Man chose life on Blackpool’s streets to keep dog

Blackpool Council opposition leader Coun Tony Williams
Blackpool Council opposition leader Coun Tony Williams

An appeal has been made to track down a homeless man who refused council accommodation because he cannot bear to be separated from his dog.

Since his plight came to light, a benefactor has pledged to fund lodgings for him and get him off the streets.

This is an incredible gesture and we must find this young man

The circumstances emerged when Tory group leader Coun Tony Williams told a full meeting of Blackpool Council how he and two other councillors came across the man in the town centre.

He said: “At full council I told a story about a young homeless man who couldn’t get a council flat because he wouldn’t give up his dog.

“He’d owned the dog since it was five weeks old and had to leave his previous accommodation when his gran died.

“The council had offered him accommodation and he wasn’t complaining but they wouldn’t allow him to take his dog.

“He wasn’t prepared to give up his faithful friend so at night he begs until 4am and then walks the streets.

“He won’t sleep rough as he has been beaten and robbed, so sleeps sitting down during the day. He begs until he raises £27.50 then books into a cheap B&B with his dog.

“I have been contacted by a member of one of Blackpool’s most prominent families who has offered to pay for his accommodation for 12 months out of their own pocket.

“This is an incredible gesture and we must find this young man.”

The man is described as in his early thirties, well spoken, with a short beard, and was wearing a T-shirt and a Blackpool FC supporters black coat.

He was carrying a striped carrier bag and had a small black and white dog.

Coun Williams added: “If anyone spots and identifies him I can meet up with him outside the town hall.

“Getting permanent accommodation will open the doors to benefits and a path to re-gaining his life.”

Deputy leader of Blackpool Council Coun Gillian Campbell told full council she was aware some people did turn down council accommodation because they have a pet.

However she added there was a service available called ‘Furry Friends Fostering’ which would look after pets if people were in temporary accommodation.

Anyone who can help should contact Coun Williams at cllr.tony.williams@blackpool.gov.uk.

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