StreetVet, a charity that provides free veterinary care to the homeless and their pets, started just a few years ago with two vets and a backpack. Since then it has grown into an incredible community of vets and vet nurses across the country who share one aim: to help those pets and their owners who have fallen on exceptionally hard times.
Besides minor injuries, skin diseases and ‘old dog ailments’, the mainstay of what StreetVet does is to educate owners and provide preventative treatments to protect against unpleasant and even life-threatening illnesses. Contact with other dogs, access to water courses and the outdoors in general makes StreetVet patients high risk for exposure to many of these avoidable diseases. So, StreetVet believes that making vaccination accessible to owners who struggle to get to veterinary clinics due to financial, physical and emotional difficulties is crucial in reducing the spread of conditions such as leptospirosis, parvovirus and distemper. StreetVet have also put systems in place to assist owners who often lead chaotic lifestyles to attend these on-street appointments. But all this comes at a great cost. Whilst StreetVet volunteers give up their time for free to provide clinical assessments of each and every patient, providing enough vaccinations is only possible though the support of companies such as MSD. So far MSD have provided thousands of vaccines to dogs under StreetVet’s care. This goes a very long way towards protecting pet dogs across the UK from all walks of life and for giving the homeless owners of these dogs some reassurance that they have been thoroughly checked and vaccinated – something that otherwise may never have happened.