Homeless woman from Royston begins campaign to stop pet-lovers being parted from their companions

Amber and Rio.

Amber and Rio. - Credit: Archant

A Royston woman living in a hostel for homeless young women has set up a campaign group to stop people in rented accommodation and emergency housing being torn away from their pets.


Amber Godfrey, who is staying at a women’s refuge in Cambridge, was recently told after a change in management, that she would no longer be allowed to keep her beloved companion Rhodesian Ridgeback Rio with her at the hostel.

Under the previous manager, she was allowed to have Rio in her room – she kept him on a lead and spritzed him with flea spray – but now he is not allowed to stay anywhere on the property.

The 24-year-old said: “He has never caused any trouble and the staff here always come out to greet him. The other residents enjoy his company as they are also vulnerable young adults.

“I have been threatened before to re-home my dog, but this isn’t an option. I have placed Rio in foster care before, but he gets extremely depressed.

“I also suffer from depression and he helps me gets through the day and gives me something to wake up to.

“He’s quite a big dog and might look intimidating, but he’s really soft. I have slept in my car before so I can keep my dog, and I would do it again.”

Amber, who is studying canine behaviour management and helps her mum at her cleaning company, decided to take action against what she sees as unfair treatment of pet owners, and so set up the Facebook group ‘Help Keep Our Animals!’.

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She said: “Some people have no choice but to abandon their pets if they want to find a place to live.”

Thankfully things are looking up for Amber, as someone has got in touch offering her and Rio a place to stay in Melbourn, but she will keep fighting to change the rules.