An inquest has opened into the death of a homeless man who died in the street days after telling a passer-by that he couldn't find accommodation because of his beloved pet dog.
Johnathan Ellerington, 41, was a regular in Hull city centre and known for always having his Jack Russell Teddy by his side.
Mr Ellerington was found lifeless on the pavement outside Costa Coffee on Ferensway on 18 December last year with his pet lying beside him.
Days before he died, a desperate bid had been made to find shelter for him after a passer-by, Sophia Jama, became concerned by his plight in the cold temperatures.
Shortly after his death, Ms Jama told Hull Live that Mr Ellerington was not given shelter because of Teddy.
She said: “[Mr Ellerington] had this tiny dog, like a Jack Russell. He had a bad leg and he was freezing but he told me he could not get in anywhere because of his dog.
“I didn’t think this was right so I called the council’s emergency number but they confirmed to me they could not find anywhere for him because of his pet.”
However, Hull City Council stressed that provision is available for those with pets and who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness in the city.
A council spokeswoman said: "We always encourage people who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness to engage with us early as we have a range of options available, including provision for people with pets.
“However, whether or not people seek or accept our services is a personal choice.”
Homeless charity Emmaus also issued a statement saying it believed Mr Ellerington had access to accommodation before the tragedy.
After hearing of Mr Ellerington’s death, a spokesman for the Emmaus homeless charity said that its own investigation had found he was not rough sleeping.
They said: "We conduct investigations across both Hull and East Riding and we have not found this individual to be street sleeping.”
Teddy has since been cared for by members of Mr Ellerington’s family while a fundraiser to help with funeral costs raised £1,670.
A brief hearing at Hull Coroner's Court revealed Mr Ellerington's cause of death as heroin toxicity.
The inquest has now been adjourned with a full hearing into the circumstances surrounding his death due to take place at a later date.