Sheffield vets have joined an animal charity at a soup kitchen to provide free of charge veterinary care to animals owned by people who are homeless in the city.
The team held their first session with Street Paws on Wednesday night, hailing the night a ‘success’ after they were able to treat two dogs at the Soup Kitchen on Kings Street, despite concerns that many might not turn up.
They were lead by Hannah Mason MRCVS, of Abbeymoor Vets in Hillsborough, who is also a Team Leader for Street Paws.
She was joined by Cat Henstridge MRCVS, of Peak Vets in Woodseats, Bethany Dixon MRCVS, who studied at All Saints School and works at Spire Vets in Chesterfield and veterinary nurse Helen Morley, also of Spire Vets, who studied at Aston Comprehensive.
Vet Cat Henstridge, said: “The CEO went round Sheffield before the night talking to homeless people and encouraging them to bring there animals along.
“Despite our concerns that no dogs would come, because of their owners being worried we would take them away, two turned up!
“They were both given a full health assessment, vaccinations, worm and flea treatment and warm dog coats to help protect them from the winter chill.
“One also had bad dental disease and hopefully we will be able to stay in touch with his owner and arrange for him to have treatment at a Highfield Vets in the city, who have agreed to support us and take on surgical patients.”
Founded in Newcastle in April 2016 by Michelle Southern, Street Paws provide monthly sessions in 19 cities and towns in the UK, but are continually expanding into new areas, working with groups and agents in areas to reach out to local communities.
In the past year they have treated over 100 pets, which include dogs, cats and even a snake, on fundraising of just £12,000.
Both volunteer vets and veterinary nurses will be at the soup kitchen on the first Wednesday of every month to help the pets of the homeless and vulnerable in Sheffield.
The team will change each month, as there is a waiting list of volunteers in the surrounding community who are keen to get involved.
Cat added: “We can hopefully build up connections with the homeless and eventually they may allow us to eventually take the animals away for the day for further treatment.
“It has been an eyeopener, but has been great to help. Its a perfect opportunity for veterinary professionals to do their bit for the homeless.”
There are now talks of setting up something similar in places such as Rotherham, Barnsley and possibly Mansfield in hopes of helping even more animals on the streets.
To find out more information, or to donate visit the Street Paws website here.