We are delighted that StreetVet one of our chosen charities has welcomed us to help them raise much needed funds and awareness for their great work. StreetVet is a registered charity that offers free accessible vet care to those experiencing homelessness. They started three years ago with two vets and a backpack and now have an army of volunteer vets and nurses providing accessible fundamental vet care for pets (mostly dogs) of the homeless over 16 UK locations.
Homelessness is something that effects over 300,000 people in the UK according to research by Shelter at the end of 2018. The PAAW team are all connected by our love for our pets but we are also very aware of the problem of homelessness in the UK and the challenges facing those who experience it.
Luke (and Pablo) are regular volunteers with Crisis and the rest of the team all try to do their bit with a friendly chat and a cup of tea for our less fortunate neighbours when we can. Personally I always try to take the time to say hello and have a kindly word with the homeless in our local area, we have a few regular pals who we stop to have a natter with on our daily walks, one common thread, they are all lonely, sometimes I might be the only person they have spoken to in days. These people all have a story to tell if you take the time to say hello, I’ve met artists, musicians, writers and those who just got a raw deal in life. Nobody chooses to be homeless, in fact the only people I have ever met who have made a choice between a bed for the night and the street are those with dogs who are not allowed into sheltered accommodation with their companions! There are many misconceptions around people on the streets with or without pets, this excellent article from StreetVet addresses some of the misconceptions facing the homeless and their dogs;https://www.streetvet.co.uk/helping-homeless-pets/the-homeless-and-their-dogs-myths-and-misconceptions/
Next time you see somebody on the street consider taking a moment to say hello and find out who they are, sometimes this human contact means as much or more than food or money. We are all human and kindness costs nothing but can mean so much to those who are deprived of it.
We asked Jade Statt, co-founder of StreetVet about her passion for her charity’s work and plans for the future, this is what she had to tell us:
“StreetVet has been overwhelmed by the support from the veterinary profession and the public. Our rapid growth is a reflection of that support but also the need for our service. We hope to expand into more locations across the UK, research the barriers that our clients face trying to access hostels and protect the human animal bond”.
By Gabby Kuehn