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Heartwarming viral video of a homeless man and his dog is taking the internet by storm

Heartwarming viral video of a homeless man and his dog is taking the internet by storm
Source: Facebook/Channel4News

This viral video about a once-homeless man and his dog is melting hearts around the world.

“More than anything it’s company… having another heartbeat that’s on your side.”

The short video, produced by Channel 4 News in London and posted to Facebook on Wednesday, features a man named Andy and his dog, "Bailey." During the 3 1/2-minute video, Andy shares the story of how he bought four-week old "Bailey" from a beggar on the street and how he believes they have saved each other’s lives.

“He loves me unconditionally, I count my blessings every day.” Says Andy The loving bond this man has with his dog helped take him off the streets – and even saved his life. Source: Facebook/Channel4News

“He saves my life every day… I walk my dog and ten minutes later my mindset’s changed.”

In the viral clip, Andy Hutchins says he owes his life to his dog. Former heroin and crack addict of 15 years, in and out of prison, stealing to feed his habit and, in his own words "no good to anybody," Andy bought Bailey from a street beggar as a four-week-old puppy, still blind, on the day in late 2011 when he left prison for the final time. 

"I paid £12 for him and I haven’t touched heroin since," says Andy. "He saves my life every day. I wake up… I think of drugs… but I walk my dog and ten minutes later my mindset’s changed."

A dog can be a life-saving companion for members of the UK’s expanding homeless communities. Earlier this year, spotting an opportunity to fill a vital gap, Sam Joseph and Jade Statt launched StreetVet, the UK’s first non-profit to provide outreach services for homeless dogs.

Vets were an unaffordable luxury for Hutchins, "An X-ray is £36," he says. "I keep thinking, ‘If I can’t feed him, do I have to give him up?’" 

Today, a year since its founders met, StreetVet operates in six regular locations across London, with over 50 volunteers on their roster and 100 more primed for the service to roll out across the UK. "So many people want to do this," says Statt. "We’ve all walked past a dog and thought, ‘I wish I could help them.’ All we do is make that easier." 

Below, meet the vets who work for free with the companions of the homeless, including Andy and Bailey, and see Andy speak to Channel 4 about what can be done to tackle homelessness.

Source: Vice

“Their bond is incredibly strong and I want to protect that bond.” These vets volunteer at night to treat the dogs of homeless people who can’t afford to pay. Today, StreetVet operates in six regular locations across London, with over 50 volunteers on their roster and 100 more primed for the service to roll out across the UK. Source: Facebook/Channel4News
Andy accompanied by his dog Bailey, speaks about what can be done to tackle homelessnessSource: Facebook/Channel4News

Andy Hutchinson with his dog Bailey at Dee Dee Help the Homeless outside Hackney Town Hall on September 25, 2016
Andy and Bailey recieved help from Dee Dee Help the Homeless Andy Hutchinson with his dog Bailey at Dee Dee Help the Homeless outside Hackney Town Hall on September 25, 2016 Source: DieterPerry/HackneyGazette
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Someone has started a Crowdfunding page for Andy and Bailey, if you would like to contribute.