StreetVet has named presenter, writer and broadcaster Clare Balding as its latest ambassador.
Balding will now promote the charity’s work, which provides free veterinary care to the pets of those experiencing homelessness in 16 areas across the UK.
She will also help raise awareness for its new effort to create a pet-friendly hostel accreditation scheme, which will enable homeless pet owners to be housed alongside their pets.
Jade Statt, co-founder of StreetVet, said: “Many people experiencing homelessness currently face an impossible choice: be housed but give up their pet or stay out in the elements and keep their companion.
“We want to change this by creating pet-friendly, StreetVet-accredited hostels. This will mean people and pets can stay together and be given the chance to put their lives back together.”
Balding said: “My book My animals and other family sums up how I feel about pets – they’re more than animals, they are our family and friends.
“No pet lover would want to be separated from their pet, especially when going through a very difficult time in their life. Pets are our support.”
She added: “When I heard about the work StreetVet does I wanted to help spread the word about this amazing charity and help raise awareness and funds for their latest mission – pet-friendly, accredited hostels – as well as their wonderful work treating pets on the streets.”
It comes as StreetVet warns that only one in ten hostels accept pets, and often only one pet per property.
The charity’s new scheme will provide hostels with policies, advice and support, as well as accreditation to hostels that meet a pet-friendly standard.
The first pilot hostel will be launched in London later this year, though the group plans to roll-out the scheme across the UK.