A British animal activist is prepared to spend more than one month behind kennel bars in order to raise awareness about shelter dogs.
Sean Le Vegan, a web designer, will live in a kennel for 35 days starting Oct. 5 at Manchester Dogs Home, where he is a volunteer, the Manchester Evening News reports. The shelter, which was established 100 years ago, takes in around 4,000 dogs each year -- a mere 34 percent of the strays it finds. Thirty-five days is the average time a pup stays at the pound.
“It’s going to be really tough, but I didn’t want to dress up in a pickle suit or run 26 miles or any of the usual things," he told the publication. "I want to really show people what stray dogs go through, and experience it for myself.”
For the first four days, he will go without food, to mimic the response of dogs placed in a strange environment, according to the Mirror. Water will be his only beverage and a single blanket his only comfort. He will get one hour of freedom per day, to walk around and use the bathroom. He even got a microchip embedded in his shoulder.
His time in the cage will be captured by CCTV cameras. People can subscribe to see the footage by donating £5 (about $7.55) to the home.
“[Manchester Dogs Home] is a fantastic charity and has been doing this work for more than 100 years," he told the Mirror. "It is in need of cash to refurbish kennels and make it more secure from vandals and thieves. Every penny will go to [the charity].”
The estimated number of stray dogs in the U.K. alone was 118,000 in 2012, according to a report by Dogs Trust. DoSomething.org notes that in the United States, between 5 and 7 million animal companions enter shelters across the nation each year, and that homeless animals outnumber homeless people five to one. The two main reasons animals wind up in shelters are owner surrender and animal control pickup.
Only one out of every 10 dogs born will find a "forever" home.