"I cannot tell you the humiliation I felt staying here. Despite the warmth and food, these places made me feel worse about myself," Barrows told The Dodo. "I was trading my dignity and independence for a bed and food."
Barrows sold some family jewelry to get her dogs the vaccinations they needed to enter the U.K., but once she was back home she faced even more challenges.
She was offered emergency housing on the condition that she give up Robbie and Cleo. "I refused to give them up for rehoming," Barrows said. "I was just about at the end of my rope. Only my dogs kept me going."