Do you agree that one of the greatest blessings when your dog is sick or injured is knowing that there are people who are trained to provide the best medical care? Thank goodness for veterinarians who have made it their mission to take care of animals in need…especially those who do it for free.
Ruby Shorrock is one of those people – a young woman who is doing everything in her power to provide healthcare for dogs and other pets who are living with the homeless. Unable to afford medical care for their pets, Ruby gives her heart and soul and services to their fur kids for free.
In the following pictures you have a chance to meet Ruby and learn more about her story – what motivates her and how she got started. You'll also see pictures of some of the dogs who have been helped, and some of the people who have joined Ruby's mission to serve.
Ruby Shorrock is a veterinarian trying to solve this exact problem by creating a program that helps pets living within homeless and “vulnerably housed” situations receive veterinary care for free.
Shorrock grew up an animal lover in Glasgow, Scotland. Her grandmother ran a wildlife resource center out of her back garden, so Shorrock spent her childhood learning how to take care of animals of all kinds.
Even after her “nan” retired, her mother took over the resource center as people brought animals to them for care. Shorrock was bottle-feeding squirrels and nursing birds who had fallen from the nest throughout her youth, so it was a natural step for her to study veterinary medicine once she entered college.
While at the University of Glasgow, she learned of a program at the Nottingham Veterinary School that treated the pets of homeless people at no cost. Upon finding there were no similar programs in Glasgow, Shorrock began pooling resources and researching how to do something similar in her hometown.
At the age of 22, Shorrock began Glasgow's first program to treat homeless pets — Trusty Paws Clinics. Since late 2014, Trusty Paws has been operating once per month out of a homeless clinic in Glasgow called The Simon Community, and later opened a second clinic in 2015 at The West London Mission.
Shorrock is a big advocate for keeping pets and their owners together. “We try to promote the human-animal bond because it isn't recognized enough,” Shorrock told The Dodo. “Animals are good for people's mental health, and the benefits as well as the responsibility and routine that comes from owning a pet outweigh those of giving them up.”
“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 said.
Trusty Paws has treated at least 100 dogs in Glasgow alone since it began, which are the most common pets found among the homeless population — though Shorrock said the clinic will treat any type of animal. Additionally, the clinic utilizes the help of local veterinary students to help administer medical care.
Tara and Bruno are two dogs who have been coming to the clinic since its opening in 2014, with their owner Eddie. Tara, an overweight Staffordshire mix, was put on a weight loss regimen in addition to receiving her vaccinations. Trusty Paws was also able to provide a costly emergency surgery for Tara, “a little barrel whose tail goes ten to the dozen [is constantly wagging],” said Shorrock.
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Article and Photo Source: The dodo and Karen Gordon
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