Congress Charity 2019
Each year the VMG-SPVS Congress selects a charity to support and raise money for during the course of the weekend.
For 2019, the chosen charity is StreetVet.
StreetVet is an award winning RCVS registered practice delivering free care to the homeless and their dogs on the streets of London, Brighton, Bristol, Plymouth and Cambridge.
The concept of StreetVet for me was born from meeting a homeless man and his dog on a night out in London in 2016 and talking to him about his unconditional love for his dog and his fears of losing her. Having recently lost my own dog Oakley, his worries resonated with me and I felt frustrated that I couldn’t use my veterinary skills to help them and overwhelmingly kept thinking “how would I feel if this was Oakley?” The human-animal bond is extraordinary and a privilege to experience and it can be life affirming for many of the homeless on our streets. Witnessing first hand this bond on the streets of London was my catalyst to start “ StreetVetting”. Sam my co-founder describes a similar experience on a night out in Brighton.
What began with 2 vets and a backpack in London in October 2016, has now grown exponentially and we now have approaching 80 vets and nurses doing outreach in 7 different locations across London every week and approaching 200 veterinary professional volunteering across the UK.
To date we have treated nearly 250 dogs. Our motto is “ whatever can be done in a consulting room, StreetVet can do on the streets.” This includes microchipping, vaccinating, blood sampling and urine testing. We have the ability to do a few street side blood tests, otherwise we send to an external laboratory. If a procedure or hospitalisation is required, we are able to transfer and fund as appropriate at one of network of participating practices. The hope for StreetVet is for us to continue to grow. We are currently collating a database for veterinary volunteers – and aim to help support the set up of StreetVet in cities UK wide. (We currently have teams in London, Bristol, Brighton,Cambridge and Plymouth and will be launching StreetVet Southampton, Cheltenham and Birmingham shortly. With teamwork and collaboration, we think that it is entirely feasible to check over and treat every homeless person’s dog in the country and, in doing so, make a small difference to the lives of some of the country’s most vulnerable people. Sam and I are so proud to be part of this growing StreetVet community.’