Homelessness is a growing problem in the UK and an increasing number of homeless people have dogs. The bond between many homeless people and their dogs is profound and the health and wellbeing of their canine companions is often a major priority for their owners.
Homeless dogs can also have health problem.
”StreetVet was born in 2016, inspired by the incredible bond between a homeless man, Gary, and his dog Lola”, Sam Joseph, one of the founders of StreetVet says.
Like many other vets, when he sees a homeless person and their dog on the street, he wants to do something. So, one evening in 2015, when he was still a student at Bristol vets school, he decided to go out with his stethoscope and check over any homeless people’s dogs that he came across.
”What stuck with me after meeting a few people that night was how happy and relieved they were when I told them that their dogs had a healthy sounding heart”, Joseph tells.
After graduating and moving back to London he decided to try and create a more sustainable and structured way to provide veterinary service to those dogs. Together with Charlie and another colleague, they visited many homeless people in North London, taking with them worming tablets and a bag of veterinary supplies.
“Soon after going out a few times in London, I met Jade in April 2017. Jade had been doing the same thing in Westminster, coincidently operating under the same name. That was when StreetVet was born! Since then we have
been working together, assisted along the way by our amazing team of volunteers, to try to marry the passion and willingness of veterinary practitioners with the need for veterinary care for homeless people’s dogs.”
To the other parts of UK in future
Now they have close to 50 people in the team, vets and nurses.
Together the StreetVet team takes their experience out onto the streets of London, seeking out people and their dogs living rough, and delivering care and support required to ensure their combined wellbeing. They are out in the London community at least 4 days a week.
“In the past year, we have helped care for over 100 street dogs. We have vaccinated and microchipped; treated for fleas and protected against lungworm; prescribed pain relief and helped fight infections; performed surgeries; and sometimes just sat and listened”, Sam Joseph says.
Today they operate in London alone but they expect to expand to other parts of the UK in the near future.
Support from many people
StreetVet needs your support to do their work. “We need your support to help us care for more of the Lola’s in this world.
By supporting StreetVet, your donations will fund an increase in our outreach so we can have more vets on the streets helping more people and dogs in need”, Joseph says.
Provet Cloud is one of the supporters.