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Charity helping homeless in Southend care for their pets calls for Christmas support

Charity helping homeless in Southend care for their pets calls for Christmas support <i>(Image: Lynne Channell)</i>
Charity helping homeless in Southend care for their pets calls for Christmas support (Image: Lynne Channell)

A Southend charity who helps struggling and homeless people care for their pets have called for support as Christmas quickly approaches.

Charlie Boy’s Angels are a Southend charity who support the vulnerable and homeless with their pets, helping to ensure the pets have been de-wormed, fed, cared for and can be kept with their owners when their owners move into half-way homes and temporary accommodation.

The group sets up two nights a week, working at St Vincent’s and on Short Street Car Park on Tuesday from 6:30pm to 8pm where they provide blankets, collars, leads and a vet nurse, to do general health checks and vet referrals if animals are found to be severely unwell.

Charlie Boy’s Angel’s manager, Lynne Channell, said: “We are flat out with emergencies and moving people into safe places over the winter, we are struggling with cat food, we are struggling with ourselves physically and emotionally – this time of year is no different to any other time of the year it is just colder and more emotionally draining as Christmas is a trigger for many people experiencing homelessness.

“We have a fully fitted van, so if we feel a pet needs to be sprayed or neutered, which we do to prevent illegal breeding, we promote that and we refer them to Southchurch Road vets, we have no charges, we say if people want to make a donation they can and we also provide, when we can, pet friendly accommodation which is a big part because there is so little.

“We have 5 properties which we are using that are pet-friendly and we make sure residents behave and pay rent as thanks to the landlord,” Lynne said.

Lynne added that the team is currently ten volunteers and a new van, which has been fitted into a mobile vet unit for the team to do their jobs effectively.

“It has a good impact on homelessness figures, we try to intervene as soon as we get a call before they become rough sleepers too,” Lynne said, adding that the public can help them at this tough time by donating cat food, which “we struggle with more than even dog food” and by sponsoring an animal.