The pet project helping to get rough sleepers in the UK off the streets

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How StreetVet helps its 1,060 homeless patients, from staffordshire bull terriers to rabbits (and their owners) into hostels

In the car park of a soup kitchen not far from Birmingham Moor Street station, a vet and two veterinary nurses are examining a 10-year-old staffordshire bull terrier called Poochie. As the vet touches her back legs, she whimpers and growls and tries to get back to her owner, who is crouched opposite looking concerned.

Terry Smith (not his real name) has had Poochie since she was a puppy. When he lost his flat three years ago for reasons he finds too difficult to talk about, she went with him as he became one of 15,500 homeless people in the city. For most of this time the pair have been sleeping rough.

Related: Homeless people on their pets: ‘She saved me as much as I saved her’

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