Notts project raising money to give treatment to pets of homeless people

A Notts project is raising money to provide free vet care to pets of homeless people in Nottingham.

Vets in the Community was set up in 2012 by the University of Nottingham and has helped 700 animals since it started.

It gives vaccines and flea and worming treatment to patients, as well as providing them with blankets and toys.

Dave Evans, who owns a Staffordshire Terrier cross called Baby, started using the service while selling the Big Issue and living in social housing.

“In the very beginning it was for flea and worming treatment and to get her claws clipped, it was for a general once over,” he said.

“I can’t afford vets fees and like the way they treat the animals- they’re straight up, open, honest and up front.

“When you’re on benefits and not able to do a lot, it’s a Godsend.”

He started using Vets in the Community over six months ago.

“If you haven’t got the option and have a pet, then the animal is screwed.

“There are too many people on low and no income with pets, and the animal can be suffering so it’s more than useful.”

Dave added he had considered giving up Baby at one point because could almost no longer afford to keep her, but couldn’t bring himself to do so.

“She’s one of the family, you grow attached to it.”

The project treats cats, dogs, rabbits and even the occasional ferret. PHOTO: Vets in the community

The project operates every other Wednesday at the Big Issue office on Carlton Road.

Jenny Stavisky, who runs the scheme, said: “We realised that there’s a big homeless population, and a lot of them have dogs.

“It’s really good and we have some repeat clients, they think it’s great and like to have reassurance.”

The crowdfunder appeal has now been set up by veterinary students who help to look after the animals, as a novel way to raise money.

“People become homeless for all sorts of reasons,” said Jenny.

“Some people don’t like it when they have pets, but some of them already had their pet before they became homeless.

“It could be their only friend, their best friend, the only one they trust and is really important to them.”

The project has raised more than £1,000 of its £3000 target so far, but is also asking for donations of blankets, toys and leads for animals, both new and secondhand.