Dr. Kwane Stewart makes his way through a chain link gate. He asks a man standing near a parked RV whether he knows of any street pets in need.
The man’s name is Michael Evans. Mr. Evans immediately gets his 11-month-old pit bull, Bear. Mr. Evans and Bear are homeless.
“Sit. That’s my boy,” Mr. Evans instructs the high-energy puppy.
Dr. Stewart checks the dog. Bear has an ear infection. Dr. Stewart applies a triple treatment drop of antibiotic, anti-fungal, and steroids.
People call Dr. Stewart “The Street Vet.” He has helped the pets of homeless people in California for almost 10 years. It all started one day when he treated a man’s dog for fleas outside a convenience store. Now Dr. Stewart regularly walks Skid Row in Los Angeles. Many homeless people live there. Dr. Stewart treats animals one by one. He promises to cover all expenses.
Nearly a third of America’s homeless people live in California. And out of every three of those, two live outside. It’s estimated that in the United States, about one in every 10 homeless people has a pet. Many homeless shelters don’t allow pets. So folks often have to choose between having a roof over their heads and keeping their pups. That’s a tough choice no one wants to make.
Dr. Stewart hollers “Hello?” outside tents, makeshift structures, or campers. He looks for dog bowls or animal toys. He wears his navy scrub top with his name. He doesn’t want anyone to mistake him for animal control or other authorities.
“Sometimes I pull over and just talk,” he explains.
Words he lives by: No judgment. Just help.
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed. — Proverbs 19:17
Why? It is good to offer help to others. Sometimes that help works out in unexpected ways. It all depends on the skills God grants to the helper.