StreetVet started in 2016 with what I describe as a beautiful accident. I like to think of my chocolate Labrador Oakley as the third co-founder of StreetVet ( aside from Sam Joseph and myself!) as my relationship with him was what helped me to understand the absolute significance and strength of the human animal bond. My journey into StreetVetting resulted from a chance encounter with a homeless man and his dog on a night out in London. His dog ‘Brick’ had sore itchy skin and we struck up a conversation about how tricky it was to access veterinary care when you have no fixed abode. The relationship between the two of them imprinted on me and I walked away feeling a mixture of feelings – Frustration – If only I had what I needed in my bag, I could have helped them ; Empathy – how would I have felt if I was in this position and Oaks was unwell? – and Determination – what could I do as a vet to make a difference?
It was then for me that StreetVet was born.
Sam and I joined forces in 2016 and StreetVet became a Not for Profit organisation in April 2017 and then a registered charity in January 2019. StreetVet is fuelled by an army of likeminded volunteer vets and nurses outreaching in 17 locations across the UK. To date we have performed over 5000 consultations and helped over 1200 pets including rats, rabbits, ferrets and a bearded dragon.
Sadly a legacy of the pandemic is a rise in those experiencing homelessness and the need for our services is increasing.
StreetVet would not exist if it was not for the incredible support that we have had from so many. From those who believed in the concept from the start and got behind it – the vets, the vet nurses, the website developers, the vet practice owners, the pharmaceutical companies, the pet industry, the public – so many great like minded people uniting together to make a difference. Its pretty special.
Lucy used to bring her incredibly handsome dog Dennis to see me at a vet practice I worked at in Hertfordshire. It was whilst working there that I first started to “ StreetVet” and Lucy offered her skills probono to create our website that we launched on World Homeless Day Oct 2017. Lucy continues to be an ongoing support to StreetVet and her patience and kindness is legendary.
BVMS (Hons) MRCVS DVM GP cert SAM
Co-Founder & Clinical Director