StreetPet is working to help the HOMELESS and their PETS
There is no doubt in Val’s mind that Charlie is her carer. The 57-year-old has a gambling and alcohol addiction and lives on the street with her faithful dog Charlie. The much-loved Maltese Terrier cross is used to travelling around town on the back of Val’s cycle.
“The joy I get from taking him out is not matched by anything,” she says. “He’s one of the happiest dogs in the world.”
On Thursday, May 21, Val and Charlie were picked up by Chris Cleary from the StreetMed organisation and taken to see a vet as part of the charity’s newest outreach service called StreetPets – Paws for the Homeless.
They were taken to the Greencross Vets next to Petbarn at Castle Hill where Charlie was given a thorough check, was inoculated and had to have some teeth removed.
“He’s like my son.,’ said Val.“He is irreplaceable to me. He alleviates my stress and keeps me out of trouble when I am drinking.” She says he is her number one priority.
“I am poor because I am a chronic gambler and drinker. But I never gamble his food money away. He never goes without.”
On Thursday she was grateful for the care he had received after seven of Charlie’s rotting teeth were removed and an abscess treated.
“I want to thank StreetMed. What they are doing for me today is unbelievable. Chris always asks me how I am. I am so unused topeople asking how I am. They usually ignore me.”
Chris Cleary said the idea for StreetPets had come from her 13-year-old son Adam who wanted to help the many pets whose owners were homeless.
She thanked Greencross for offering free services to StreetPet and to Petbarn for offering animal supplies.
“Collectively we want to make a difference to the street pets. We have seen a lot of dogs and cats with their owners on the street. We can help with worming, food and other needs.”
StreetMed has been working with the homeless in Western Sydney for nearly six years and seen thousands of people in that time.
To find out more about StreetPet or to donate email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0475 754 574.