Dr. Kwane Stewart, veterinarian and co-founder of Project Street Vet recently spoke at the Weekly Community Conversations call. You’ll be inspired as he talks about his journey from private practice veterinarian, to contemplating leaving shelter medicine behind to walking the streets solo, helping the pets of the unhoused.
After about 10 years at a private practice in the San Diego area, helping clients that could afford the majority of care, Dr. Stewart made the switch to shelter medicine and took a position as County Veterinarian at Stanislaus County Animal Shelter. That’s when a run of the mill 7-11 coffee run changed his life. He noticed that the dog of an unhoused man had an easily treatable skin condition, he vowed to come back the following day with a $3 cream for the dog. When he saw the dog a couple of weeks later he said, the dog was transformed. The gentleman he helped told him, “Thank you not ignoring me.” And that’s when the Street Vet was born.
What began as a humble one-man operation, on foot and with a small bag supplies, has expanded to be Project Street Vet. It’s a 501 (c)(3) non-profit public charity that provides free veterinary care, treatment, and support to the pets of individuals experiencing homelessness and/or housing vulnerability.
“The people on the street are just like us,” Dr. Stewart said. “An act of kindness can change someones day. But a gesture of kindness, a spontaneous random act of kindness, can change someones life.”