Written by Debbie, from our Central Office
Being an avid animal lover, I’ve always had some concern when I see homeless animals on the streets with their owners. Not knowing how they are looked after has always niggled at me and I usually end up buying treats, food, blankets, etc in an attempt to ease my conscience so I can at least walk away knowing I may have made just a little bit of a difference to them.
In addition to my love of animals, I also care about those people who through no fault of their own have found themselves living on the streets. I was therefore naturally intrigued when during a recent visit to my local vets I spotted a notice advertising a service called ‘StreetVet’, a service that helps two of the things I care most about, (that never happens!) and so I made a mental note of it .
The very next day, a young man came into our Trinity office looking for advice as he had recently been made homeless. Sadly there is nothing unusual in this and so I advised him on how to access homeless services through Hillingdon Council. He then explained that he was more concerned about his sick, elderly dog than himself. I then had a ‘Eureka’ moment (and to be honest a bit of a ‘spooky’ moment too, I mean how often does this situation happen?) and hoping to be able to provide a solution to this problem, I logged onto the ‘StreetVet’ website and sent them an e mail. Within minutes, Jade had called me back and after collecting all of the relevant information, a Vet’s appointment was made for this young man and his canine companion, meaning that the dog was able to access the vital service he needed and his owner had a heavy weight lifted.
Two things this situation has taught me:
‘StreetVet’ may not have the solution to ending homelessness, but they provide an invaluable service to those people living on the streets who’s main companions in life are their pets.
Just because an animal is living on the street we shouldn’t make assumptions about how they are being treated, their wellbeing is often the main concern of their owner and they are cared for exceptionally well.
One thing I already knew, but this situation has reinforced in me:
Trinity do not only care for their existing residents, they provide an invaluable service to anyone who presents to them when experiencing or threatened with homelessness. By offering relevant advice, and being able to ‘think outside the box’ Trinity staff can, and do, make a big difference.