Dog-loving celebrities joined Barking Heads for a sleep out in London to raise awareness about the hardships faced by homeless people and their dogs.
TOWIE star, Pete Wicks, supported by fellow DOTS ambassador actor Peter Egan, braved temperatures of minus one to ‘sleep out’ on the streets of central London on Friday 17th January, in an event organised by dog charity, DOTS in collaboration with natural dog food brand, Barking Heads.
Barking Heads is a leading UK ethical dog food brand run by a team of passionate dog lovers who produce quality food packed with natural, healthy ingredients.
DOTS is a volunteer run, not-for-profit charity dedicated to the welfare of dogs belonging to the UK’s homeless community.
Founded in 2017, it offers support for dogs and their homeless owners, with weekly street stations, which provide food and veterinary services as well as vital accessories like coats, bedding, collars and leads.
DOTS also help rough sleepers to find permanent accommodation – a challenge as many refuse housing when offered, simply because it’s not dog friendly.
DOTS founder Michelle Clark said: “A lot of people can end up staying on the streets because of their love for their dogs. Temporary accommodation doesn’t always accept animals, and what dog lover could willingly give up their pet? Most of the people we meet can’t even contemplate giving up the only thing that has never let them down. I can’t thank everyone involved in our sleep out enough: Pete, Peter and the team from Barking Heads – they have provided such wonderful support.”
The Sleep the Streets even included a combined group from DOTS and its charity partner, Barking Heads. On one of the coldest nights of the year, the committed crew swapped winter home comforts for a night sleeping rough in London.
Pete Wicks said: “My two dogs are my world; they bring such positivity into my life. But for people who are homeless, their dogs mean even more. The dogs provide companionship and love in a world where they are often invisible. That’s why the work DOTS do to support these dogs and owners is so important – it keeps these partnerships together.”
Checking in at the event was also Wayne Evans and his dog, Tyson. Once a rough sleeper himself, Wayne was supported by DOTS and now helps to highlight the life-changing work they do.
Barking Heads, Marketing Director Julie Anderton said: “I’m not sure any of us were truly prepared for our night on the street, yet sleeping rough is something 320,000 people in the UK face every day. As a group of genuine dog lovers, we jumped at the chance to get involve and help Michelle to raise awareness. For many men and women living on the streets, their dog isn’t just a pet, it’s their lifeline.”