Nick, a 53-year-old rough sleeper, was discovered by police in Elephant and Castle, south London on February 23.
He had gone for a walk the day before, leaving his belongings on The Strand in central London, and when he died he had no form of identification on him.
But, his dog, Scarper, did not leave his side for 12 hours after his death, helping authorities to identify him.
I’ve just said Goodbye to Scarper whose now gone to live with the mum of our homeless friend who died on our streets & we identified him via his dogs dog tag! Yes I got very emotional as known them for 6 years. I’m so pleased his family will have a part of him with them 🧡😢 pic.twitter.com/T5gy080WBf— Dogs On The Streets (@dotslondon) March 6, 2019
Around 400 dogs and owners are registered in the Dots database, each identifiable with a unique number written on the dog’s tag.
When police called Ms Clark asking for help, she said: “literally within five seconds I was able to bring up who the owner was.”
She said it is not yet known exactly how long Scarper sat by Nick after he died but it is believed to be as long as 12 hours.
Any support is so very appreciated by us. Anyone homeless that passes away on the streets deserves a respectful funeral. This man was not forgotten by his family, just sometimes we cannot provide everything they need in support. They tried. 🧡https://t.co/5J3ymsPl1j— Dogs On The Streets (@dotslondon) March 1, 2019
“It could’ve been anything up to 12 hours plus. She did not leave his side, literally sat by his side
“I think what is absolutely so devastating is we had to identify him via the dog tag.”
She added: “If they didn’t have that dog tag, I’m not going to say they never would have found out but I think it would’ve made the process very much longer.
“And it could’ve even have been impossible.”
This evening we visited 2 hostels in Victoria,London and supported 6 dogs with free vet care, All received flea & worm treatment,one needed medication and 2 we will be seeing on our Strand station on Sunday for blood tests with results & a scan. Food & essentials also provided 🧡 pic.twitter.com/sb0GVwCtQw— Dogs On The Streets (@dotslondon) March 4, 2019