All4Paws Edinburgh is a charity initiated and run by the veterinary students of The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. It offers free veterinary care and advice for the pets of people without a permanent home.
Homelessness remains a pressing issue in Scotland today, with 34,100 homelessness applications in the past year (National Statistics Publication for Scotland, Homelessness in Scotland: 2016-2017), and an estimated 5000 people sleeping on the streets.
Similarly to all of us, many in this group turn to pets for added companionship and love.
All4Paws offers a range of essential veterinary services to these pets, such as general health checks, flea, tick and worm treatments, and pet microchips. Vaccinations are also provided, which is important for both the individual animal and for disease control in the general population. Students also provide advice on spaying and neutering pets, with supplementary registration with the Dogs Trust Hope Scheme. This plays a crucial role in reducing the number of unwanted pets. Advice on general healthcare and behaviour management is also given.
Besides veterinary services, All4Paws provides basic supplies to these pets. This may include winter coats, collars, leashes, toys, food, and muzzles.
Two clinics are held at different locations in Edinburgh, one weekly and one monthly. Students work under the guidance of qualified vets at every clinic.