StreetVet is a charity providing free accessible vet care to the pets of people experiencing homelessness. Our aim is to protect the human-animal bond, ensuring that pets and their owners can be kept together wherever possible. We do this by helping owners to keep their pets healthy and happy, advocating for pets and their owners, and by helping to eliminate barriers which otherwise exclude pet owners from accessing essential services. Most of our patients are dogs, but we also have cats, rabbits, rats, ferrets, and 2 Bearded Dragons registered with us.
StreetVet started in 2016 with two vets and a backpack walking around London and is now an RCVS registered practice currently operating in 17 locations in the UK. As well as London, we now have volunteer vets and nurses running outreach clinics on the street in the following areas: Brighton, Bournemouth, Birmingham, Plymouth, Cornwall, Bristol, Gloucester, Cambridge, Norwich, Reading, Southampton, Peterborough, Lincoln, Swansea, Glasgow and Aberdeen. As much as possible, we try to work with other grass-root organisations, such as soup kitchens and day centres, offering support to the homeless.
Anything that can be done in the consulting room, StreetVet can do on the streets! Sampling lumps, microchipping, dispensing medication, eye, ear and skin checks, We also offer food, bedding, coats, collars, leads, and toys to our patients. Where surgery or hospitalisastion is required, this is funded by StreetVet and arranged through a local vet practice that supports our work. We also fund transportation to and from vet practices if needed, and we fund emergency boarding in specific situations, e.g. an owner being admitted to hospital. We provide a 24 hour emergency support number to our clients so that they have access to veterinary support whenever their pet needs it.
Our volunteers run weekly hostel and day centre visits and we are working with hostels to offer them a package of veterinary support to enable them to accept pets and offer accommodation to a greater number of homeless people. We started the StreetVet Accreditation scheme in 2021, with our pilot hostel, DENS, and our goal for this year is to increase the scheme with a number of hostels interested in joining. StreetVet now has over 400 volunteers and 1,350 current patients, and we know that demand for our help will sadly increase over the coming year.
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