Dirty paws? Identity, adaptation and exclusion for United States homeless populations and their pets
Homeless populations in the United States face many obstacles, within this group up to 10% of them may have pets. While services exist for the population; homeless pet owners face difficult challenges in accessing shelter, food, medical care, public spaces and employment opportunities. This thesis explores the human-animal relationship within the context of homelessness. The state of being homeless carries with it stigma and marginalization within the larger society. Fieldwork and surveys conducted with three interacting communities: homeless populations, service providers and the general public provide new insight into the complicated relationship between homeless owner and pet as well as evaluates opportunities for improving delivery of and access to services for this uniquely vulnerable population.