Ruff Sleepers Project - March mum has encouraged the community to help the homeless and their dogs this winter

Lisa Moore is collecting for the homeless and their dogs this winter

Lisa Moore is collecting for the homeless and their dogs this winter - Credit: Archant

A March mum has encouraged the community to pull together to give goodies to give to homeless people with dogs in Peterborough this winter.

Lisa Moore, one of the volunteer foster carers with Ravenswood Pet Rescue, has launched the Ruff Sleepers Project.

She decided to help as she understands the vital friendship lifeline animals give to people and how vulnerable dogs become as winter temperatures drop.

Since posting her idea to Facebook she says she has been inundated with messages of support for her idea.

She said “I have received numerous private messages including from people who suffer with mental illness and have experienced life on the streets of Peterborough which has given me a real glimpse into their daily struggles.

“I have been in contact with people who help the homeless each winter, with a view to us all working together to help even more people.

“As we all know there are a number of homeless people living on the streets of Peterborough. Some with mental illness, addiction problems and some ex military personnel who may be battling PTSD.

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“Some of these individuals own dogs because they give them unconditional love, support, responsibility and commitment.

“Dogs have been proven to relieve stress and greatly help with many forms of mental illness.

“I would like to try and make these cold winter months a little more comfortable for these individuals -they usually make sure their dogs are fed and kept warm before themselves.

“Soup kitchens are struggling, with the one in Peterborough feeding well over 1,000 people last month alone.”

After posting to her personal Facebook page and March Free Discussion she said the response was amazing and instant.

March pet food supplier, Elaine’s Country Life, was the first to offer support as a drop off point for donations and also supply dried food through the winter.

Rob Phipps of The Pet Shop in Station Road has offered a buy one and he will donate a bag of food for the cause.

Lisa is now asking for donations of blankets, dog coats, tinned food, treats and toys as well as back packs for the walkabouts.

• Drop off points are in March at Elaine’s Country Life, Knights End Road and The Barn Restaurant, Station Road, .

• The plan is to start distributing from Monday 12.

• Lisa has teamed up with the Rough Sleepers department of Peterborough City Council who will refer all homeless with dogs to the Ruff Sleepers Project.

• Fenland Animal Rescue are linking up as they run a winter project called Helping the Homeless to provide vet treatment if needed.

• Charity groups Once We Were Soldiers and Soldiers Off The Streets have been contacted to join forces with the project.

• The Light Project in Peterborough, which runs winter night shelters, have also been contacted to get involved.