Jade Statt, a London vet, has taken it upon herself to provide veterinary treatment to dogs whose owners cannot afford a place to sleep - let alone a vet. Jade is supported by Blue Cross, who provide her with medication, antibiotics, vaccinations and flea and worm protection treatments. All of the pets she treats are registered as Blue Cross patients and referred to the charity’s Victoria animal hospital if needed.
Mark Bossley, Chief Vet at Blue Cross animal hospital in Victoria, said, “We are delighted to support Jade in helping the pets of homeless people in London. Many of these owners would struggle to otherwise get their pet treated and when Jade approached us we were more than happy to help. This new scheme adds to our existing outreach services in the capital which includes mobile clinics and animal ambulances.”
In addition to veterinary care and preventing treatments, Jade also offers microchipping - a legal requirement, and an essential tool to reunite dog and owner should the former become lost, which is always a danger when living on the streets.
Among those Jade regularly checks on are Gary Spall and his dog Lola, usually based in Covent Garden. Lola receives pain relief to help her arthritis, and is always up for a belly rub. Like many other homeless people who share their lives with a canine companion, Gary is fiercely attached to his dog.
“I don't know what I'd do without her," he says. "It'd break me if I ever lost her."
Image by Helen Yates.