ONE man living on the streets in Melbourne made $15,000 in just one week.
Generous passers-by dropped dollars in a dog bowl that was at his feet, along with a litter of puppies.
But this isn’t an uplifting story, instead it’s one of a man who exploited his pets to tug on people’s heart strings so he could make more money.
Instead of using that money to clean up his life, he admitted to blowing it on drugs for himself and other street junkies.
Along with making the $15,000 in a week, he also claimed to make $200 in just one night.
The Sunday Herald Sun reports it saw a Facebook post from this man, who bragged about using the puppies.
“Sitting here … with me sign saying homeless and dog bowl out to colect (sic) money doing this made $200 in my sleep the other night lol when i had the pups i made $15,000 in one f—ing week … it all went on heroin with me and another couple of junkies,’’ the post said.
Melbourne City Council has lodged a submission to a parliamentary inquiry about restricted dog breeds and as part of that, the council also outlined its concern with homeless people using pets to help them beg.
“Some are genuine homeless people who have pets as companions but there are people who aren’t genuine and often brag about these things on social media,” a council spokesman said.
“We know of six people who are regularly in the city with dogs, cats, or litters of puppies, which draws a lot of attention.”
The Sunday Herald Sun reports one of the people being monitored by council uses a cat to make money, charging children who want to pat the feline.
The spokesman said the council was not trying to stop homeless people from having pets as companions.
“We understand the homeless are in a difficult situation. This is about dealing with people who take advantage of that and get puppies for the sole purpose of begging. We are well aware of it,” the spokesman said.
The Sunday Herald Sun spoke to a homeless man, who lives on the streets with his dog, and he said he would not exploit his pet to make money.
“She is not for begging purposes, she comes everywhere,” he said.
“Sitting here day on end it makes you depressed but just taking her for a walk is good for our mental health.”
The council regularly run checks on dogs out on the street with homeless people and the spokesman said most of them were cared for and genuine companions.
He said using animals to beg however was not responsible pet ownership.
Beggars with litters of puppies can also put the public at risk and the spokesman said people congregating in large groups to look at the puppies blocked path ways, causing crowd and pedestrian issues.