Dogs can be family for homeless, but not always welcome in shelters

Dogs can be family for homeless, but not always welcome in shelters

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - For some homeless people a companion dog comes first in their lives.

One problem they might run into though is that dogs may not be welcome at shelters.

"She's like a child. She's part of the family and like one of my children," said Bev Crammond of her beagle Betsy Boo.

The pair have been roaming from one place to another since Mr. Crammond lost her job because of medical issues.

"I was staying up at the campground for a while. Someone let me use their trailer. I've been crashing at other people's houses," said Ms. Crammond.

The group 'My Dog Is My Home' has become an advocate for the homeless and their companion dogs.

On Saturday, members held a service fair at the Cherry Street Mission to assess how many people and their pets locally are affected by the ban.

The dogs were given medical examinations by vets from Humane Ohio, treated for skin conditions, fleas, ticks and other infections.

"Dogs are important companions for everybody. Especially if you don't have the comforts some of us have and don't have a support system, a dog can really be important," said Julie Lyle of Humane Ohio.

As for the shelters, they're hesitant to accept pets because of liability and health issues.

"We really think that the answer is partnering with existing organizations and to have them re-examine their 'no pets allowed' policy. They're not taking into consideration the human/animal bond and how strong that is," said Christine Kim of 'My Dog Is My Home.'

Bev Crammond and Betsy Boo are proof of that and hope the answer from local shelters will be one of acceptance.

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