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Local animal advocate to make appeal for Project Street Vet at April 23 City Council

Diana Geosano is searching for Long Beach veterinarians to offer free treatment and support for pets of unhoused people.

Local animal advocate to make appeal for Project Street Vet at April 23 City Council
Local animal-and-human advocate Diana Geosano with best buddies Blanche (left) and Hank. Photo courtesy of Diana Geossano.

Project Street Vet is a non-profit public charity that provides free veterinary care, treatment, and support to the pets of people experiencing homelessness and housing vulnerability.

Veterinarian Dr. Kwane Stewart founded the nonprofit in 2020 to help unhoused people in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas to care for the ones who depend on them and love them no matter what.

“Their pets are their best friends, their family, often their only family,” said Diana Geosano, the lead organizer for Project Street Vet’s Long Beach outreach. “Many had their pet long before they lost their home. An unhoused person will feed their pet before they eat, will refuse housing or shelter if they cannot bring their pet.”

Geosano learned about Project Street Vet from an article in the May, 2022, issue of the AARP magazine. Stewart, one of the individuals featured in the article, had been nominated as a CNN Hero of the Year for 2023. Geosano, a longtime advocate for both pets and people in need, contacted Project Street Vet to find out about scheduling an outreach in Long Beach. Long Beach checked all the boxes for eligibility, and the first event took place at the Long Beach Multi-Service Center on July 21, 2023. Two volunteer veterinarians, two vet techs, Geosano and several volunteers, and the nonprofit’s executive director, Danae Davis, readied the effort for an expected 20 to 25 pets.

Dr. Kwane Stewart treats Barbara's 25-year-old cockatoos, Jericho and Boo. The two birds and Barbara are all that remains of Barbara's home after it was destroyed, along with other birds, in a wildfire in Santa Clarita. Photo courtesy of Project Street Vet.

By the time the event opened at 10 a.m., however, over 45 people and their animals had shown up, a display of the need and interest of the unhoused population for their animal companions. The pets all received services, although latecomers had to be told they would be helped at future outreaches.

Project Street Vet staff brought medications, vaccines, flea treatments, and goodie bags filled with food, treats, a collapsible water bowl, poop bags, and resources for the humans. Each pet was given an exam and necessary vaccinations. If a follow-up was indicated, the pet would be set up with an appointment with a local Long Beach vet, paid for by Project Street Vet. If the humans were ready to get their animals spayed or neutered, they were given a number to call for an appointment that Project Street Vet would pay for.

Two more successful; outreaches have been conducted on a quarterly basis. Geosano has been brainstorming ideas with Project Street Vet and the Multi-Service Center for future events, which she plans to share with the City Council and the public at the April 23 City Council meeting, beginning 5 p.m. at Civic Chambers in City Hall, 411 W. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. The meeting can also be viewed on LBTV3.

At the council meeting, and now, Geosano will call for local veterinarians who want to become involved in the project or street veterinary medicine in general.

“We have an extra high turnout for each of our events. and many more pet owners requesting assistance between events,” Geosano said.

To volunteer for Long Beach’s Project Street Vet, contact Danae@projectstreetvet.org and mention that you want to be part of Diana Geosano’s effort. Access this link to donate to Project Street Vet.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Dr. Kwane Stewart.

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Scratch This: While Kate Karp was 'off-leash'

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Kate Karp has been covering animal care and pets in Long Beach for almost two decades. Her new column, Scratch This, is published in the Long Beach Watchdog every Friday.


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