By Elias Marat
A kind-hearted veterinarian has devoted the last nine years to offering medical care to pets belonging to homeless people across California, earning the title of “The Street Vet.”
Dr. Kwane Stewart began offering his free services back in 2011, when the amount of animals being surrendered to his veterinary clinic reached critical mass thanks to the recession.
At that point, Dr. Kwane decided to make his own sacrifice by bringing his veterinary supplies to a soup kitchen event in the poverty-blighted Central Valley city of Modesto, California.
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So this striking white Pitty is “Lex Luthor”. A villain to Superman but a savior to this lady. Lex is her protector while she’s homeless on the streets. 🐕🙏🏽 He won’t let anyone come near her or her things and has saved her multiple times. He was sweet from a distance (six feet was as close as we could get). We gave her some flea meds and supplies and chew toys for Lex. He was very grateful (from a distance). 😁 #thestreetvet #givingseason #vettechlife🐾💉 #pitbullprotection
After successfully treating 15 animals in a single day, Dr. Kwane knew he had found a new purpose in life. He told GoFundMe:
“About 25% of our homeless population own a pet, and I knew that if I set up a table at a soup kitchen I could help a small group of animals.
So that’s what I did. I called over anyone who was holding their pet and told them I’d take a look and vaccinate or treat their pet if I could.”
“Bettering the lives of animals through education and awareness is truly my calling … I’m honored to be a voice speaking on their behalf.”
As his Instagram account states:
However, Dr. Kwane is also fulfilling an important mission for the unhoused population who often lack any form of companionship or stable familial ties.
Since that first day, Dr. Kwane has devoted his spare time to traversing the city streets and alleyways of the West Coast in order to treat pets belonging to the unhoused. He claims that he has helped to treat over 400 animals.
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Puppy scrapbook!!! Elizabeth and her puppy Nikon had been living on the streets off and on for a few months. Nikon had an injured leg and she couldn’t afford follow up vet visits. Dr. Kwane and Genesis were able to diagnosis, vaccinate and give some treats. #thestreetvet #puppyscrapbook #vetlife🐾 #vettechlife #streetheroes
And while small procedures have been able to be treated with just the supplies he carries around, some dogs and cats have required intensive surgery and operations—and Dr. Kwane has even covered the costs.
To that end, Dr. Kwane set up a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to raise money to support his mission. This month, the online fundraising site officially named him the GoFundMe Hero of February—and he’s raised over $36,000 of his $45,000 goal.
Dr. Kwane explained:
I don’t ever want to have to turn anybody away.
The look on people’s faces when they get their pets back, especially after a surgery or a life-saving procedure—those are moments I’ll remember forever.
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