This Veterinarian Helps Pets of Homeless People Out of His Own Pocket


Dr. Kwane Stewart kneeling on one knee for a portrait.
Malik Daniels/courtesy the street vet
Dr. Kwane Stewart drives around town seeking out potential patients to help.

Kwane Stewart stepped outside a Modesto, California, convenience store with his morning coffee and spotted a homeless man sitting with his back against the building. It was 2011, and the Great Recession had spilled a lot of unfortunate people onto the streets. A small dog sat in the homeless man’s lap. Stewart, a veterinarian at an animal shelter, noticed its scratched-off fur and chewed-up skin—telltale signs of an allergic reaction to fleas. He approached the man and offered to bring flea medication for the dog’s skin, a gift the man readily accepted.

“I remember returning a week and a half later, and the hair was coming back, the rash was gone,” Stewart told the Modesto Bee. The man said his dog was finally sleeping at night again because it was no longer staying up scratching and chewing. “ ‘And you know,’ he said, ‘I’m sleeping at night.’ He started to cry, and that got me choked up too,” Stewart says.

Stewart was hooked. “When you give back, there is something you get in return that feels much larger. I knew I wanted to keep doing it,” he told ­


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