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Australia Homeless Tasmanians forced to choose between pet and shelter amid housing crisis

22:25  08 october  2019
22:25  08 october  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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Bek Eirth's insistence on keeping her dog Dexter ended in her eviction — but with some help her dog has been her saviour.

between pet and shelter amid housing crisis : RBA cuts interest rates to historic low amid rising 22:25 08 october 2019 Source: abc.net.au. Homeless Tasmanians forced to choose between pet Nicole has been on the public housing wait list for 18 years and has been living between homes with

a close up of a person and a dog looking at the camera: Bek Eirth with her beloved dog Dexter. (ABC News: Felicity Ogilvie)© Provided by Australian Broadcasting Corporation Bek Eirth with her beloved dog Dexter. (ABC News: Felicity Ogilvie)

It is a terrible choice many homeless people across Australia face — keep their pet and stay on the streets, or surrender the animal in order to get a rental home.

Hobart woman Bek Eirth did not seek permission from her landlord before getting her dog Dexter.

She chose to be kicked out of her house and live in a tent rather than be separated from her dog.

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The future for housing -benefit funded emergency night shelters for rough sleepers is precarious. Narrowgate's good fortune is far from a sign that the crisis is over for emergency night shelters who are dependent on housing benefit payments for at least part of their income.

Charity blames high rents, freeze in housing benefit and shortage of social housing .

Tasmanian renters can face losing their home and not getting another one if they remain loyal to their pet.

"Pets are just great companions, and I was going through such a hard time in my life," Ms Eirth said.

"People weren't being nice to me, and having this man [her dog] by my side meant more than having a home."

The Pets in the Park charity has been providing free health care for Dexter since it started in Hobart in February 2018.

Those in need with pets have been getting more assistance in recent years, including from the A Paw Up service which helps feed and care for the animals.

For Ms Eirth, knowing her dog could get vet care, even when the duo did not have a home, was the start of rebuilding her life.

She said holding on to her pet helped her win her battle with anxiety.

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  Family is forced to couch surf after mum waits nearly TWO DECADES for public housing Nicole has been on the public housing wait list for 18 years and has been living between homes with her four children in the meantime.  'Being homeless with my kids is my biggest fear,' she told A Current Affair. © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Nicole has been on the wait list for 18 years and has been living between homes with her four children in the meantime Footage shows her daughter laying down a couple of pillows on the sofa as she turns the lounge into a makeshift bed.Her other children are seen carrying boxes of the family's belongings into the home they will live in temporarily.

Why are people forced to choose between their pet and a roof over their head? The major problem for a homeless person is housing . Many shelters , motels and other assisted housing programs do not want to have pets on their property, due to health department restrictions, and safety of the others

When everything else fails in life, the one thing you're always going to have there is your dog." Homeless Tasmanians forced to choose between pet and shelter amid housing crisis - ABC News #heartbroken https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-09/ homeless - forced - to - choose - between

"Pets in the Park helped me by bringing me out of my shell," she said.

Ms Eirth said Dexter provided her with the support and confidence she needed to get housing through the Salvation Army, and she now she works as a barista.

The best news for Ms Eirth is the fact Dexter is allowed to live with her.

"He's like my son," she said.

"I can't have children of my own so having Dexter is just so beautiful, like we've got such a beautiful bond.

"He knows when I'm sad, he knows when I'm happy, he's just so loving … and it's really beautiful to see how much we've both come so far as a team."

But not everyone is lucky enough to keep their pet.

With the rental affordability crisis in Hobart worsening, more people are surrendering their animals to the Brightside Sanctuary in the Huon Valley.

Founder and manager Emma Haswell gets calls every week from teary pet owners who are not allowed to keep their beloved animals in their rentals.

"It's a terrible thing where people can't find somewhere to live where they can have their dog," she said.

"People need their dogs. When everything else fails in life, the one thing you're always going to have there is your dog."

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A charity serving a very special need has been given a big hand by a group of Australia's hottest firefighters.Pets Of The Homeless provides food, vet care and other support to pet owners who are homeless or at risk of it.

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