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Vets Provide Care On The Streets For Hundreds Of Homeless People's Pets

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Vets Provide Care On The Streets For Hundreds Of Homeless People's Pets

It all started on a night out - remember those?

Vet Jade Statt got chatting to a homeless man in London about his beloved dog's skin condition and his fear of losing her.

His concern really resonated with Jade, who had just lost her own dog, Oakley.

"It was something I could've fixed if I'd had what I needed at the time," Jade told LADbible.

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"You could see how worried he was and how helpless he felt about the whole thing."

The encounter planted a seed in Jade's mind - and that seed later blossomed into the invaluable tree that is StreetVet, when she met like-minded vet Sam Joseph.

Jade and Sam founded StreetVet, which now has an army of 300 volunteers. Credit: StreetVet
Jade and Sam founded StreetVet, which now has an army of 300 volunteers. Credit: StreetVet

The concept was born in December 2016 and StreetVet became a registered charity just over two years ago; now, 300 volunteers help homeless people's pets in 17 locations across the UK.

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Together, they've provided treatment for 1,202 dogs, 102 cats, three ferrets and two rabbits.

A lot of the time, it's a matter of providing routine procedures such as flea and worm treatments, vaccinations and microchipping.

But sometimes it can be a lot more serious - like when Staffie Sally got spooked by a firework, ran onto a railway line and got hit by a train.

Jade - who is originally from Glasgow and is now based in Grantham - recalled: "The owner had the out-of-hours number, he knew what to do. He called it, emergency people went down and got the dog from the train track, she was transported. She was then in the vets for quite a few weeks.

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"She lost her eye, and she had her leg amputated. And she was away from the owner for quite a number of weeks in hospital. But the bit that made it work was that he knew the team really well and they knew him."

Sally somehow survived with the help of the charity. Credit: StreetVet
Sally somehow survived with the help of the charity. Credit: StreetVet

Just the other week, Jade herself helped to save a dog's life after a member of the public phoned in to report a homeless person's pet, which he believed to have cancer.

Jade said: "It wasn't cancer, the dog just had a massive perineal hernia.

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"He needed emergency surgery and we got a special surgeon to drive up on a Sunday and do it for free.

"Me and two veterinary volunteers we went straight in and ran the anaesthetic and everything else.

"Had we not, the dog would have died because its bladder was actually in that hernia and it would have been pretty, just hideous, I don't want to think about it to be honest."

The charity has earnt the trust of homeless people across the country by teaming up with local grassroots organisations, such as soup kitchens, and providing regular outreach.

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Once they've made a connection, the team brings the consulting room to the street, checking lumps, taking blood and urine samples. If the pet needs treatment that can't be provided with the equipment in the volunteer's backpack, then they will fund the procedure at a nearby practice.

On top of this, they provide essentials such as food, toys and even polaroid photographs.

The charity goes the extra mile for homeless people and their pets. Credit: StreetVet
The charity goes the extra mile for homeless people and their pets. Credit: StreetVet

Jade said: "When I first started StreetVet, we had a situation when a client lost his dog, it had to be put to sleep, and he didn't have any photos of his dog. I remember just thinking 'I can't have that ever happen again'.

"This was early days, but we put a request on social media for a polaroid camera for every backpack. And yeah, within I think it was 72 hours, we had them.

"The public are just a massive, massive support for us to allow us to get to where we've got to."

The pandemic has taken a toll on the charity and made it much more difficult for them to carry out their vital work, but they've still always been there for their clients, funding treatments in practices when they've not been able to provide care on the streets.


Looking ahead, Jade wants to grow the charity's accredited hostel scheme, which aims to increase the number of hostels that will accept pets and therefore prevent homeless people from having to choose between their pet and shelter.

As for what you can do, Jade said: "Don't just walk past people. By having that conversation, you can potentially be empowered to do something that can really help."

You can find out more about StreetVet and donate here.

Topics: Dog, Awesome, Inspirational, Community, Animals, Dogs

Jake Massey
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