At first, he was just volunteering with another group of veterinarians provide medical care for the pets of homeless people in California, but he soon found his passion using his profession into helping the less fortunate. Meet Dr. Kwane Stewart.
Stewart realized pets of the homeless community need more access to affordable medical care. In 2011, the veterinarian decided to set up a table at a soup kitchen and see if anyone would come by for a free vet care for their pets.
To his surprise, he treated about 15 animals in just one day.
“That first experience was one of the most rewarding moments for me,” Stewart told GoFundMe, which gave the veterinarian the moniker and award ‘Street Vet’ during the February GoFundMe Hero honor. “When you give back, there is something you get in return that feels much larger. I knew I wanted to keep doing it.”
Since then, for almost a decade now, Stewart has been travelling around California to treat animals who could use medical assistance for free. He usually spend time walking down alleyways with a bag full of medical supplies.
In an interview with Today, he said he typically treat ear infections, flea infestations and mild arthritis. Most of the cases would only require a simple vaccine, but he noted that there were also some animals who needed surgery.
“I don’t ever want to have to turn anybody away,” he told GoFundMe. “The look on people’s faces when they get their pets back, especially after a surgery or a life-saving procedure – those are the moments I’ll remember forever.”
He has already raised more than $47,000, which exceeded his original goal of $10,000.
“Anyone has the power to help. You can volunteer at a rescue shelter. You can donate money or time. As that generosity spreads, it helps fuel the positive energy in the world.”