Pet Gazette Pet Gazette July 2017 - Page 46

46 | VET GAZETTE | DOTS DOGS ON THE STREET Forget men in capes and tights. These real life superheroes give up their time to help dogs, and their families, on the streets of London. Meet Michelle Clark who runs DOTS LONDON (Dogs On The Streets, London), providing outreach programmes supporting dogs on the streets, and Jade Statt, known as Street Vet, who provides veterinary support to DOTS www.vetgazette.biz face that local homeless people know. After that I began going out on my own, using the name Street Vet.” Shortly afterwards, Jade was introduced to Michelle Clark, who runs outreach programmes to support dogs on the street. Michelle explains: “I’d spent five years providing collars, food and meeting basic needs for street dogs belonging to homeless people. If any of the dogs were really ill, we used to take them down to the Blue Cross in an emergency. Then, the end of last year, I took care of a street dog because their homeless owner was really poorly. Due to circumstances around that I felt that more was needed for the owners and the dogs. I started thinking that I could get professionals together, as part of my support for homeless people, such as a trainer for socialisation issues, a groomer and a vet. “Luckily, through mutual friends, I was put in touch with Jade who had initiated hy: I n 2016, Jade Statt was struggling to find voluntary positions. She had worked in small animal practices since graduating from Glasgow Vet School in 2002 and wanted to use her free time to make a difference. After hearing that an Exeter based hairdresser, Josh Coombes, was offering free haircuts to people without homes, she was inspired to do something similar. Jade decided to provide assistance to the street dogs kept as pets by homeless people. Jade says: “I met up with Josh and told him about my plans. He was really encouraging and helped me to kick start the volunteering. It took a while and I had quite a lot of meetings including a conversation with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to find out what guidelines I had to follow in order to safely start to be a vet on the streets of London. In October 2016, I first started by accompanying Josh, as he’s a July 2017