Animal rescue centre calls for closer co-operation after homeless family finds dog strangled outside shelter

news from wales - cole

Bridgend Animal rescue centre BARC, who offer temporary shelter for animals belonging to the homeless, are reaching out to homeless charities after learning about the sad death of a family pet in March.

Cole was the beloved pet of a mother and son who had sadly found themselves homeless.

The family avoided night shelters at first because Cole wasn’t allowed in, so they had been sleeping on the streets, however the cold was becoming a problem so on Sunday 24th March the family decided to use a Bridgend night shelter for the first time.

Cole was not permitted inside, so shelter staff staff tied him to an outdoor kennel.

The family were concerned about leaving him, so went to collect Cole very early the next morning.  Sadly, Cole had tried to release himself from the kennel and had jumped the fence – the family found him accidentally hanged by the restraint the staff had tied him up with.

BARC have done what they can to support the family, by raising funds to help pay for the cremation of this very-much loved pet, and will continue to support them going forwards.  Their Go Fund Me campaign to support the family is here: Support for Cole – BARC Campaign

However, the charity are keen to stress that this situation is entirely avoidable and explain that there is much that the charity can do to support homeless and low income families with pets.

Centre spokesperson Rebecca Christine-Lloyds explains:

“Homeless people do not have to choose between their pet’s welfare and a bed for the night, we have a network of foster carers in and around Bridgend who will offer overnight care to pets in these situations.  While we are based in Bridgend, and can collect pets in and around this area, we can also offer care to animals in Cardiff and Swansea if the homeless charity providing the accommodation is able to get the animal to us.  If they can’t, we are happy to put out an appeal for transport on social media and our generous followers often respond very quickly.

“Furthermore, just like food banks, BARC is able to provide free pet food for homeless and low income human families, thanks to a generous food donation from West Wales pet nutrition experts Burns.  Pet owners across South Wales are able to ask their local food bank to refer them to us, and we will provide them with free food for their pets. 

“It goes without saying that the family, already homeless and in a desperate situation, are completely devastated, having lost their home and now their pet through no fault of their own, and we will do our best to support them – but the saddest thing is that Cole’s death could have been prevented had the shelter been aware of our service.

“Ideally, we would like to see homeless shelters where animals are welcome, and after Cole’s tragic death, establishing one in South Wales is now one of our longer term goals. 

“However, in the meantime, if homeless charities are concerned about an animal in need of support, we are here to help and only a telephone call away.”

Anyone who wishes to contact the charity can reach them via their Facebook page or by telephone – 01656 744085