StreetVet Brighton: Helping Homeless Pets In Need

0

This week, Brighton Journal spoke with Dr. Roz Wright, a veterinary surgeon based at New Priory Vets, about her involvement with StreetVet Brighton. This organisation looks after homeless people’s pets by providing much needed treatments and support that they would otherwise be completely unable to afford.  

 Remembering how her journey with StreetVet began, Roz said:

“As soon as I heard about StreetVet in the veterinary press I knew I wanted to become involved. I had thought about volunteering for homeless charities in the past but never knew where to start.”

She added:

“Many of my friends and colleagues past and present volunteer so there is a real feeling of camaraderie amongst the Brighton team.”

There are many special stories that come out of helping people and animals in need, and Roz shared a couple of her favourites:

“Special moments for me include a puppy who fractured her leg getting caught up in the owner’s other dog’s lead, we were able to get the leg repaired and foster her for her recovery period. The owner was absolutely over the moon to have her back by his side.”

She added:

“Another great moment was when we were able to source a dog buggy for one of our older arthritic dogs so that he can stay by his owner’s side whilst he is getting older and less mobile.”

The veterinary team consistently go above and beyond to make sure both dogs and their owners are looked after:

“We also care for several medical assistance dogs for owners with epilepsy or other debilitating conditions. We have some wonderful team members who have really supported the owners by treating their pets or looking after their dog when the owners have been unwell themselves.”

Roz explained that while some dogs do require medical treatment, many owners are just in need of someone who can be understanding and offer support:

“Our owners are so closely bonded to their dogs and are with them all the time so often the smallest concern can be a huge worry. We often take phone calls from owners who just need advice or reassurance.”

The team also does their best to help the owners and their dogs get off the street and into suitable accommodation together:

“We have also seen many of our clients moving into hostels or permanent accommodation, which is amazing and we are trying to work with local hostels to increase the availability of rooms that allow pets.”

The new year brings new goals, and the StreetVet Brighton team are looking to expand:

“We are currently looking for more local Vet and Vet Nurse volunteers in order to keep our Brighton service running every week of the year.”

Brighton isn’t the only place they are looking to expand, as this national organisation is always looking for new ways to support homeless people and their pets:

“As a national organisation StreetVet are always expanding into new areas and working hard to support all the dogs that are currently living with their homeless owners.  After all, many of these dogs were with their owners when they had homes and are the one thing in their life that keeps them going each day.”

Roz also announced a promising new partnership:

“Nationally the charity have just revealed a new collaboration with Battersea Dogs Home, which is very exciting!”

When discussing how prominent homelessness is becoming in Brighton, Roz said:

“I think most people are aware that homelessness is increasing in Brighton and Hove, but there is a huge population of ‘hidden homeless’ living in hugely sub-standard emergency accommodation.  Given the cost of living in the South East of England, it only takes one difficult life event (bereavement, job loss, illness, relationship breakdown) to land someone in that situation, and once there it is near impossible to climb back out.”

Roz wants to encourage the people of Brighton to continue to show compassion and be kind to those who have found themselves on the streets, likely through no fault of their own:

“The people of Brighton are incredibly kind and supportive as a community and I am very proud to live here.  I think the main message is: continue to be kind, don’t judge people because you don’t know where they have come from or what they have been through, and if you can please spare some time or pennies to help a local homeless charity like us it will make a huge difference to our community.”

If you would like to get involved, there are plenty of ways to help out and donate:

“People can donate by giving money directly via Golden Giving on our website at www.streetvet.co.uk or by buying items from the StreetVet Brighton amazon wishlist. We are always completely overwhelmed by how supportive and generous the public are!”

All images: © Dr. Roz Wright

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here