Qualified vets offering a first opinion service for homeless pet owners out on the streets
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 these dogs is very often a major priority for their owners.
Having seen the close bond between homeless people and their dogs first hand, qualified vets, Sam and Jade, wanted to try to find a way to help out. This started out with them going out with a stethoscope and some flea and worming treatment to give the dogs a check over and provide basic preventative healthcare.
Despite many of the pets being very well looked after and in good health, there were a few that needed further treatment. With this in mind, Jade and Sam teamed up to create StreetVet, a veterinary led initiative that allows vets in the UK to volunteer their time to prevent and treat disease in the pets of the homeless.
StreetVet has now developed the framework to provide a free, first opinion veterinary service for homeless people across London. We have a constantly growing team of veterinary professionals and have the close support of many drugs companies, veterinary practices, animal welfare charities, social non-profit organisations and local councils to enable us to develop the most comprehensive veterinary service possible for the homeless pet owners in London.
We have vets out in the community at least 3 days a week and everything that can be done in a consultation room, we can perform on the street. This includes medicating, vaccinating, blood sampling, urine analysis, lump sampling, microchipping and more.
When we meet a dog that needs more advanced treatment we are able to take them to one of the practices that we work at to perform procedures including neutering, dental work, surgery, diagnostic imaging and even hydrotherapy.
Being vets, we love animals, but much of our day-to-day work involves caring for their owners as well. Many of the owners that we meet are vulnerable people and one of the main benefits of having vets out on the streets is that we get to know the owners and their dogs and gain their trust. Through effective communication and consistency we have been able to check and treat over 70 dogs across London and in time, we hope to be able to extend this service to many more across the country.