HOMELESSNES has risen by 21 per cent over the past five years.
But it’s not just people who are struggling without a roof over their head – pets are going without too.
Through the generosity of community donations, local charity ‘A Paw Up’ is helping Tasmanian pet owners who are at risk or experiencing homelessness.
A Paw Up was started by Deb Conley after she met a homeless man living rough on the street and struggling to feed both himself and his dog.
Ms Conley immediately bought some pet food for the dog, wondering how many others were in a similar situation.
The office of Josh Willie MLC has recently become a donation drop off point for the northern suburbs.
“Having a loyal pet by your side is of great comfort when experiencing tough times,” Mr Willie said.
“I have heard this directly from Tasmanians living rough on the streets, some of whom have made the choice to reject secure housing for the simple reason that their pet was not permitted on the lease.”
A Paw Up is helping to meet a need, with the community already embracing the initiative.
“Within the first two weeks of having the bin at Josh’s office, it was filled to capacity,” Ms Conley said.
“It is predominantly dogs and cats that we require donations for, however I have known of reptiles who have sought out our help too.”
A Paw Up collects donations of food, blankets, toys, collars and leads for distribution across the state.
In donating, the funds are not only helping out a furry friend, it is reminding their owner that someone cares.
For more information, visit the ‘A Paw Up’ Facebook page.
Caption: Labor Member for Elwick Josh Willie, left, with A Paw Up founder Deb Conley and Mozart.