This “Street Vet” Has Wandered the West Coast for 9 Years to Treat Homeless People’s Pets for Free

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.

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:


View this post on Instagram


They don’t have to be human to be family. 🐶🐱 #thestreetvet #petsofthehomeless #family #mykidshavefourlegs #giveback

A post shared by The Street Vet (@thestreetvet) on

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.

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:


View this post on Instagram



A post shared by Dr. Kwane Stewart (@drkwane) on

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.

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons |

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