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Letter: Order forces homeless to surrender their pets

Order forces homeless to surrender their pets

While Gov. Andrew Cuomo may think he has the best interests of the homeless at heart in ordering the homeless to be sheltered, even against their will, I disagree.

There are a small number of homeless people who have pets. Perhaps it’s a pet that they acquired before becoming homeless or a pet that they have befriended on the streets. These pets become a loving companion and a trusted friend for folks who have lost nearly everything else. Often a homeless woman will have a large dog not only for companionship, but also protection.

Unfortunately, in New York State, taking shelter means surrendering the pet – forever. It’s a cruel choice. We need to find ways to meet and help people where they are. The compassionate solution is to find a way to keep the homeless and their pets warm – and together.

Donna Hagerty