Vet Seekers are proud to announce that we will be supporting Street Paws as our main 2019 charity of the year. We will be providing volunteer dates, information, support and offering ongoing awareness for the charity.
About Street Paws:
- Street Paws is a charity providing free veterinary care for animals owned by people who are homeless.
- They run outreach services in 18 locations; Manchester, Newcastle, Sunderland, Stockton, Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford, Blackpool, Morecambe, York, Cardiff, Lancaster, Belfast, Blackpool, Wigan and Leigh, Salford, Hull and Sheffield.
- Street Paws has nearly 200 vets, vet nurses and behaviourists who volunteer to care for the animals, most of whom are dogs but there are a number of cats.
- Each month, animals can receive a health check and, when needed, flea and worming treatments and vaccinations. If an animal is ill or injured they can provide funding for medication and surgery.
- Street Paws was founded by Michelle Southern in 2016. At the time, Michelle was working as a practice manager for Vets4Pets and volunteering at a soup kitchen.
- Whilst there, she saw a homeless man with a dog and recognised that while there were services to help people living on the streets, there wasn’t the same support for their pets.
- She rallied support from colleagues and Street Paws volunteers hit the streets with backpacks filled with treatments, plus practical items like food, bowls, collars and coats for the dogs.
- Their work began in Newcastle and thanks to huge support from the veterinary community and via social media, they’ve been able to expand across the North of England.
- Currently, less than 10 per cent of hostels in the UK accept dogs according to research by Homeless Link and Dogs Trust and 63 per cent of owners said they had been asked to give their dog up to get into accommodation.
“For people living on the street their dog or cat is their constant companion. Often, they lived together in homes before sadly finding themselves homeless.
The bond they share is so strong. The pet provides emotional support and is often their only source of unconditional love.
Homeless people who own pets feed them before themselves and sadly have to choose between being with their pet or being in a shelter or hostel.
They remain on the street because they can’t bear to be parted from them. The animal is their world, their reason to carry on.
By providing outreach services, owners have the reassurance that their pet can have a health check and if they need anything more, they can come to us for help.
Our aim is to work with hostels and shelters to encourage them to support people with pets and provide kennel care for them so their owners can find permanent accommodation.”
In addition to treating the animals, Street Paws has partnered with Newcastle Cat and Dog Shelter and Manchester and Cheshire Dogs’ Home to provide emergency short term kennels for pets if owners need to spend time in hospital.
To find out more about Street Paws, visit www.streetpaws.co.uk and you can follow them on social media.
To view Street Paws Volunteer Vet & Nurses dates please click here