DOTS VET TEAM
Jade – The Street Vet
Anna – Vet
The best thing about being a vet is having the privilege to be able to help people look after their friends. Working with Street Vet and DOTS gives me the opportunity to extend that care outside the usual confines of the veterinary clinic.
Homelessness in the UK has more than doubled since 2010. More people are losing their homes and sleeping rough, and with them their canine companions. The bond between them is often the strongest most stable relationship they have.
I always thought if I was homeless and sharing my life with a dog, it would be heart breaking if I were unable to access affordable veterinary care.
Until homelessness can be eradicated, organisations like DOTS provide the much needed reassurance that these dogs will not suffer due to society’s failure to look after its most vulnerable members, and I am proud to be a small part of it.
Sam – Vet
I’m Sam and I am a vet working in small animal practice in North London having graduated from Bristol vet school in 2015.
During my time as a student and since qualifying as a vet I have been going out every once in a while with my stethoscope to check over the dogs of homeless people on the streets. My initial aim was to be able to give these dogs a once over and then hopefully be able to tell their owners that their dogs were healthy.However, it very quickly became clear that there were a lot of dogs living on the streets that needed veterinary care and that helping these dogs and their owners would be a huge job that would need the input of many people.
After chatting to lots of vet friends I realised that there was a real desire amongst vets to volunteer their time to help dogs on the street and so I started to try and find a way to bring the two together.
Coincidently, as Jade was “StreetVetting” in one part of London myself and others were “StreetVetting” in another part. Jade and I very quickly crossed paths and decided that working together would be a fantastic opportunity to pool our resources to make a real difference.
I am very excited to be working with DOTS on this project and I think working with a team of like-minded vets supported by the passion and drive of Michelle, we can really help to make a difference to the lives of homeless pooches and their humans.
Ruth – Vet
When I qualified as a vet in 1989, I knew that I would end up working in charity practice. Having worked for the RSPCA, PDSA and Blue Cross, I’ve helped a lot dogs owned by people in vulnerable situations as well as those on benefits and generally unable to afford private veterinary fees.
I started working specifically with homeless people and their dogs in the late 90s in a scheme that provided free preventative health care for dogs owned by homeless and vulnerably housed people. This was set in a clinic environment and owners had to bring their dogs in. Having moved around in various jobs over the years, I’m now in a teaching role, supporting the next generation of veterinary and veterinary nursing students, which doesn’t require me to do any clinical work.
I missed being able to support people look after their much loved companions. I became aware of BIAB in September 2016 and became a strong twitter friend. When Michelle started talking about a Dog Station, I knew I had to be involved. I am so pleased to have been invited along to support Michelle, Jade and the rest of the team. We meet people and their dogs on the street, in a non threatening way and build up a trust that is so important for the dogs and their owners- sometimes having to walk through a door is the worst thing. At Dog Station, owners can just turn up with their dog. The dogs get a treat and a hairdo and a check-up and the owners get support to keep their canine friend healthy and safe.
Kimberly – Trainer
Kimberly Freeman has been a leading dog industry expert and pet professional for 14 years both in the UK and USA. Kimberly has experience ranging from helping family pets to rehabilitating dogs after disasters (her speciality being rescue animals and aggression). Kimberly is the founder and head trainer at http://www.citysitstay.com , where she provides private and group dog training lessons for dogs of all ages. She is also the founder and CEO of http://www.citydogexpert.com , a dog lifestyle website dedicated for urban dogs and their owners. Kimberly is an avid animal fosterer and volunteers with several animal rescue groups as a foster mum, dog expert and home checker. Kimberly also works as a professional actress and voice over artist both on stage and screen. She leads a rather eclectic life with dogs by day and acting by night and wouldn’t change it for the world.
DOTS BACK OFFICE TEAM
I think calling myself a crazy dog lady would be an accurate description. I grew up with dogs as the family pet, from Alsatians to Staffies and I’m now a humum to Rupert the Mini Dachshund.
An ideal day out for me when I was a child would often involve me begging my mum to take me to the local dog shelters where I would sit on the floor, the bars between us, just chatting to them or poking my fingers through to give a stroke.
In adult life, if I am walking down the street and I see a dog on the end of a lead walking on the other side of the road towards me, I will often find some sort of reason to cross paths with it to say hello. When passing a dog, my husband often points out that ‘I’m making that strange clicking noise again’ as I extend out a friendly hand to their nose.
A few years ago I volunteered for Crisis at Christmas, specifically in the dog centre where the homeless with dogs would register to stay for the week. Although in many ways heartbreaking, seeing the love between the dogs and their owners was beautiful. The owners weren’t allowed to stay in the same room as the dogs overnight, so they had to trust us, the ones assigned to the dog room to take good care of them. The owners were fidgety and lost without their fur babies, the fur babies equally so.
So with a background in digital marketing spanning over 10 years, and finding out about DOTS through Jade, one of Rupert’s vets, the moment I saw the request for a volunteer blogger I jumped to it! I love writing and storytelling, I guess as a marketer you have to be good at engaging people. So to have the opportunity to tell such wonderful stories about London street dogs and the work of DOTS is the perfect combination. I am so very inspired by Michelle and the team, it’s an absolute privilege to be involved in such important work.
I have my own blog – www.vickygooden.com – where I write a bit about wellbeing too, another passion of mine.
Luke – Design/Web Admin
My name is Luke aka @LCXCII on twitter, I live in London and I have always had a passion for Art & Design since I was little. For the last 5-6 years I have been doing Design & IT jobs which is great fun.
I got my start volunteering at Sue Ryder for about 6 months in 2013 which was thoroughly enjoyable and I have been interested in getting involved with other non-profit projects/charities since.
Just last year I got involved initially with @breakfastinabag through my dad @keefymc who volunteers with the project. I produced a poster for the BIAB Christmas event and then DOTS began and I was happy to get involved and design the flyer for the first Doggy Station!
After the success and growth of DOTS, Michelle needed a website developed/designed for DOTS (this website!) and I was excited to do it. We went live on April 1st and I have helped maintain the website since then as well as designing the recent business cards and posters.
I have great admiration for what Michelle does and I am delighted to do more in the future to help creatively.