Street vet: “Helping homeless dogs changed my life”
After seeing a sick pup living on the streets, Jade Statt vowed to stop animals suffering
Coming back from C a girlie night out in London’s Soho in August 2016, Jade Statt was left devastated after walking past a rough sleeper and his sick dog. Unable to shake the image of the suffering pup, the 38-year-old vet vowed to help.
And four months after seeking approval from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Jade starting going out most evenings and weekends with a rucksack full of medication and snacks to treat homeless dogs on the street.
Jade, who lives in London with her husband, Adam, 38, and their two huskies, says, “I knew I had to do something to change the way that animals on the streets are cared for.
“Homeless people can’t afford to go to the vets and they are scared to visit charities in case their pet gets taken away.”
Jade started Streetvet alongside fellow vet Sam Joseph, 31, in January 2017. So far, they’ve treated over 100 dogs around London, Brighton, Bristol and Cambridge, thanks to funding from well-wishers.
Jade says, “I wasn’t able to find the sick dog from my night out, despite searching. But I was determined to help others and make a difference, so I’d pound the streets looking for other sickly puppies. On the street, I’d give them a health check, ensuring they were wormed and vaccinated, and that they didn’t have fleas. I’d diagnose infections and give antibiotic tablets and cream, vaccination injections and clip claws.
“Then, after meeting Sam through Facebook, we decided to set up Streetvet alongside our regular veterinary jobs. Now we have several drop-in centres where homeless people can take their ill pets.”
The team treats everything from minor ailments to lifethreatening diseases. Jade explains, “We were asked to look at a 12-year-old Staffie called Minnie because her owner was concerned about a lump on her chest. I took a biopsy on the street and the test results showed she had skin cancer. So we set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise the £480 needed for surgery and she made a full recovery.
“Bobby the Labrador is another regular patient who has arthritis. He needs daily pain relief and goes for laser acupuncture at a clinic every week.”
Jade has also gathered lots of support from volunteers, vets and food suppliers. She says, “Some people think that homeless people get a dog so that passers-by feel sorry for them and give them more money. But these pets are loved and cherished. Dogs are everything to the people we help; they provide companionship and security and the owners can’t bear for them to suffer. That’s something every dog-lover can relate to.”
Jade has treated over 100 homeless dogs
Minnie the Staffie has now made a full recovery The team has set up several drop-in centres