Shoppers warned of man renting dogs to beggars in Leicester

By Barbara Uzoigwe

A Leicester homeless charity has warned people to be aware of a man renting dogs out to beggars for £3.

Arif Varoji, who co-founded Help the Homeless Leicester and UK in 2014, urged the public not to give money to any beggars, and warned people that the dog renting is a new scheme being used to con the public out of their money.

In an interview with Leicestershire Live, Mr Varoji spoke about the extent of the begging problem in the city, and the way in which it affects genuine rough sleepers.

“These people know that the public loves animals, if they see a dog sat there they feel even more sorry for them,” he said.

From the offset, the charity has provided support to those who are sleeping rough or are homeless.

Seventeen people have been helped off the streets and into accommodation by Help the Homeless Leicester and UK.

Mr Varoji’s plea is not the first time people in Leicester have been urged not to give money to street beggars.

Leicester City Council rough sleeping co-ordinator Sherralyn Storer said: “Not everyone you see sleeping or sat in a sleeping bag is homeless.”

Shoppers were warned that people outside shops asking for money may just be beggars, rather than the homeless.


Help the Homeless also provides meals for those in the city who are sleeping rough every Wednesday at Leicester Market and in December it opened a shop in Abbey Street where people can buy second hand clothes and donate to the charity.

To donate to Help the Homeless Leicester and UK, visit the charity shop, visit their website, or go to Facebook and search Help the Homeless.

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