Caring Welwyn veterinary nurses help look after dogs belonging to homeless
PUBLISHED: 08:00 20 February 2018
Two Welwyn veterinary practice nurses are giving up their time outside normal duties to help dogs belonging to homeless people.
Anna Wright and Sophie Bond, of the Mimram Veterinary Centre, have been volunteering with Dogs On The Streets (DOTS), an organisation that provides free veterinary care along with necessities including food, coats and collars to pets in need across London.
Holding weekly sessions at landmark locations around London such as The Strand and King’s Cross Station, Anna and Sophie provide free care such as flea treatments, microchipping and vaccinations to dogs living rough with their owners, under the direction of the duty vet.
Anna, who has been a veterinary nurse at Mimram Vets for more than 10 years, first got involved with the not-for-profit organisation in July 2017.
“I wanted to get involved because it is vital that all pets get the care they need and those living on the streets are no exception,” said Anna.
“It can be very hard for homeless dog owners to access veterinary care and being part of DOTS helps to build that bridge.
“The dogs of the homeless are often overweight and suffering with arthritis and various other issues but they are constant companions of the homeless.
“In a lot of cases, dogs are all that people of the homeless community have and it is important for us to build up trust with the owners and assure them we are here to help.”
The duo will be working on a voluntary basis whilst still working full-time in their day jobs.
Sophie, who has worked at Mimram Vets since qualifying in 2016, said: “I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer with DOTS as they have a huge positive impact on the homeless community but are fully reliant on public donations and voluntary help.
“I am honoured to be able to use my skills to make such a difference to people’s lives.
“In future, Anna and myself are looking forward to continuing to support DOTS through our volunteering and with more fundraising which we regularly carry out in-branch with the help of the rest of the Mimram Vets team.
“We want to help DOTS spread further afield, helping more and more homeless people look after their beloved dogs.”
DOTS is the first organisation to offer free vet care and essentials to the dogs belonging to homeless in and around London.
Founder of DOTS, Michelle Clark, said: “Since Anna and Sophie joined the team, their support has been amazing.
“Through their own initiative, they have started a weight management programme which has helped educate the homeless owners about their dog’s nutrition and weight welfare.
“Their engagement with the homeless community is of such a high professional standard but also with a huge element of compassion.
“I am looking forward to continuing working alongside both Anna and Sophie, as we move forward on our mission to help dogs on the streets.”
•For more information visit: www.dotslondon.co.uk