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San Francisco’s puppy-power plan to remove panhandlers from the streets


“When it comes to tackling San Francisco’s entrenched panhandling problem, City Hall has tried just about everything,” says Heather Knight at The San Francisco Chronicle. “But it’s never tried puppies — until now.” On Aug. 1, the city is scheduled to launch a new program, Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos (aka WOOF), that will pay panhandlers to take care of abandoned dogs as long as they pack up their cardboard signs and stop begging on the streets.

Bevan Dufty, the city’s homelessness czar, says it’s a “win-win for the panhandlers and the puppies — even if it may prompt eye-rolls at first.”

How does WOOF work? Under the program, panhandlers will receive $50 to $75 a week to adopt a dog from a shelter. The panhandlers will receive training sessions, and the city will provide them with “all the dog food, toys, leashes, and veterinary care they need,” says Knight. The dogs will be chosen from those that are the least likely to be adopted, either because they’re too rowdy, fearful, or otherwise unsocialized, with the hope that the panhandlers will make the dogs more human-friendly. After two to six weeks, the panhandlers can choose to return their dog in exchange for another one or adopt the one they have.

Here, a guide to San Francisco’s unusual plan to fight poverty: 

Ful. story at The Week.

Photo: CC by Michael Stahl

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