Moncton — With an ongoing heatwave and growing pressure from some concerned residents about the well-being of the city’s homeless, the City of Moncton — with the help of some local farmers — finally came through today, as city workers could be seen setting up watering troughs around the downtown core as well as in nearby parks and other public spaces.
Not only will there be plenty of water available for Moncton’s homeless in the sweltering heat, city officials have indicated that people walking their overheated pets are also welcome to make use of the long, open drinking receptacles.
“Whether you’re a person down on your luck and living on the streets, or just someone’s furry companion, around town there’s now an ample number of easily accessible watering troughs,” said Coun. William Stephens.
The troughs — which are several inches wide, stand a foot above ground and are long enough to accommodate as many as 5 to 6 thirsty dogs or destitutes — were acquired after the city started a public campaign asking local farmers to donate their old and unwanted ones.
“Troughs are usually reserved for large, four-legged, hoofed farm animals that either spend their days in a stuffy barn or out in the open sun,” said Stephens. “They consume a lot of water, so we thought these vessels to be the most efficient, cost-effective solution to ensure our city’s homeless and beloved pets stay hydrated and avoid any heat-related illnesses.”
“I just had all my old wooden troughs replaced with steel ones this spring,” said pig farmer Franklyn Daniels. “I guess I could have used them for firewood or something, but I didn’t mind getting rid of them knowing it was for a good cause.”
Many Moncton residents are pleased with the city’s decision. “It’s really nice to know those poor people on the street no longer have to suffer the cruel indignity of not knowing where they’re going to get their next drink of water,” said Beverly Simon. “It’s right on the ground in front of them now, and they can even dunk their heads in there or wash their feet and maybe even make friends with some thirsty pooches.”
However, there were some who were not only displeased, but outraged. “It’s terrible — absolutely terrible and unacceptable,” said Tracey Wright. “I mean, to treat people like that! People who just want to walk their pets, make sure they’re getting plenty of water and not have to worry about sharing it with some slovenly vagabond. I mean, who knows where they’ve been?”
Moncton homeless were not approached for comment.