Episode 4: Veterinary street medicine—a labor of love

July 30, 2020
dvm360 Staff

Pets are good for everyone, including the homeless, but how do pets in homeless populations receive basic veterinary care? Enter Dr. John Geller and The Street Dog Coalition.

Street medicine is a labor of love for John Geller, DVM, DABVP Emeritus, founder and director of The Street Dog Coalition and its sister organization The Ladybug Fund, but it definitely comes with its own unique challenges.

“When we go out in the street and provide this care to a community that is unsheltered and experiencing homelessness, a lot of issues pop up related to the relationship between that pet and that person,” Dr. Geller tells dvm360's Chief Veterinary Officer Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, in the latest episode of The Vet Blast Podcast.

A nonprofit organization that provides free basic veterinary care for pets of the homeless, The Street Dog Coalition has 40 teams operating in cities across the United States. The organization also provides pet owners with clothing and access to additional resources.

The spike in homelessness due to COVID-19 has made street medicine more critical than ever, Dr. Geller says. When providing veterinary care, he and his team follow COVID-19 protocols similar to those of veterinary hospitals, using tables as separators and asking all clients to wear masks when dropping off their pets.

Learn more from Dr. Geller about what street medicine is, how it works, and why it's more important today than ever. If you would like to be featured on podcast, contact us here.