Inspirational Story of the Week: This Crew of Street Veterinarians Treat the Pets of L.A.'s Homeless
There aren’t many willing to voluntarily go out to spend the day on Skid Row, and even fewer with the goal of giving away free stuff, but Dr. Kwane Stewart, also known as “The Street Vet” is nearly famous because of it.
Kwane runs the 501(c)3 non-profit Project Street Vet, that takes donations and volunteers out onto the streets and to homeless encampments to provide free medical care for their pets, and last year they were able to help nearly 600 animals receive medical care.
It’s estimated that 10-25% of the homeless population of America own pets, for companionship, and occasionally for security. It goes without saying that many don’t have the means to take proper care of these animals, whom they often love more than anything else in the world.
In 1997 Stewart was buried in student loan debt when he graduated from the University of Colorado, before bouncing from one miserable rescue shelter to the next. Out of frustration for his career choice, he just started spending a few hours a day providing free medical care to pets of the homeless in LA.
This went on for 7 years until he had an encounter with show biz that spawned Dr. Kwane: The Street Vet, a one-season Canadian TV show that attracted pet product firms, volunteers, and philanthropists to his mission.
In 2020, he and his brother Ian started his non-profit that provides free exams, vaccines, flea medications, supplies, and information to people experiencing homelessness on how to raise their animals with the limited means they possess.
Charity organizations partner with animal clinics and Project Street Vet to open pop-up clinics where the homeless can bring in their pets for even more sophisticated medical care, as well as procedures like spaying and neutering. Project Street Vet also assists qualified pet parents with their pet’s veterinary care through financial assistance grants.
Their website produced a 2021 year-in-review which they describe as being very generous.
Their 2022 report for activities in Atlanta, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Webster, Florida, report that Project Street Vet saw and helped nearly 600 pets, as well as nearly 150 people receive financial assistance.
They rely entirely on charitable contributions, and anyone who wants to donate time or money can do so here.