Street Vet Cares For Pets Of Homeless Owners For Free
For people living on the street, a pet may be their only family. It's why this doctor is so passionate about his work.
The first line of Dr. Kwane Stewart's GoFundMe campaign pitch caught our attention immediately:
"Want to join me in making a difference?"
Of course we want to join him in making a difference! At Sparkt that's what we do!
Dr. Stewart has been a veterinarian for over 20 years. For the past decade, he's been taking care of people and their pets experiencing homelessness. He cares for them right where they are, in homeless shelters, and on the streets of California, often in his hometown of San Diego, but also in LA, Sacramento and San Francisco.
Dr. Stewart treats his patients on the streets and in homeless encampments.GoFundMe Heros
Stewart's effort started out small. He volunteered to care for animals in homeless shelters. When he had some spare time or was driving home and saw a pet owner in need on the street, he'd stop and help. Maybe a quick checkup for the pet, some medicine, vaccinations or food. "It wasn't a lot but sometimes giving a little can make all the difference," said Stewart. Here he is in action on the GoFundMe Heros page:
Slowly but surely Stewart found more and more need, and started spending more of his time ministering to homeless pets and their owners on the streets and in homeless encampments. "I've mentioned this before but many people also just appreciate the conversation, someone to talk to, someone that listens," writes Stewart.
Stewart says he feels he's caring as much for the people he meets as their pets.The Street Vet GoFundMe
Inspired by his efforts, GoFundMe named Dr. Stewart their February GoFundMe Hero. The exposure lead to stories on Today and CNN. And Stewart and his assistant Genesis have a budding TV career with a show called "The Street Vet" which airs on Cottage Life Television in Canada, and can be watched on line (click here).
Dr. Stewart set up the GoFundMe campaign to help pay for his veterinary supplies and little extras, like the toys and food he and Genesis were able to hand out just before Christmas. "I've seen homeless people feed their pet before they feed themselves," he told CNN.
Donations to his GoFundMe page help Dr. Stewart buy medicine, like vaccines, to treat the pets.The Street Vet GoFundMe
Stewart is hoping the newfound attention to his work will lead to more donations, allowing him to perform surgeries on pets that need more serious medical care.
"Working on the streets I've experienced some of the most genuine stories of love, compassion, struggle and hope." said Dr. Stewart.
"It's been life changing and truly inspiring."
Talking about the TV show Stewart says "I believe the show will help raise awareness and encourage others to give a little back, too." Amen to that!