Purina has announced a programme of support for UK charity StreetVet which is facing unprecedented demand for its services. In addition to winning over 70,000 of funding with the Purina Better with Pets prize in 2021 and again in 2023, StreetVet’s clients will also be benefiting from therapeutic and maintenance petfood provided free of charge by Purina and there is additional funding for some new projects during 2024.

StreetVet supports people and their pets experiencing homelessness across Britain, providing essential veterinary care and services to those otherwise unable to access them. Co-founder, Jade Statt, recently highlighted that demand for StreetVet services had increased by over 300% which she attributes to challenges around cost of living and other economic factors.

In a recent podcast discussion with Libby Sheridan Veterinary Scientific Affairs Manager at Purina Petcare, Jade admitted that the charity is now helping people who never imagined they would have become homeless, “What many people forget is that those experiencing homelessness have often owned the pet prior to becoming homeless and the pet is a link to a happier time in their lives. By keeping their pet, they often cannot get access to hostel accommodation, as less than 10% accept pets and rejecting a hostel place on this basis often means they are considered to be ‘voluntarily or intentionally homeless’. In turn that means they often can’t access healthcare, benefits, or other programmes available in the hostel environment.”

Harriet Morley, Purina’s Specialist Channel Director for the Northern Region says her team has been moved to hear the stories of people StreetVet has been able to help, “Homelessness in the UK has risen by 14% in the last year, and we consider it a privilege to be able to work with StreetVet to help keep people and their much loved pets together under the most testing conditions.”

StreetVet has won Purina’s Better with Pets prize twice, receiving over 70,000 of funding. The prize was established in 2018 and aims to fund organisations that create positive change through the power of the pet-human bond. They first won the award in 2021 to help establish the Accredited Hostel Scheme, enabling more hostels to become pet-friendly. The 2023 prize was awarded to support the charity’s veterinary services in the face of demand.

Jade has also been highlighting that the Better with Pets prize provides a structured mentoring and networking programme which helps founders to grow and develop their charity, “As part of the programme you get a mentor and take part in group sessions, which helps you to take a different perspective and think strategically about the decisions you want to make moving forwards.”

As well as still talking to her programme mentor, Jade was able to connect with charity founders around the world and, as a result, StreetVet is now being approached by many of them to discuss whether a similar scheme could work in their countries, with the potential to bring about positive change internationally.

Harriet explains that this is a key part of the Better with Pets programme, which is really valued by start up and growing charities and reflects Purina’s commitment, not just to supporting short term needs, but also bringing about lasting change for the benefit of all.

During the podcast, Libby and Jade discussed how veterinary professionals who volunteer with StreetVet benefit from doing so. Jade said, “Volunteering and giving back is incredibly gratifying but it’s more than that…you’re able to just be a vet or a nurse helping a pet and their human. People tell us it helps them remember why they wanted to do the job in the first place.”

Purina’s Libby Sheridan has commented on how much she appreciates working with StreetVet, “This initiative makes such a difference to the lives of people and pets and is also such an inspiring example of the compassionate care offered by the veterinary profession. We’re so proud to be able to support Jade and the fantastic StreetVet team.”

The podcast can be heard at https://open.spotify.com/episode/44O5ax83xay3Ht8l02MJPf or watch the video of the podcast at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTmC...ature=youtu.be
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