Wakefield vets take their skills and kindness out on the streets to the homeless with Street Paws

Calder Vets, which has 13 branches across south and west Yorkshire, has been supporting Street Paws since June.
Calder Vets, which has 13 branches across south and west Yorkshire, has been supporting Street Paws since June.

A Yorkshire vet practice has teamed up with an animal welfare charity to provide care and medical attention to homeless people's pets.

Calder Vets, which has 13 branches across south and west Yorkshire, has been supporting Street Paws since June.


The charity promotes animal welfare by providing free veterinary care and emergency kennel space to animals owned by people who are homeless, vulnerably housed, or other vulnerable groups severely affected by poverty.

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Once a month, members of Calder’s experienced team give up their time and head out onto the streets, often accompanied by Street Paws’ representatives, to administer support and practical aid to homeless people’s animals.


Ania Morley, a vet at Calder’s Dewsbury and Wakefield branches, who coordinates their work with Street Paws, said: “The gratitude we receive is extraordinary.

“For people who cannot afford veterinary care for their – often only – companion and family member, it is absolutely priceless.


“There is often hesitation at first. Homeless pet owners know they cannot provide the best care and are frightened their beloved animal may be taken away from them, and some of them have little trust in institutions and strangers in general.


“It takes good communication skills and patience. They often struggle to look after their own physical and mental health but, once they trust us enough to work with us, they are so relieved to know there is someone who can help.”

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Ania believes that working with the charity not only makes a huge difference to homeless people and their pets, but can also have a positive affect on the staff who take part.

She said: “Volunteering with vulnerable pets and clients is very refreshing. In this environment even very little makes a massive difference which, I believe, will also have a great effect on the well-being of the vets and nurses who volunteer their time.”

Fiona Willis, chair of trustees at Street Paws, said: “It all started in Newcastle in 2016 and Street Paws has since grown to 24 outreaches in the North East, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Wales and Northern Ireland. We have approximately 320 volunteers and currently treat 200 animals a month.

“We are also now moving into providing kennel provision in hostels as only 10 per cent of them are currently letting dogs in.


“Without the veterinary staff who support us we couldn’t provide an outreach service. Often our partner vets get involved with raising awareness and fundraising for us too.

“We are very happy to have Calder Vets supporting us and joining the Street Paws family and we hope they’re enjoying coming along and meeting our service users and their pets.”

For more information on Calder Vets, visit www.caldervets.co.uk. For more information on Street Paws, visit https://streetpaws.co.uk.