Project Street Vet: Atlanta’s newest guardian for disadvantaged pets

‘Our mission is to provide free veterinary care to all pets of the unhoused in Atlanta’

The Atlanta Humane Society rescued 27 beagles on Thursday. .The dogs were relinquished from a breeding facility for animal testing."The dogs were living in confined, unsanitary spaces likely with little socialization from humans," an AHS representative said.The AHS is looking for financial support from the community. Donations can be made at looking to adopt a beagle can sign up for pet alerts on their website

According to the latest data from the 2020 census, as reported by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, 3,240 people were homeless at any given night in Atlanta in 2020. An estimated 10-25% of those suffering from homelessness in the city also own pets, Pets of the Homeless reported. It’s a significant portion of the city’s population that, despite having less than most, still cares for their canine and feline friends with love and generosity.

Now Project Street Vet is here to help lighten the load for those with little furry friends in need.

“I’m thrilled about our expanding geographical footprint, including in Atlanta,” Project Street Vet founder Dr. Kwane Stewart told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “For over a decade, it was just me doing what I could in California. Now, thanks to support from Fetch Pet Insurance, the dream I had years ago is starting to come true – growing our service so one day, any pet, no matter their circumstance or where they live, will have access to veterinary care.”

Project Street Vet is an ever-expanding non-profit public charity dedicated to providing free veterinary care for people experiencing homelessness. Following a partnership with Fetch Pet Insurance, Dr. Stewart was able to take his California-based operation to Atlanta — all with hopes of one day going national.

“I could not be more honored for Dr. Kwane Stewart to place his trust in me and the local team to continue his mission,” Dr. Kristen Schmidt, who is leading the local Atlanta chapter, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “This is a service I feel called to do and could not be more passionate about. I plan to continue this work until all unhoused pets have free access to veterinary care. I am not there to judge anyone’s past or present, I am solely there to help.”

With hundreds to thousands of animals suffering from a lack of health care access in the city each year, Project Street Vet is here to fill a critical gap. The non-profit is already treating more than 60 pets as of October of this year.

“Project Street Vet’s ‘no judgment, just help’ approach to care will give Atlanta’s unhoused access to the care that their pets need day in and day out and also on a long-term basis,” the organization’s Atlanta chapter told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Despite the project being new to the city, Project Street Vet’s local leader has deep Atlanta roots.

“In addition to bringing our model of mobile care to Atlanta, we have partnered with Dr. Kristen Schmidt, who has a long history of volunteering with people experiencing homelessness. While attending the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, for example, she volunteered at a weekly pet care clinic for the unhoused, in addition to tutoring young children at the local homeless shelter.”

Getting the Atlanta chapter off the ground was no easy task, though Dr. Schmidt was certainly up for the challenge.

“Dr. Kristen Schmidt reached out in April 2022 to learn how to start her own non-profit supporting those unhoused with pets,” the chapter said. “That is when the idea of PSV Atlanta was born. From there, Dr. Kristen has worked hard behind the scenes with the PSV team, while also being a full-time mixed animal veterinarian, to start the first-ever branch of our organization. She has made great relationships and has already had a large impact in the Atlanta encampments. Dr. Kristen presented the need for services in her area and her determination and passion continues to grow the Atlanta team, caring for 10-30 pets at each visit.”

It’s that kind of dedication to the Atlanta community that makes this all possible.

“We truly live by our motto ‘No judgement. Just help,’” the chapter said. “Not everyone was dealt the same hand in life and you never know what each person is going through. While we do this work to help animals, we are also supporting the owners along the way. We encourage everyone to practice our motto for all aspects in life. You may be the one good thing that happened for that person today that made them decide to continue their fight.”

Project Street Vet runs entirely on donations, making local support paramount for success. Those looking for ways to give can donate supplies, become a sponsor and much more. To donate or otherwise support the non-profit, visit