Vets on streets to help homeless people’s pets

Vital Care: Animal care assistant Alicia Scott attends to a cat.
Vital Care: Animal care assistant Alicia Scott attends to a cat.

A local vet practice has teamed up with an animal welfare charity to provide care to homeless people’s pets.

Calder Vets, which has 13 branches across south and west Yorkshire, has been supporting Street Paws since June.

Treatment: Vet Ania Morley and animal care assistant Alicia Scott.

Treatment: Vet Ania Morley and animal care assistant Alicia Scott.

The charity promotes animal welfare by providing free veterinary care and emergency kennel space to animals owned by people who are homeless, vulnerably housed, or other vulnerable groups severely affected by poverty.

Once a month, members of Calder’s experienced team give up their time and head out onto the streets, often accompanied by Street Paws’ representatives, to administer support and practical aid to homeless people’s animals.

Ania Morley, a vet at Calder’s Dewsbury and Wakefield branches who coordinates the work with Street Paws, said: “The gratitude we receive is extraordinary. For people who cannot afford veterinary care for their – often only – companion and family member, it is absolutely priceless.

“There is often hesitation at first. Homeless pet owners know they cannot provide the best care and are frightened their beloved animal may be taken away from them, and some of them have little trust in institutions and strangers in general.

“It takes good communication skills and patience.

“They often struggle to look after their own physical and mental health but, once they trust us enough to work with us, they are so relieved to know there is someone who can help.

“Volunteering with vulnerable pets and clients is very refreshing. In this environment even very little makes a massive difference which, I believe, will also have a great effect on the well-being of the vets and nurses who volunteer their time.”

Visit streetpaws.co.uk to find out more about Street Paws.