With his medical bag in hand, veterinarian Kwane Stewart hits the streets of San Diego’s East Village every week.
The North County vet offers free medical services to the pets of downtown’s homeless community.
“A lot of the care is basic care, preventive care, flea and tick treatments,” said Stewart. “The most common thing I see as a veterinarian in Southern California is skin conditions, allergies, fleas, ear infections, but 80% I can treat right out of this bag.”
He's been helping people and their pets from San Diego to Modesto for 10 years. It all started as a hobby in 2012 while Stewart was working as an animal shelter veterinarian in Central California.
“One day I helped this unhoused man and his dog and the reward was amazing,” said Stewart. “And I said I’m going to get back to saving animals on my terms.”
His terms and his free time. Stewart continued to provide free services while working full-time jobs in Hollywood and now in San Diego.
“This is the third time I've seen him and he was really kind and offering, and he’s kind with the animals and that’s really all that counts,” said Terry Gauci.
Gauci's dog Harley has been treated by Stewart since he was just weeks old.
“Harley was a new puppy and hadn't had his shots,” said Gauci. “I was afraid to leave him out, let him roam around or anything because he didn't have shots but now I'm OK.”
Stewart says he’s compelled to keep returning to the streets every week because he believes there’s a growing shortage of kindness in the world, especially for our unhoused community.
“Finding a moment to show kindness to another person really can change the world in many ways,” said Stewart.
From the streets of the East Village, Stewart hopes his efforts will help create that change.