Graduate sets up business to help feed 'man's best friend'

Issue date: 23 July 2015

Homeless and struggling dog owners in Bristol are set to get some additional support, with an innovative new business, set up by UWE Bristol graduate, Verity Jones, that gives out free 'dog boxes' to those in need.

The Hound Haus is a subscription service that allows customers around the UK to receive a box of dog goodies, delivered straight to their, door every month, the profits from which are subsequently used to produce and distribute free boxes to struggling or homeless dog owners.

MA Journalism graduate, Verity, set up the company after being awarded one of the University's 'Better Together Fund, Unltd Build-It' grants, given out each year to projects or companies with an aspect of community interest or social enterprise at their core.

Verity says, “I have always loved dogs and have been working with homeless people for a while now. Seeing the daily struggles these people go through, I decided there needed to be a service that helped the owners out. Dogs are so rewarding and are so much more than a pet, especially to those surviving on the streets, so to be able to those people, and their dogs, to live a better life is very important to me.

“There are sometimes negative responses around homeless people owning dogs, but there are numerous, and often very unfortunate, reasons why someone may end up homeless, and keeping a beloved pet can mean a number of things. For the dogs; it keeps them out of kennels and away from the stress that separation can cause. For the owners, dogs can be a great sense of comfort, safety and companionship whilst suffering homelessness, depression or managing a stressful situation.”

The free boxes contain food, blankets, leads, bowls, flea and worming products, as well as treats, chews and toys and will be distributed weekly throughout Bristol.

Verity continues, “The boxes are an important source of aid to homeless owners as it gives them the ability and confidence to care for their dogs, and lets them concentrate on their on other struggles, be it unemployment, financial difficulties, disability or something else entirely.”

The companies aim is to support owners in order to prevent dogs from ending up in shelters. With as many as 200 dogs a day being abandoned or given over to shelters around the UK, The Hound Haus hope to help the dogs, the owners and, in turn, reduce the demands on animal shelters.

The Hound Haus are also starting a free dog walking service that aims to help homeless or struggling owners who may be suffering with depression or anxiety to get out-and-about with their dogs.

For more information, please visit the Hound Haus homepage.

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