Numa makes a unique new friend

Many homeless youth have pets – everything from rats and cats to dogs and it’s not surprising. Being homeless is often a lonely life and all people need companionship and something to love. Pets do not judge you if you smell or are dirty; they love you unconditionally.  In turn, homeless youth love them unconditionally and will often give up their food, blankets and shelter to take care of their pets.

Not everyone agrees that homeless people should have pets, feeling that if they can’t house or take care of themselves, they are not capable of taking care of animals. In some cases this can be true-  just as not everyone who has a house and owns a pet does a good job of taking care of them. Many of our youth adopt stray pets that no one else wants and would be otherwise but left to fend for themselves, and some of our youth take street rats and mice and domesticate them for pets.

At Covenant House we are not able to allow pets to stay in our residential programs for health and safety reasons but youth are able to access our Drop-In if they have pets. We have a cage and carriers for small creatures and a pet room for larger animals. Covenant House believes in reporting any mistreatment of any animals to the BC SPCA and if we feel a youth is struggling to care for their animal, we will discuss with them the option of taking the animal to a shelter and help them to do so if necessary.

Chibo is one of our Drop-In Centre’s youth well loved pet rat and recently Chibo and our Therapy Dog Numa met. Both creatures were a bit curious of each other and gentle Numa gave a polite sniff and went back to relaxing.