Sandra Harp sits on the sidewalk on Chestnut Street in downtown San Antonio, holding her chihuahua’s head in her hands and curling his ears. Half of its small tan body is tucked into a doggie bag, the other half sticking out, sniffing the air and growling at strangers. When he barks at a passerby, Harp snorts. Your dog thinks he’s a big, tough guy.
For Harp and other people affected by homelessness, Chestnut Street is a common gathering place. This weekend, Harp is one of many who line the sidewalks and driveways with their dogs — all waiting for Communities Under the Bridge, a ministry that provides services to the homeless, to open. For the next two hours, Hope 4 Hounds — a San Antonio nonprofit that provides veterinary care — will set up a shop behind the ministry and anyone who needs a screening, vaccinations, microchipping or care for their dog can show up.