This vet noticed a need in her community and decided to address it.
When Ruby Shorrock was just a veterinary student at the University of Glasgow, she heard about Nottingham Veterinary School, where a program exists to help homeless people treat their pets for free. After she graduated, she learned that there were no similar programs in Glasgow and set out to change that.
At the young age of 22, Shorrock started The Trusty Paws Clinic, a program that works out of a homeless clinic in Glasgow once every month that was a big hit and soon expanded; a second clinic opened up in London a year later. Shorrock recognized the need for homeless people to keep their pets and vice versa and said,
”For the homeless, there is a reliance on their dogs, mentally and emotionally. The dog isn’t going to lie to them or steal from them. Sometimes it is the only thing they can trust. There is often an extremely strong relationship there. They will do anything for them.” She told The Dodo, “We work to help them take care of their pets, because it’s more likely for them to get off the street together than it is if they’re apart.”
She’s not only allowing people that don’t have homes, for whatever reason, to keep their closest friends with them but she’s giving the dogs the opportunity to continue to help their humans during this rough time in their life. What keeps the clinic going are the happy ‘customers,’ whether it’s the energetic dogs that want to kiss everyone in the room or the homeless humans that are so grateful for the services that they sometimes donate what little money they collect to the clinic.
Two of the dogs that have been treated at the clinic regularly are Tara and Bruno, who have been making visits ever since the clinic opened. Their human, Eddie, has always put his dogs before himself and makes sure to bring them back for their routine vaccinations and even kept up with Tara’s post-surgery care that the clinic provided for her. Tara is one of those dogs that loves to kiss everyone and show them how appreciative she is.
Trusty Paws has treated over 100 dogs since its inception in 2014, though Shorrock said they treat any type of animal that comes in. The clinics stay afloat by allowing veterinary students to help administer medical care and accepting supplies from companies like Virbac, a veterinary supply company, and Royal Canin, a dog food company. They also have an Amazon wishlist on their website where people can choose what to donate and have it sent straight to the clinic.
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