This Mother-Daughter Team Cares for Pets of the Homeless

The good-doing duo provide food and medical care to help the homeless care for their pets.

May 25, 2016

(Elena Rostunova /

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, of 3.5 million people who experience homelessness in a given year in the U.S., roughly 10 percent are pet owners. To Genevieve Frederick, this meant that hundreds of thousands of pets throughout the country belonged to a population that might not have all the resources to care for them.

In response, Genevieve and her daughter, Renee launched, Pets of the Homeless, a national, nonprofit that feeds and provides basic emergency veterinary care for these pets. As Genevieve Frederick told Elite Daily, “the whole mission is to not have a pet be hungry and not have a pet be in pain. And if their owner happens to be homeless, even more reason to help them because they don’t have the resources.” By sponsoring volunteers and veterinarians who want to help out, Pets of the Homeless has treated over 13,000 pets since it’s launch in 2008.

Over the last eight years, Genevieve and Renee have come to an important realization about the homeless.“What [the homeless] lack in their ability to provide vital resources like food, shelter and medicine for their pets, they reciprocate tenfold in love,” explained Genevieve. Through their work, the mother-daughter team are also working to challenge the belief that owning a pet when homeless is irresponsible or unethical. Rather, by interacting with the owners of these pets, the duo have found that a pet is most often the only companion a homeless person has left, and a source of solace, protection and companionship.

As long as homelessness exists, mother and daughter are committed to continuing their cause. As Renee said, “there will always be someone that needs our help” - and isn’t that really all the motivation needed?

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Mirele writes about everything related to doing good, with a particular interest in volunteering and social entrepreneurship, informed by her background in eco tourism.