A veterinary team will spend Christmas Eve visiting the homeless people of Hull and tending to their dogs.

Homeless man with dogs
Image ©iStock.com/artefy

A team from the Ashby Road Veterinary Surgery in Scunthorpe, part of the Ashby Veterinary Group, will administer preventive medicine to the pets of homeless people.

Services will include basic health checks, vaccinations, nail clipping and wound dressing. Pet owners will be given pet health care advice and the dogs will be provided with treats, toys and coats.

The project is being conducted in association with the Hull Homeless and Rootless Project (HullHARP), which is providing the homeless people with food and support.

Newly qualified vet Matt Dickinson, of Ashby Road Vets, will be one of the team on hand during the evening. He was inspired to organise the project after reading an article in Veterinary Times about a vet who provided a similar service on Christmas Eve.

The selflessness of a homeless woman who, when offered any item from a shop, asked for food for her dog, also inspired him.

Mr Dickinson said: “I realised people often have this image of the homeless not caring about their animals and some people say ‘they shouldn’t have animals because they can’t look after them properly’, but that’s not true as a lot of (homeless) people put their animals before themselves. It is truly selfless.”

A social media appeal for leads, coats and treats was met with enthusiasm, with donations coming thick and fast.

“Our clients have really got behind it ­– we have had a massive response,” Mr Dickinson said.

Mars Pet Care donated an array of food items to the cause and the Ashby Veterinary Group agreed to supply all of the vaccines and microchips required.

Mr Dickinson added: “The main thing I really want to get out to our colleagues in the profession is that this (type of project) is so easy to do and the response from clients on their practice’s Facebook page will be enormous. I know ours has been.”

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