Everyday Heroes: The Compassionate ‘Street Vet’ Providing Free Care For Homeless Pets
As the old saying goes, not all heroes wear capes. Instead, there are some heroes that roam the streets of their local communities, providing free medical assistance to homeless pets. One hero like this is Dr. Kwane Stewart, an experienced veterinarian who is consistently on the lookout for street pets that need healthcare.
Many refer to this modern-day hero as ‘The Street Vet.’
Dr. Stewart Kwane is on a Mission to Care for Homeless Pets
Dr. Kwane Stewart, a 49-year-old veterinarian from California, takes it to the streets with his over 20 years of veterinarian experience to try and make a difference in his community. Whenever Stewart has time to himself and sees homeless pets in need, he provides his years of expertise to help them.
Stewart has made it his mission to help the people and pets who lie on the outskirts of society.
Kwane Keeps His Medical Bag Handy at All times
Kwane will often mean look for pets in need on his way home from work, and even when he is not working, he always has his medical bag handy, ready to help whenever he sees a pet that requires healthcare support.
Stewart always make sure to carry his primary tools around, such as his stethoscope, allowing him to check for and diagnose any issues early on.
‘The Street Vet’ Takes Care of ‘Crazy Girl’
While Stewart has taken care of many pets throughout his time as the ‘Street Vet,’ one of his most famous patients was Crazy Girl, a dachshund from San Diego, California. Crazy Girl was owned by a man named Mike, who had been experiencing homelessness in the area for just over two years.
Stewart was able to treat Crazy Girl and her colon cancer, while talking to Mike to hear more about his story.
Compassion, Struggle, Hope, and Love
Stewart says that he has experienced many emotions while working out on the streets, and has heard some of the most genuine stories of compassion, struggle, hope, and love. Overall, it has been a life- changing experience for Stewart, which is why he continues to do it so many years later.
Of course, it helps that Stewart was raised by his mother to be an animal lover and animal advocate.
Kwane Treats It All
With so many years of experience as a veterinarian, Kwane is able to treat it all. He’ll often deal with animals that have bad teeth, flea infestations, ear infections, skin infections, allergies, and sometimes arthritis.
He does his best to find the right remedies and medications for these pets so they can live happy and healthy lives with their loving owners.
Not Only Does He Care for the Pets, but the Owners As Well
Beyond providing treatment for animals, Kwane also notes that his work helps the owners. Their pets provide them a sense of hope and security, and making sure their pets are happy and healthy is the best way to keep them in good spirits.
He will also answer any questions the homeless owners might have regarding how to continuously care for their animals, even with their very limited resources.
Kwane Provides an Ear for the Downtrodden
Stewart makes it a point to provide an ear for any homeless person he helps out. Not only will he answer any questions they might have about there pets’ needs, but he will also provide an ear, listening to stories about their struggles and stories with their furry friends.
Kwane notes that many people he meets are simply looking for a normal life, and many of them value the companionship that he and their pets can provide.
He Has Been Personally Affected In the Process
The process has personally Kwane in many ways, and has motivated him to inspire others to help. He first began treating pets at the local soup kitchen, setting up a small table to examine pets and vaccinate them if the owners would allow for it.
Once he realized the need for his services, he knew he had found his calling. As a boy from New Mexico who dreamed of rescuing stray animals, he was in the right place.
“A Life-Changing Experience,” says Kwane
Kwane says that the process has been truly life-changing. Hearing the struggles of so many has put his own life into perspective. Many people have a predisposition of the homeless, though Stewart has learned that many of them are simply compassionate and motivated people who have dealt with a negative experience that led them there.
Knowing that he is helping in such an important way has inspired him to continue forward.
“Giving a Little Can Make All The Difference”
We all know how good it feels to give, and Kwane lives by that mantra. This Venture first began as a way to teach his young son the importance of helping others and giving back to the community.
However, he soon realized that his services were making a larger impact than he ever imagined. Becoming the Street Vet taught him that these animals provide hope, love, and security for their owners.
Kwane Shares His Journey on his TV Series
To challenge the preconceived notions of homeless people, Stewart started a TV show, which he called ‘The Street Vet.’ Stewart described it as a “passion project” he made with his brother, which has blown up and inspired others to get out in their community and help.
