In Marseille, France, a special room was set up to shelter the homeless living with an animal during a period of extreme cold. Supported by the department of Bouches-du-Rhône, theMaison de la Solidarité(House of Solidarity) has admitted fifty people in need since January 17.René Giancarli, president of Samu Social of Marseille, explained the reason for this center to the site 20 Minutes:
Many don't want to go to other shelters because they would have to separate from their dog. It's a reality. [...] It's an enormous deterrent for them.
Marseille, about 20% of the homeless live with an animal. Xavier Bonnard, the president of the local Animal Protection Service of Marseille has also been active with the project. "Here, we can shelter the owner and the animal in rooms with two or three people," he explained, "And there will be food for the animals reduce the risks, the group has several cages and muzzles for "any animals too aggressive or violent." A veterinarian will also be present to examine the animal visitors. René Giancarli continues:
He will be able to do a check-up on the animals. Make sure there aren't any mistreatment issues, update vaccines...
Source: 20 Minutes/Clément Carpentier
The welcome center will be open every night for three weeks. "Excellent news" for Thierry, a homeless man who lives with his dog. "Shelters are full at the moment and my dog's going to love it," he concluded.This initiative echoes a project launched in Paris, where the homeless and their dogs are allowed to sleep on a barge, launched by the organizations 30 Millions d'Amis and l'Ordre de Malte.