A Vet Student Opened A Free Clinic For The Dogs Of The Homeless – Changing Their Lives

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It’s a sad sight for many wandering around larger cities. The homeless on the streets looking for a way to keep warm and just get a bite to eat. It may be even more difficult if there are two mouths to feed – especially if the second is of the canine variety.

 

Ruby Shorrock asked herself this question when she was in veterinary school at 22. How do the homeless feed and get medical care for their dogs when they can barely care for themselves?

 

She looked into the matter and found that no hostels in Glasgow, Scotland, where she was studying, allowed dogs. Meaning that they were almost always without shelter.

 

trusty_paws_homeless_clinic_4Source: Karen Gorden/Trusty Paws

 

The student heard about a program in Nottingham that offered free veterinary care to the homeless, and so she decided to create one in Glasgow. That’s how, in 2014, Trusty Paws was born.

 

The fourth-year students set up a clinic offering free microchipping, vaccinations, bedding and clothing to the homeless population.

 

trusty_paws_homeless_clinic_3Source: Karen Gorden/Trusty Paws

 

A man named Michael who was living on the streets at the time, explained to BBC what it meant to him to have his furry friend with him.

 

I know it sounds stupid, but I just wanted somebody to talk to and the puppy does it for me. He just sits there with you and he’s dead loyal. I just love him to bits… He doesn’t suffer. He’s better than me, put it that way. He’s guaranteed a meal. I’m not.

 

trusty_paws_homeless_clinic_1Source: Karen Gorden/Trusty Paws

 

They run on public donation and supplies. Trusty Paws partnered up with The Simon Community, who offer those in need help to get off the streets for good.

 

Lorraine McGrath, chief executive at the Glasgow Simon Community, explained how much of an impact dogs can have on their moral:

 

Homelessness is an extremely isolating, lonely and frightening experience. Basically they become the one constant, the one positive relationship in their lives. They give a sense of purpose, a sense of meaning to each day. It’s someone for them to care for and to have responsibility for.

 

trusty_paws_homeless_clinic_2Source: Karen Gorden/Trusty Paws

 

The program has been a huge success, and now that Shorrock is done with her studies, she has taken on a role as a trustee while she practices at another local clinic.

 

Trusty Paws also offers an amazing learning experience for veterinary students to work under the supervision of a fully-licensed vet.

 

trusty_paws_homeless_clinic_5Source: Karen Gorden/Trusty Paws

 

The organization is a win for all involved, and they have managed to open another location in London. If you would like to help donate to their cause, you can do so with supplies or funds here.

 

H/t: BBC News

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