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Hope for Sydney's Homeless and Their Pets

By Charlotte Lewis

Dr Sam Kovac
Dr Sam Kovac

It's not only the homeless doing it tough on Sydney's streets this winter; their pet pooches and cats are also suffering. But there is hope - or Project HoPe to be precise - with a leading Sydney veterinary clinic offering free medication, food, blankets, leads and harnesses to pets owned by the homeless. "Companion animals for the homeless play such an important role as they give their owners a reason to keep on living, or to stay off drugs and alcohol," Southern Cross Vet Owner and Project HoPe founder, Dr Sam Kovac, said.

"Our aim is to safeguard this literally life-saving bond as they aren't just companions; they give the homeless a hope of a better tomorrow. By looking after their pet, and ensuring access to medical care and immunisations, we can help relieve their owners of unnecessary stress, as they often forgo their own food to feed their pet.

"We want to make sure no animal suffers."

Mission Australia has organised an event in Camperdown (31 Pyrmont Bridge Rd, Camperdown NSW 2050) tomorrow (24th) to provide lunch for the homeless, with Project HoPe vets and volunteers providing a pop-up clinic for pets where they can be vaccinated and receive a full check-up.

Dr Kovac and Jewish House Sydney set up Project HoPe (Homeless Pets) in 2013 to support the bond between the homeless and their animals. They offer pets of the homeless free crisis accommodation at Southern Cross Vet clinics when the owner is hospitalised and free vet care to any animals of the homeless in need.


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