I love true stories about how dogs bring people together. This one comes from Florida, where people at The Doglando Foundation have created the Full Tummy Project.
The Full Tummy Project sets up every Thursday evening at the Global Outreach Center in Bithlo, Florida (east of Orlando, home to DisneyWorld) to provide food and other essential supplies to homeless pet owners.
The Center has traditionally provided meals for the poor and homeless (like most soup kitchens and homeless shelters), but the folks at the Doglando Foundation recognized that many homeless also own animals and the animals suffer from their poor living conditions and inability to pay for veterinary care.
“Between 5 to 10 percent of homeless people have dogs or cats, and in some [rural] areas of the country, it’s as high as 24 percent,” says Renee Lowry, executive director of Pets of the Homeless, a national organization that helps provide food, medical care and assistance to homeless people who need help caring for their animals.
People are homeless for many reasons; for example some have mental illness but others have lost their jobs in the enduring recession and have had mortgages foreclosed. The family, including the family pet, ends up on the streets.
So the Full Tummy Project is a soup kitchen for animals and there are currently over 150 families registered with the project.
The Orlando Weekly covered the stories of the people involved in the Full Tummy Project, so read the full story by clicking on the Orlando Weekly cover page above.