At this point, his show has only been aired in smaller markets throughout Canada, Eastern Europe, and China.
He Hopes He Can Bring Awareness to the Joys of Helping
One of Stewart’s Main goals with the show is to bring awareness to the homeless population and encourage everyday people to give back to their communities. Whether you are rich or poor, there are so many ways to help others in need, from working down at your local soup kitchen to donating to larger charities.
And, as the great saying goes, if you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone.
Kwane Has Been Going Strong Since 2007
Stewart has been going strong since 2007. He started out practicing in Modesto, California back in 2007. It was here that he ran an animal hospital before the Great Recession hit. Soon after, he realized that he needed to do more to help others.
From Sacramento to San Francisco to Los Angeles to San Diego, Stewart has made his way across the state, providing his veterinary expertise to those who most need it.
So Far, He Has Treated 400 Street Animals
Over the course of his ‘Street Vet’ journey, Kwane has treated around 400 animals. Throughout this time, he realized that almost everything he thought he knew about the homeless population was false.
Of course, with so many homeless pets in need of help, Stewart is realizing he can’t do this on his own.
With So Many Out-Of-Pocket Expenses, Kwane Needs Help
One of the main problems is that Kwane pays for the necessary food and medicine out of pocket, and as a man who is still paying off his student loans, he needs help to continue helping others.
For this reason, Kwane started a GoFundMe, where everyday people can help.
His GoFundMe Is Supporting Expensive Animal Treatments
Kwane offers many different ways to support his mission, but donating is one of the most helpful.
Even giving a little bit can make all the difference, as sometimes pets only require a quick checkup, a bit of food, or over-the-counter medication.
Even Simple Medical Needs Can Cost Hundreds
The problem is that even the simplest medical needs can cost hundreds of dollars. Something like a vaccine or a base-level flea treatment can be expensive.
However, there are also many animals that require more expensive treatments, such as tumor removals, which can cost thousands of dollars.
Total Medical Costs for Many Sick Animals Can Add Up to $1,500 or More
Stewart said that the total costs for many of these sick homeless pets can add up to $1,500 or more, and clearly, the owners cannot afford to pay for these expensive operations.
Dental operations tend to be very pricey, meaning saving a little furry friend can add up quickly.
This Was the Case for Dinker
For Dinker, an adorable homeless dog owned by Walter, this was the case. Unfortunately, Dinker had an extremely rare condition that required expensive surgery from a veterinarian specialist.
Kwane is trying everything he can to provide that care for Dinker, though he knows it is a wildly expensive procedure with extensive animal hospital aftercare. Walter and Dinker have a bond like no other, and Kwane wants to do everything in his power to maintain it.
Kwane Wants Every Animal to Receive the Attention They Deserve
Kwane’s ultimate goal is to make sure that every animal in need requires the care they deserve, so they can continue living their best lives while providing hope, love, and companionship for their owners.
With help from the community and outside funding, Kwane will be able to assist these animals in ways he never thought possible.
5-10% of the Homeless Population Owns Pets
Many studies show that 5-10% of the homeless population owns pets. A 2019 study from professors at UC Riverside and USV found that around 12% of homeless people in Los Angeles County owned pets.
Pet ownership is often associated with improved mental health and decreased loneliness among the unsheltered population.
These Animals are Often Ignored by Shelters
Unfortunately, many homeless pet owners are denied shelter services, as they refuse to give their pets up.
In the same way, pets out on the streets are often ignored by residents and public agencies, just like most of their owners. Though Stewart turned a blind eye at one point, it is now clear that treating them has become his passion.
All Donations Are Greatly Appreciated
Dr. Kwane put out a GoFundMe page to raise donations, which cover the expensive surgeries and general animal care needed by his four-legged friends.
Kwane greatly appreciates all donations, big and small.
Outreach from the Community is Nothing Short of Positive
From his GoFundMe page to social media to nnationwide news networks, the response to Kwane’s work has been nothing short of positive.
Many know that his destiny is being fulfilled in helping homeless pet owners who provide unconditional love for their furry friends.
Animals Offer Hope, Love, and Security
Many homeless pet owners say that their pets are what keep them centered and motivate them to rise up and find the help they need.
With good samaritans like Kwane, the homeless population of California can continue enjoying the hope, love, and security that their pets offer.