We would just like to say a massive THANK YOU to all our friends and supporters who took part in PAAWstival (our virtual festival) last weekend, celebrating all things PET in aid of StreetVet, a charity very close to our hearts, made up of volunteer vets and nurses who look after the pets of the homeless.
“He’s my boy, he’s the only one who puts up with me. I have no mental health support, but he keeps my head straight. He’s my reason for everything.” StreetVet Client.
StreetVet is a registered charity made up of volunteer vets and nurses who look after the pets (mostly dogs) of the homeless. Like all frontline charities StreetVet have had to carefully consider the implications of COVID-19 for the people and pets who use their services, as well as their staff and volunteers, in line with advice and guidance from the UK Government and the RCVS.
The StreetVet teams have put measures in place to allow continuity of service wherever safe and possible, and are dealing with this unprecedented situation with their usual dedication and care. Like many charities StreetVet rely heavily on fundraising from events, as well as donations to carry out their work.
“I started volunteering in September 2016 whilst working as a locum. I immediately realised that this was for me. Many years of stopping by and talking to dog owners living on the streets, always wanting to help but feeling useless. Now I can help in a professional sense. Homelessness is close to my heart because without my family I definitely would have been living on the streets too. I’m very lucky to have a strong supportive family, which I’m very aware not all people have. I feel a bond with our clients because I have nearly been amongst them. To help them and their pets is a blessing, the bond between them is stronger than anything else I have ever witnessed as an RVN. I count myself lucky to be in a position to help them.” Chris Rossiter – StreetVet Veterinary Nurse,
The purpose of PAAWstival is to raise funds to support this group of key workers who in addition to their day jobs, take the time to volunteer as StreetVet’s to help some of the most vulnerable people in society, the homeless and their pets, we think the work they do is incredible.
lthough the afternoon wasn’t entirely glitch free – we had a really good time and hope all you lovely people who tuned in had lots of FUN!!! We can’t wait to bring you the second instalment on bank holiday Sunday, May 24th, at 18.00 GMT and would love to see you all there.
“I started volunteering at the beginning of 2018 after hearing about Streetvet and the amazing work the organisation was doing. I have since helped to open the Windsor outreach, and am passionate about utilising my veterinary skills to help those in the most vulnerable situations. Providing a trusted source of help is so important to our clients and their pets, as they are so often left behind and forgotten by areas of society. We endeavour to provide connections to different services for them, as well as a much-needed source of human connection. The owner-animal bond is so strong for all pet owners, but it is especially important for our clients, and we constantly aim to protect their companionship. I am so proud to be part of such an incredible charity; I couldn’t wish to use my skills in a better way to help and connect with others.” Becky Castle – Vet, StreetVet Windsor
As Lockdown continues to be a tough time for everybody, something we have all experienced in different ways, there are those of us who are lucky enough to be able to work from home, key workers who continue to put themselves at risk to save lives and keep our services running, and many who have had to adapt or close their businesses. The fear of COVID 19 has had a major impact on our society, I cannot imagine how it must feel to be homeless at this time. We have made many homeless friends in our local area over time, sadly we have no idea where they are now but hope they are safe.
“I look after him during the day, he looks after me during the night.” StreetVet Client.
“Having got to know many of the homeless pet owners in Gloucester, I have seen the amazing love they have for their pets, but learned of the many challenges they face to stay together. To be able to volunteer my time and veterinary skills to help protect this bond, by providing veterinary care as well as advocating for them is an absolute joy.” Tim Sandys, Team Lead Vet StreetVet Gloucester.
PAAWstival has also given us the opportunity to bring together other like-minded people in the pet industry and beyond. We hope you will continue to support us and get involved, if you would like to make a donation however small please click on the link –https://www.gofundme.com/f/covid19-support-for-the-voiceless