Veterinarian Dr Sam Kovac has launched Project HoPe, an exciting new initiative that aims to help the disadvantaged pets of the homeless, as part of Homeless Persons Week (5-11 August 2013). Dr Kovac in collaboration with the Jewish House will be providing free vaccinations to Sydney’s homeless pets.
“I think many homeless people in Australia own pets because they make great, non-judgmental companions” said Dr Kovac, founder of Southern Cross Veterinary clinic in St Peters.
Project HoPe aims to vaccinate as many homeless pets as possible from common yet deadly diseases this winter. Often these diseases can be prevented with a vaccine that costs less than $50.
“All of the diseases we will be vaccinating against are preventable. The aim is simple, we would like to prevent these animals from becoming sick in the first place and avoid unnecessary angst and pain for both owner and animal. I will be running the Project HoPe with help from Jewish House. I will be administering the vaccinations myself. It is just a small way that I can give back using my time, qualifications and skills” explains Dr Kovac.
Dr Kovac has set up the Southern Cross Compassionate Fund to ensure the financially disadvantaged do not have to bargain over the life of their companion. All proceeds donated to the fund will go directly to helping the homeless and their pets.
For more information on Project HoPe or to contribute to the Southern Cross Compassionate Fund, please visit http://www.southerncrossvet.com.au
Rabbi Mendel Kastel, CEO at Jewish House understands that for those on the street it can be very challenging to provide their pet with even basic needs such as food and shelter. “It is important to show the homeless of Sydney that the community is there to support them. As a front line worker at Jewish House, I have seen first hand how the companionship from a pet can provide comfort and relief to the homeless owner. Project HoPe is a really positive initiative that offers hope and support to those living on the streets”.
The Jewish House is a safe haven open to any member of the public in need. They assist in a wide range of circumstances, ranging from someone requiring a counselling session to someone requiring a bed and a roof over their head. Whatever the case is, when a person is in need of help and on the edge of despair, the Jewish House is there to provide food, shelter, counselling, jobs searching and a 24/7 crisis line. The Jewish House is a leader in crisis management. Its caring approach, whereby a number of services are combined in a unique way for each client, is admired by many organisations and its approach has ensured a very high success rate in assisting people to rebuild their lives after a major crisis.
Sandra Tiltman PHOTO: John Pond