Street Vet Needs Your Help to Treat Pets of People Living on Californi
It’s one thing to have a veterinarian make house calls, but what happens when there’s no house to make a call to?
That’s the case for many of the pets California veterinarian Dr. Kwane Stewart sees. According to a CNN report, Dr. “Kwane” treats pets belonging to the homeless of California streets out of the goodness of his heart and love for pets and their people.
As the county veterinarian for Stanislaus County in Modesto, California, ‘Dr. Kwane’ drives around looking for pets of homeless that he can help.
His philanthropic work began in 2007 when he realized that his local Modesto area was hit hard by the Great Recession. He told CNN that he saw so many people suffer from job and home loss, and people were surrendering their dogs or taking them with them on the streets. In 2011, he set up a table at a soup kitchen with his son and his girlfriend. If he saw people with animals, he asked if he could give them checkups, on him.
Dr. Stewart says he was overwhelmed with the need, but also how much he really loved helping them. He loved helping so much that he began looking for more people and pets he could help, so they didn’t have to search him out.
In the cases of animals who need routine vaccinations, food or medicines, Dr. Stewart will pay for those necessities out of pocket. The problem is that he often comes across animals with severe issues that need veterinary hospital treatment. Because of this, he set up a GoFundMe to help cover surgeries and invasive procedures.
The coverage for the work that Dr. Stewart does has been so heartwarming, his original GoFundMe goal of $10,000 was met and he was so surprised and thankful. Hoping to help more animals and possibly inspire and help other vets across the country to do the same, the funds donated will all go toward the pets of the homeless.
Dr. Stewart always has his medical bag and treats on him so he can help anytime he sees a homeless person with pets. He spends weekend time walking areas in Los Angeles like Skid Row and downtown San Diego. In the nine years he’s walked the streets, he’s treated over 400 animals. He even features many of his stories on the TV series Dr. Kwane: The Street Vet. It airs in over 30 countries.
Dr. Stewart said that just about everything he thought he knew about the homeless was simply not true. He says his prejudgments weren’t really anything of merit, and that something as basic as a job loss could lead to so much financial snowball. The stereotypes homeless face often aren’t true, and Dr. Stewart says that the misconception that the homeless can’t care for pets isn’t true either. He says that often, the homeless take better care of their pets than we do. They always make sure their pets are fed, Dr. Stewart says. It’s medical help that the homeless pets need, and he is honored to do it.
If you’d like to donate to Dr. Stweart’s efforts, you can check his GoFundMe site out. He’s been selected as GoFundMe’s Hero of the month for February 2020, and we can see why!
More by Lori Ennis