Pets and Poverty Study


This introductory study has concluded and there were some incredible results. You can read the full report by clicking here -> How Pets Affect the Lives of People Experiencing Poverty and Precarity in Ontario. 


“This study’s findings highlight the need for community programs that assist people experiencing poverty/precarity and their pets. What participants wanted most was accessible low cost veterinary care, and sensitivity training for social service and animal welfare professionals. Pets were found to provide companionship, emotional support, and family. One of the most important discoveries is that in some cases, pets kept participants alive by encouraging them to seek assistance for mental illness, and discourage them from thoughts and plans of suicide. Pets were also found to bring stress to their owners, and this finding highlights the need to mitigate potential pet related stresses, and consider them in program development. This introductory participatory research study will continue through an online group, inviting participants to continue in suggesting, developing and implementing community programs. Considering pets as important in the lives of people experiencing poverty/precarity is crucial to improving this group’s health. This study has shown that you cannot help animals without helping the people who love them.”

Think we should do another study? Want to contribute your own experiences as a pet guardian experiencing poverty/precarity in Ontario? Please contact us!


March-May 2018

Do you have pets (or have had pets) and experience poverty or a precarious situation, and also live in Ontario Canada? I invite you to fill out this research survey! It will take about 15-20 minutes of your time and you’ll be helping to inform current and future community service programs for pets and their guardians! I hope you’ll decide to participate. More information can be found by following the link to the consent page.

I am currently doing my MA, and for my thesis I am doing an introductory study looking into how pets effect the everyday lives of people experiencing poverty and/or precarity. As the director of a nonprofit that works with pets and their guardians, I have had so many emails from people wanting assistance for their pets. This study aims to fill in the gaps in current scientific research and help us create targeted programs with the ultimate goal of keeping people and pets together.


Link to survey: How Pets Effect the Everyday Lives of Those Experiencing Poverty and/or Precarity


Many thanks,

Kimberley Richards

Project Director and Founder

Second Hope Circle

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