can enable social interaction as people interact with the dog or cat — sometimes the only human interaction a person experiencing homelessness may receive all day.
Protection and Safety: A full night of rest is vitally important for mental health and personal productivity during the day, but it’s difficult to sleep soundly on the sidewalk when you’re worried about someone stealing your belongings or harming you. Pets can act as both an alarm and deterrent to theft, alerting their owners of danger.
As humans and Americans, it is our right and ability to own a pet, and our obligation to be a good and responsible pet owner. In Danielle Wolffe’s article “8 Reasons Homeless People ‘Deserve’ To Have Dogs,” she covers some important points about homeless pet ownership--we recommend reading it.
The responsibility of caring for my pets keeps me alive sometimes.
– Ryan, Hillsboro
Street Dawg Crew 2022 Numbers
73,253 pounds of pet food distributed
$8,500 in pet emergency medical funding
200 free vaccinations
85 free spay/neuters
Pet Food Distribution
Several Sunday a month (check our Facebook page events for dates and times), our small band of committed volunteers gathers at Pioneer Park in downtown Salt Lake City, UT to perform our pet outreach. There, we provide pet food and a myriad of pet supplies such as kitty litter, collars, leashes, collapsible bowls, pet toys, and pet coats/jackets for the winter months. As an extension of our Pet Outreach Program, we also provide pet food and supplies to other vulnerable and low-income populations, including former homeless individuals who have transitioned into housing, as well as low-income veterans, domestic violence survivors, and seniors (through the Meals on Wheels program).
Every year, we partner with local veterinarian clinics to provide free vaccination clinics for homeless and low-income clients. Last year, 200 dogs and cats were vaccinated through our clinics. We are happy to provide these life-saving clinics for our clients, which keep their pets safe and healthy.
For the general population, the life of a homeless individual is unfathomable. For a homeless individual with a pet, life is hard, and choices few, but watching their pet suffer is unbearable.
We believe in responsible pet ownership, and have teamed up with Humane Society of Utah and Salt Lake County Animal Services to help cover expenses for spay/neuter and other medical procedures. In particular, spay/neuter is typically a requirement for transitional housing, so we know getting these services done in advance also helps in the long run. Please contact us if you are in need of spay/neuter assistance. When possible, we try to help our clients with the cost of veterinary visits for emergency procedures. A great resource for medical assistance is the Pet Samaritan Fund which provides financial assistance to individuals unable to afford medical care for their pet(s). If you or someone you know has a pet not receiving proper medical care due to extreme financial hardship, please contact them directly.
Help us continue our mission of serving pets of the homeless and other low-income and vulnerable populations by making a donation, in-kind contribution, or volunteering your time with Street Dawg Crew of Utah!
100% of donations go to our pet programs.
Make a secure, online donation today! Consider making your donation a monthly or annual recurring gift to make a larger impact.
Many companies offer employee matching programs, check with your employer about donation matches to double your gift size.
For in-kind donations such as pet food, pet clothing, kitty litter, etc., you may drop off items at one of drop-off locations.
Street Dawg Crew of Utah is a small yet mighty group and our work would not be possible without our amazing volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering or finding out more, contact us!
Street Dawg Crew of Utah
1365 Teakwood Drive
Taylorsville, UT 84123