A CHARITY supporting those experiencing homelessness in Taunton and Sedgemoor has been awarded a pet-friendly accreditation.

Arc, which has been offering help across the county for nearly 50 years, has recently been awarded the accreditation by the national charity StreetVet as a part of their Accredited Hostel Scheme.

Through the training and support provided by StreetVet’s Accredited Hostel Scheme, hostels can now become well-equipped to welcome pet-owning residents, with the hope that eventually anyone can find accommodation without having to part with their four-legged companions.

With only 10 per cent of UK hostel projects currently accepting pets, and fewer than 7 per cent of pet owners experiencing homelessness willing to give up their dog in exchange for accommodation, the scheme aims to eliminate this stark disadvantage.

As a new partner of the scheme, Arc benefits from StreetVet’s wraparound support which includes hostel staff training, provision of pet essentials, telemedicine triage service, pet boarding, veterinary diagnostics and surgery, and pet transport plus much more.

Alice Hannon, fundraising and communications assistant at Arc said: "We are delighted to be working alongside StreetVet to provide even more support for Arc clients who are experiencing homelessness with their pets.

“Arc is full of animal lovers, so we all understand the importance of each pet to its owner, especially during a time of crisis.

“Working alongside such a fantastic organisation as StreetVet has already helped us to build on our current pet policies and procedures, ensuring that any client who comes to us with a pet will receive the correct support so that they can focus on their journey forwards."

StreetVet hostel co-ordinator Laura Sayer says: “We’re so pleased to be welcoming Arc to the growing list of StreetVet accredited hostels.

“Choosing between keeping a beloved pet, and securing housing, is a decision nobody should have to face, and we hope that with more hostels such as Arc adopting pet-friendly policies, fewer will have to.”

StreetVet is currently onboarding new hostels in multiple locations across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Hampshire, West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, and London.

For more information about StreetVet Accredited Hostel Scheme contact info@streetvet.org.uk or laura.sayer@streetvet.org.uk