Services and Interventions for People who are Homeless with Companion Animals (Pets)

A Systematic Review Protocol

  • Laura McCosker Griffith University
  • Martin J. Downes Griffith University
  • Annick Maujean Griffith University
  • Natalie Hill Griffith University
Keywords: homeless, pets, companion animals, dogs, cats, services, interventions


Background: Many people who are homeless own a companion animal (a ‘pet’). Pet ownership has positive impacts on health and wellbeing. However, for people who are homeless, pet ownership also creates multiple challenges and may be a barrier to exiting homelessness. This systematic review will identify the types, and outcomes, of services and interventions to support people who are homeless with pets. 

Methods/Design: This review will be conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Searches will be undertaken on five databases. Combinations of search terms and subject headings or index terms will be used. Citation chaining and citation tracking will also be undertaken. Literature will be screened for relevance in a two-step process. Each study will be quality assessed using an evidence-based tool relevant to its methods. Relevant data will be extracted and synthesised using a meta-analytic, or narrative, approach.

Discussion: This review will address an identified gap in the knowledge about the types, and outcomes, of services/interventions for people who are homeless with pets. The results may increase recognition about the importance of protecting and promoting the relationship between people who are homeless and their pets, and inform future work.

Study Protocols