Street Paws promotes animal welfare by providing free veterinary care for animals owned by people who are homeless, vulnerably housed or otherwise severely affected by poverty. Our team of volunteer vets and veterinary nurses run a monthly outreach session in Newcastle City Centre, where we engage with rough sleepers and provide pet health checks, vaccinations, microchipping, and pet supplies. We work with local veterinary practices to arrange and fund operations when needed. We have supported 39 animals this year in Newcastle so far.
To address the complex needs of the pet’s owners, we have trained our teams to adopt a partnership approach to help rough sleepers access local charities including North East Homeless and Changing Lives. We are also working to address the issue of homeless people refusing to go into temporary accommodation (as this means leaving their pets alone on the streets) by working with the local cat and dog shelter to fund access to overnight kennel space. This gets people off the streets and gives them somewhere safe to sleep. The incredible impact we can have by working as part of a multi-agency team inspires us to continue the work we do.
Winter is a particularly difficult time for rough sleepers and their ‘street paws’, with temperatures dropping and very few hostels allowing entry for those with animals. Our team would use this funding to be able to give our ‘street paws’ winter coats, beds and veterinary supplies to keep them warm and safe at night.