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What is StreetVet?

StreetVet is a registered charity that helps to deliver free essential veterinary services to the pets of people who are experiencing homelessness around the UK. They depend largely on donations from the general public, as well as the volunteering of their time. StreetVet provides homeless pets with referrals to their local veterinary practice when required, which StreetVet then funds using donations from the public.

People forced to live on the streets often find it extremely difficult to gain access to necessary vet care, making it challenging to ensure their dogs are in the good health that they deserve. StreetVet is a registered practice with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and helps to provide that essential care and support to the people living on the streets with their dogs, to ensure their combined welfare.

StreetVet are working tirelessly to change the future prospects of homeless dogs, who would otherwise be faced with a life without the care and support that they deserve and potentially need.

Homelessness in the UK for essential veterinary care

Homelessness continues to be a growing problem in the UK, with an increasing number of those experiencing homelessness having dogs. Crisis (Crisis.org.uk) estimates that, in 2021, around 227,000 people were experiencing homelessness across the UK. However, this figure comes from estimates from local councils, whose figures are based on the number of people who have asked for help when becoming homeless. Many homeless people are not captured by these figures, and so it is considered a severe underestimate.

Thousands of people have found themselves at risk of losing their homes as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, as the virus is continuing to disrupt people’s livelihoods and leaves a cost-of-living crisis in its trail.

Despite the government’s launch of the ‘Everyone In’ scheme in March 2020, many homeless dog owners are still unable to access accommodation that allows their pets to live with them. Many dog owners who are experiencing homelessness are forced to choose between having a safe place to live and sleep or keeping their dogs. This is due to homelessness services generally not accepting pets when homing people.

For many homeless people with a pet, this animal may be their only relationship. Most people experiencing homelessness care deeply about the health and wellbeing of their pets, sometimes more so than their own. Their pets can provide them with great levels of mental support. By funding necessary medical care for homeless pets, StreetVet can ensure that the incredible bond between the animal and their human is not broken.

How are Paws in the City working with StreetVet to provide with essential veterinary care?

Here at Paws in the City, we’re teaming up with StreetVet to help deliver essential veterinary care to the pets of people experiencing homelessness across West London. We believe that all pets deserve good quality care, and so we’re more than happy to partner with StreetVet.

In locations where StreetVet is active, their outreach team will facilitate the first instance of care using their kits. Sometimes, the dog may require further treatment or hospitalisation, in which case they would be referred to a local practice. At Paws in the City, we are accepting referrals from StreetVet to help ensure this invaluable care reaches the pets of those people who are experiencing homelessness. If StreetVet is not active in an area, they will first confirm eligibility and then refer the animal to their local practice. StreetVet would then make an appointment for the animal to be assessed, with the practice then contacting StreetVet to take payment funded by donations from the public.

In collaboration with StreetVet, we offer a number of services, including health checks, vaccinations, preventative medicines, surgery and owner education. We care deeply about all animals and believe that their level of care should not be sacrificed for reasons beyond their control. We want to ensure that we are helping all pets where we possibly can.

How Can You Support StreetVet for essential veterinary care?

StreetVet cannot continue to provide the services they do to the pets of the homeless without your generous donations. There are a number of ways that you can do your bit and help to support StreetVet.

You can head to make a donation of vital funds, either as a one-off donation or you can set up regular gifting payments.

If you are a taxpayer in the UK, please don’t forget to add Gift Aid to your donation. By doing so, StreetVet are able to reclaim 25p from HMRC for every £1 that you donate. It doesn’t take any additional funds from you but makes a huge difference when combined with StreetVet’s fundraising efforts.

You can also check StreetVet’s Amazon wish lists to see if there are any items that they you can
purchase for them directly.

This is split by location, so have a look through the different wishlists to see if there is anything you can help with. There’s an array of items requested by each branch, from collars and harnesses, to food and tennis balls. You can also click on ‘Remember’ to add the lists to your Friends & Family lists, so you can regularly check if there are any items you can help to supply.

Each donation will be used to supply much needed care to the homeless and their dogs across the UK cities in which we are active.

If you do see somebody sleeping rough with a pet, please do pass on StreetVet’s information to them. They might not have heard about the incredible work that StreetVet do, and it could help to provide their pet with medical care that they may not have been able to afford otherwise. They may not have the means to contact StreetVet themselves, so it might be worthwhile to offer to make contact for them.

Without your support, StreetVet cannot continue to provide this service. If you know of or have seen a homeless person with their dog, who are in need of a StreetVet visit, please email them on info@streetvet.org.uk

Please also consider supporting charities and organisations that provide basic essentials and care to the owners themselves who need it. Visit Crisis for more details.


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