by Caitlin O’Kane: Dr. Kwane Stewart has been working overtime…
When his work day ends, the San Diego-based veterinarian does not stop caring for animals. Stewart, who has been a vet for over 20 years, has developed a passion for helping the homeless and their pets. And a few years ago, he found himself stopping to treat pets living on the street.
“When I had spare time or if I happened to be driving home and saw a pet and owner in need, I would offer some assistance,” Stewart explains on his GoFundMe page. “A quick check up, maybe some medication or food…it wasn’t a lot but sometimes giving a little can make all the difference.”
As he walked the streets of San Diego, Stewart would stop to give free check-ups to homeless peoples’ pets. Word about his mission to help animals spread, and he ended up getting his own reality TV show, which follows him to other cities in California, where offers free treatment for the pets he sees on the streets.
With his show “The Street Vet,” which airs on Canada’s Cottage TV, Stewart hopes to “raise awareness and encourage others to give a little back, too.” But despite the widespread attention, his mission does face some challenges.
“Some of the pets I come across need treatment (life-saving in some cases) that can be very costly and it’s hard to ever say no to a pet that’s suffering,” Stewart explains on the GoFundMe page he created to help raise money for these animals.
The money raised could go to minor treatments, like an ear infections, flea treatments or vaccines, which can be around $100, or more serious cases like a tumor removal or dental, which can be up to $1,500. “All donations will go to the care of these pets and will surely make a difference in the owners lives as well,” Stewart writes.
He shared a story about one dog he treated named Dinker, who has a rare condition that will require surgery. Stewart and the pup’s owner, Walter, are trying to make the procedure happen, but it’s very expensive. With over $60,000 raised so far, Stewart hopes to soon help Dinker and other homeless pets just like him get the treatments they need.
“Working on the streets I’ve experienced some of the most genuine stories of love, compassion, struggle and hope,” he says. “It’s been life changing and truly inspiring.”