Pets play such an important part in our everyday lives, providing us with endless amounts of love, comfort, and affection. With the smiles they bring to your face and the fond memories created with them by your side, pets simply make life more fulfilling. Seeing that pets are wonderful, loyal companions, it is no wonder why so many people around the country are proud pet owners.
For individuals currently experiencing homelessness, pets can be a source of companionship, sticking with their owners and providing unconditional love through some of the most trying times. After all, as every proud pet owner or “pet parent” knows, the human-animal bond is like no other. Unfortunately, a lot of pets in this position with their owners are not able to receive the quality veterinary care that is crucial for ensuring their health and wellbeing. Project Street Vet is on a mission to change this.
Photo credit: Project Street Vet.
Project Street Vet, founded in 2020 by Dr. Kwane Stewart, provides necessary, life-changing veterinary care for the pets who need it most. Knowing how powerful the human-animal bond is, the non-profit charity provides free exams, vaccinations, supplies, and other essential care for the pets of individuals experiencing homelessness. With a team of dedicated volunteers committed to helping pets in need, Project Street Vet operates in cities across California, including San Diego and Los Angeles.
Thanks to the support, veterinary care, and resources provided by Project Street Vet, the lives of many pets and their human counterparts have changed for the better. Moving forward, the non-profit charity intends to continue its mission of assisting pets in need and making an impact in communities across the country.
We recently spoke with Dr. Kwane Stewart about Project Street Vet and the powerful work done by the organization to care for the pets of individuals experiencing homelessness.
When did you first know you wanted to become a veterinarian? Was there anything in particular that inspired you to pursue this career?
I knew when I was seven. Two events pushed me in that direction. The injured stray Golden Retriever that was running through our neighborhood touched me. I just wanted to find and help that dog so badly but felt helpless. And the moment I saw the Black Stallion. That relationship between the boy and the horse stuck with me (it still does to this day).
How did you get the idea to start Project Street Vet?
It developed over years. I was quietly doing this work, walking the streets in my free time until it started getting more and more exposure. After the docu-series The Street Vet aired, I knew it was time to make this movement official!
With the work Project Street Vet has done so far, what has been the most memorable experience?
Many touching experiences. Almost too many to count. Mike and his little Dachshund was maybe the most emotional. Mike was dying of colon cancer, homeless and living near the beach. His little companion became recently blind and he didn’t know why. He said he would gladly keep his cancer if I could restore her vision.
What goals do you have for Project Street Vet in the next five years?
I would like to grow the service and the awareness on a national and global scale. What we deliver is simply grounded in kindness and humanity. And the world seems to be lacking that today.
How can animal lovers support Project Street Vet or make a difference in their own community?
Anyone can support Project Street Vet by donating, volunteering (we are especially in need of other volunteer vets and techs who can take this work to their communities), and simply spreading the word. We are grateful for any amount of support, even if it is a simple like or share on our social accounts. Those who are interested can learn more at www.projectstreetvet.org.
For more information about Project Street Vet, and to learn more about ways you can get involved, visit www.projectstreetvet.org.