Sheffield grooming parlour provides TLC to city's homeless hounds

Jane Knowles, of Highfield Vet Centre, London Road, who give free treatments to dogs owned by a homeless people, cleans the ear of a dog.
Jane Knowles, of Highfield Vet Centre, London Road, who give free treatments to dogs owned by a homeless people, cleans the ear of a dog.
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A veterinary surgery in Sheffield is offering free grooming for dogs owned by homeless people.

Pampered Pooch on London Road - which is part of the Highfield Veterinary Surgery - began offering the service last month.

Charlotte Wright, of Highfield Vet Centre, London Road, who give free treatments to dogs owned by a homeless people, gives a dog a shower.

Charlotte Wright, of Highfield Vet Centre, London Road, who give free treatments to dogs owned by a homeless people, gives a dog a shower.

On Tuesday morning, the team were welcoming their third client since the project started, a friendly Akita and German Shepherd cross called Nikita.

Head groomer, Jane Knowles, said: “To a homeless person their dog is all they have got so to think they are getting a bit of attention is really nice.

“When they come we offer them a hot drink and they can stay in the warm downstairs while we work and we give their dog a bag of treats to go out with.”

“They are really grateful - they love it.”

Jane Knowles, of Highfield Vet Centre, London Road, who give free treatments to dogs owned by a homeless people, brushes a dogs fur.

Jane Knowles, of Highfield Vet Centre, London Road, who give free treatments to dogs owned by a homeless people, brushes a dogs fur.

Jane, 50, leads a team of three pooch pamperers including Sharna Nadin, 23, and Charlotte Wright, 27.

She said the surgery got the idea after Jane took part in this year’s Sheffield shoebox appeal - but instead of making one for a person, she made one for a dog.

“Then one of the vets suggested why don’t we offer grooming services for homeless dogs,” she said.

“So we got in touch with the Cathedral Archer Project and agreed that anyone who is eligible for them can come here as well.

(l-r) Sharna Nadin, Jane Knowles and Charlotte Wright, of Highfield Vet Centre, London Road, give free treatments to dogs owned by a homeless people.

(l-r) Sharna Nadin, Jane Knowles and Charlotte Wright, of Highfield Vet Centre, London Road, give free treatments to dogs owned by a homeless people.

“The Archer Project do subsidised meals and they have showers, computers, washing machines and doctors and dentists.

“But they don’t have anything for dogs so that is why we stepped in.”

Jane’s team have now done work for three homeless clients including Nikita.

These include Andrew, who brought his two Staffies - mother and son Shadow, 14, and Genghis, 12 - in last month.

Big Issue vendor Andrew and his Staffies Shadow and Genghis.

Big Issue vendor Andrew and his Staffies Shadow and Genghis.

Big Issue seller Andrew had recently been living in a hostel and a tent with his beloved dogs and had been offered the service after making contact with the Cathedral Archer Project.

“The Archer Project say they have known people to actually refuse housing because they can’t take their dog with them,” says Jane.

“And, as well as grooming we can also spot any health problems that they might not.”

And as well as homelessness charities, Pampered Pooches also work with Rain Rescue in Dinnington to give their dogs the best chance of being adopted.

Jane has been grooming dogs for 36 years and says she ‘just loves it’.

“Sometimes I moan but I like seeing them coming in all scruffy and dirty and come out clean,” she said.

Jane Knowles, of Highfield Vet Centre, London Road, who give free treatments to dogs owned by a homeless people, cleans the ear of a dog.

Jane Knowles, of Highfield Vet Centre, London Road, who give free treatments to dogs owned by a homeless people, cleans the ear of a dog.

“And I like making then feel better. They come in a mess and go out with a spring in their step. They look younger.

“They don’t like going in the bath but they like the after effects of it.”

To find out more about Pampered Pooch or the Cathedral Archer Project, find them on Facebook.