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Norwich’s street pets get their own vets

PUBLISHED: 12:20 11 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:20 11 March 2020

Volunteer vets will be going out in Norwich to help treat the pets of homeless people. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Volunteer vets will be going out in Norwich to help treat the pets of homeless people. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

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A new branch of a national charity dedicated to making sure homeless people’s pets are cared for has launched in Norwich.

Claire Willis will be heading up the volunteers with Street Vet. Picture: Ella WilkinsonClaire Willis will be heading up the volunteers with Street Vet. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

StreetVet Norwich provides free veterinary care, including general check-ups and vaccinations, to homeless people's pets.

Set up by Dr Claire Willis, 28, a vet at Taverham Vets, the group is the 17th in the country to be established and follows similar branches in Bristol, Cambridge and Bournemouth.

In order to operate, the branch has registered as its own practice and gained the support of three other practices which will provide assistance and small procedures at a reduced cost. The group also has a 43-strong team of volunteer vets and veterinary nurses who will be heading out into the city to provide on-the-street-care to pets.

Dr Willis said she had been overwhelmed by the response she had received from fellow vets when she put out a call for volunteers.

Hannah Watson and Els DeVrijer fom Street Vet Norwich who have been visitng homeless people in the city to provide vetinary care to their pets. Picture: Steet Vet NorwichHannah Watson and Els DeVrijer fom Street Vet Norwich who have been visitng homeless people in the city to provide vetinary care to their pets. Picture: Steet Vet Norwich

She said: 'We've got 43 vets and nurses from lots of different practices in and around Norfolk: 43 is an incredible number of volunteers, almost too many to manage.

'We're going to be limiting the number of people who go out each week because we don't want to be intimidating.'

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She said the group was also working with The People's Picnic and Help for Homeless Hounds Norwich, in order to gain the trust of homeless pet owners in the city.

Street Vet Norwich have been out in Norwich caring for the dogs and pets of the city's homeless. Picture; Street Vet NorwichStreet Vet Norwich have been out in Norwich caring for the dogs and pets of the city's homeless. Picture; Street Vet Norwich

Dr Willis said the group's work went beyond simply providing veterinary care to animals living on the street. She said: 'We've heard of people refusing health care for themselves as they worry about being away from their dog so we will also provide temporary accommodation for pets whilst their owner is away.

'Really our work doesn't stop with the animals, we want to support their owners too.

'Often their dogs are their lifeline and provide them with unconditional love and support they otherwise wouldn't have so we need to foster that bond.'

Anyone who wishes to support StreetVet Norwich can buy an item from the group's Amazon wish list which can be found here.

Street Vet Norwich, provides free veterinary care, including general check ups and vaccinations to homeless people’s pets. Picture: Street Vet NorwichStreet Vet Norwich, provides free veterinary care, including general check ups and vaccinations to homeless people’s pets. Picture: Street Vet Norwich

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