Starting August 1, the city is starting a unique program that pairs homeless dogs requiring socialization with beggars who agree to forgo panhandling and will get paid to foster pets.Â Bevan Dufty is the person charged to deal with the city's panhandling problem. He calls this program "Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos," or WOOF.
Careful screening of both human and canine candidates is done to ensure a good working relationship. The former panhandler is required to have shelter (through supportive housing) and if the person is caught soliciting donations, the dog is relinquished. At the end of their trial program, the guardian has the option of adopting the animal himself or allowing the dog to be adopted by someone else, now that the dog will have had the socialization required to be more readily adoptable.
I imagine detractors will find this program to be a little too "bleeding heart" but I applaud Mr. Dufty's creative solution that could potentially be a win-win for both animals and people.
For more information, go to: The San Francisco Chronicle.
Photo by Beverly & Pack.