NewsHound | Issue 06

Hello NewsHounds, this week we feature the launch of the new StreetVet accredited hostel scheme, why we love to support British Brands, Tom Hunt MP, The People’s Choice Award in the National History Museums Wildlife Photography contest and a pupdate from Burly Bear Pom.

StreetVet – A Pet In Every Hostel

No one can deny 2020 has been quite a year, for many the companionship of our pets has been paramount to our wellbeing, none more so than those who don’t enjoy the comforts of a place to call home. On November 30th The Elms, a hostel providing emergency and short-term accommodation for single homeless adults, managed by the charity Dems became the first StreetVet accredited hostel in the UK. The accreditation scheme ensures that hostels are equipped to support pet-owning residents, including: having a variety of health, hygiene, and safety policies in place; e-training hostel team members to support the policies and the people and pets they are accommodating, and providing pet owners with access to vet care. In the UK, one in ten people experiencing homelessness has a pet and, whilst some hostels accept pets, the vast majority do not.

We spoke to Sean Fitzgerald, manager at the Elms, a pet friendly hostel, to congratulate him on the accreditation and find out what it means for him and his team. Sean told us he is very proud of what StreetVet have done for clients with pets and honoured to be the first StreetVet accredited hostel. The Elms has 44 residents and 17 staff, they currently have two dogs, Bluebell and Bow and one resident cat called Lucielle. Sean says, “we wanted to be part of this scheme because we see the benefits pets bring their owners every day with our residents.

The accreditation process is thorough but it’s also simple, with all the support you need provided by StreetVet. The scheme helped us improve our pet policies and we know StreetVet will be there whenever we need them in an emergency. . We would encourage as many hostels as possible to get involved.”

© @streetvetuk_

Resolutions anyone? Make it Lovely, British & Ethical

I look forward to a day when an article or conversation no longer refers to COVID or lockdowns. At PAAW House we are a glass more than half full lot, we like to focus on the positive lessons we have learned over the last 10 months. Something we all agree on is the importance of buying local products and supporting British businesses. We try to buy local whenever we can, it's not always possible and we’re not perfect, but at least it’s a topic that people are talking about.

The pet industry is booming right now with a leading UK pet retailer recently announcing a 15% rise in sales, and a 14% rise in profits since the start of lockdown. Recent data collected by OnBuy suggests that UK pet parents are set to spend £64 million pounds more on their pets than their partners this Christmas. A great time to be a pet business, a great time to support local.

One thing we are mindful of when supporting any business, large or small, is to know the source of the product. A small local business doesn’t always mean local, ethical products, food for thought! We love the variety of our independent community markets and shops in South London. Vinnie’s favourite spot is ‘Lovely and British’, on Bermondsey St, London, they have a small selection of pet related products, but mostly he loves the dog treats under the counter. Looking for online inspiration, we recently came across this Christmas gift guide of British made pet products at Make it British...

© @paaw_barry

Pets In Parliament – Tom Hunt MP

Tom Hunt is Conservative MP for Ipswich, his priorities for his constituency include creating opportunities for young people and environmental issues. Tom is also an advocate for animal welfare and led the recent debate on Pet Theft Reform. Pet Theft Reform created by Dr Daniel Allen and the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance is a campaign to make pet theft a specific offence. Tom says “As an animal lover myself and previous owner of a crazy springer spaniel named Lucy, I’ve always been passionate about the protection of our pets.

Which is why I found it so concerning to learn about an increase in pet thefts throughout lockdown in Suffolk. This sickening crime is causing ever more anguish to victims and impacting their mental health at an already difficult time. So I’ve been working closely with pet theft reform campaigners to continuously raise this issue in Parliament, and in late October I was able to lead a Westminster Hall Debate on the topic. I’ve also been in discussions with the Justice Secretary about tougher sentencing for this cruel act and I’ll be continuing to fight for the protection of our much-loved pets.”

© @tom4ipswich

Cats Protection – Innovation & Collaboration in a crisis