We’re extremely proud to have collected well over one hundred shoe boxes before Christmas, to help homeless pet owners as part of a campaign organised by StreetVet. StreetVet was set up in London in 2016 to help provide veterinary support services to the homeless and their dogs. It now runs support programmes in 8 cities across the UK with plans for expansion in 2019.
We put out an appeal on social media at the start of November for shoe box hampers to be donated at any of our three practices, in Bromsgrove, Hagley and Rubery. Among the suitable items to be included in the boxes were dog coats; collars and leads; dog food and biscuits; and Christmas toys or treats. The festive hampers could also include a Christmas card for the dog’s owner and a voucher for coffee shops or food chains which accept dogs.
All the boxes collected were taken to our Hagley practice for sorting by veterinary nurses Sarah Male and Chrissie Poke. They then distributed them to homeless people in Bromsgrove, Kidderminster, Worcester and Droitwich, as well as Birmingham – where they worked with the StreetVet team and the charity Hope.
StreetVet said: “Homelessness is a growing problem in the UK and an increasing number of homeless people have dogs. The bond between many homeless people and their dogs is profound and the health and wellbeing of their canine companions is often a major priority for their owners.”
Sarah Male, registered veterinary nurse from Clent Hills Vets in Hagley said: “The sheer number of shoe boxes dropped off at our three practices was overwhelming. Being able to give pets and their owners living on the streets a box of essential items plus some treats was an incredibly rewarding things to do.”