Street Kids and Animals
Okay, so maybe I should just be keeping my mouth shut about the whole `should homeless people have the right to own a dog` debate, because I personally have an apartment in which to keep my puppy and oversized albino labrat... but I do keep in regular, daily contact with dozens of people with NO homes, who have animals, sometimes several. The occassions where the animal suffers at all is absolutely an exception to the rule, and let me say that we ALL get angry when we see someone putting their own selfish needs ahead of something cute and fuzzy that can`t defend itself, other street kids included. I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen a neglected dog belonging to one of my street friends, and I can also name a few times that I have seen some more `well-to-do` people neglect their animals. People who own their own houses are capable of animal cruelty as well, and everyone seems to forget that. Of course, it`s always a horrible thing to witness, and a lot of people who are removed from the situation point more fingers at street kids than they should, and not just for their animals. Even if I was living on the street, my puppy would eat before I did, and this is the case with the MAJORITY of my animal-owning homeless friends. Living on the street can actually make someone a very skilled budgeter, and to quote a friend of mine`...
`Three times a day, I need to aim for ten dollars in my pocket... a beer for me, and a smoked meat sandwich (hold the mustard) for my doggie.`
So please try to keep in mind that street life is lonely life... your animal may be your only company at any given time - of course you feel happy to share your sleeping bag with it, and make sure it is never hungry.