Homeless man passes away after city council won't let him in anywhere with his dog

jack russell dog dog-sad © Rob Fuller - Unsplash

A homeless man living on the streets of Hull died after local authorities denied him accommodation because he refused to abandon his Jack Russell.

By Ashley Murphy

Published on the

Johnathan Ellerington's body was found dead on the pavement outside a Costa Coffee in Hull city centre last December. The 41-year-old died from a combination of cold exposure and the health effects of spending years living on the streets.

Ellerington was a familiar face around the city. And he always had his Jack Russell Teddy by his side. Loyal Teddy was standing guard over his master when paramedics arrived. 

Best friends always stick together

These best buddies were inseparable. Where one went, the other followed. And this, unfortunately, prevented Johnathan and Teddy from getting a home of their own. 

According to an inquest into Ellerington's death, Hull City Council rejected Johnathan's application for housing because it couldn't find any facilities willing to take homeless people and their pets. In other words, they could house Johnathan, but not Teddy.

So rather than abandon his little companion, Johnathan chose to stay on the streets. It was far from ideal, but at least Johnathan and Teddy would still be together.

Sophia Jama is a Hull city resident who befriended the pair. She helped Johnathan try to find a warm place to stay.

"Jonathan was sick, and he was freezing. But he told me he could not get in anywhere because of his dog," said Sophia in an interview with Hull Live. "I called the council's emergency number, and they confirmed they could not find anywhere for Jonathan because of his pet."

Sophia started a fund-raising initiative to cover the cost of Jonathan's funeral. She also tracked down some of his family members, who gave Teddy a forever home.

It's time to do more

The inquest into Jonathan's death is still ongoing. Fingers crossed that some good comes from this tragic story. People should never have to choose between a safe place to stay and their pets. 

So step up, Hull Council. It's time to do more for the people and pets who need your help. 

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