A MELTON man who was forced to resort to squatting is holding onto hope that he will one day be reunited with his family.
Damian, who did not want his last name published, has been granted emergency housing at a motel in Deer Park with his partner Alissa and their three children but is unable to house his "fur family".
Trish Burke, of Woodend's Pets Haven animal shelter, has agreed to care for dog Nitro and cat Puss until the family can find permanent accommodation.
Last month the Weekly reported that Damian would often lie awake at night, afraid that the house he was squatting in may be broken into.
He squatted with his two pets, while his partner and children were 'couch surfing' with friends.
Damian said the family had sought help from a Melton support service but was turned away because no accommodation was available.
At the time, Melton Labor MP Don Nardella said cases like Damian's highlighted "the abandonment of those at risk".
But Housing Minister Wendy Lovell said statewide public housing data showed a significant fall in applications in the June quarter.
With his family and animal friends safe, Damian said he was glad someone was taking care of his pets while long-term accommodation
"I can't thank Pets Haven enough for looking after my fur family. Soon we'll all be together," he said.
Melton resident and Pets Haven volunteer Shelley Culpin said the family's circumstances were tragic, but Damian's decision to stand by his pets was admirable.
"It's not every day that you would come across someone like Damian. His pets are also his family," she said.