Introducing the Vet School’s newest team member
We are delighted to welcome Neerja Muncaster to the Vet School’s Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences as our new Veterinary Clinical Teaching Fellow.
Neerja qualified at the University of Glasgow in 2002 and has been in small animal practice since then. She is also a team leader for the StreetVet team in Brighton, where she lives.
StreetVet is a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons registered practice that offers free care to homeless people and their dogs on the streets of London, Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham, Cambridge, Plymouth, Southampton, Cornwall and Cheltenham. Day to day work undertaken by the team includes providing free vaccinations, flea and worm treatments, collars, toys, blankets and food.
With homelessness on the increase, there has been a sharp increase in people living rough on the streets with pets. Recognising the profound bond between many homeless people and their dogs, StreetVet was established to deliver the vital care and support required to ensure their combined wellbeing.
Speaking about her work with StreetVet, Neerja said: “I am a close friend of one of StreetVet’s co-founders, and when I heard about it I immediately wanted to be involved and do all that I could. I have lived in and around Brighton since 2005 and have been saddened to see the homeless crisis worsen considerably during this relatively short time period.
StreetVet Brighton has grown quickly since its launch in November 2017 and we have been warmly welcomed by the city’s homeless community. We have also had great support from local veterinary practices and we now have the help of a specialist ophthalmologist, cardiologist and ultrasonographer.
Some of our greatest successes have involved the treatment of dogs suffering from long-term health issues that their owners have struggled to alleviate. Skin issues, chronic pain and arthritis can have a massive impact on the everyday lives of dogs and can fuel feelings of hopelessness for their owners.
Now that StreetVet is firmly established in Brighton, many of our clients come to see us even if their pet is okay. They enjoy the company of the team and the opportunity to speak about their single most important focus in life - their dogs. As with any veterinary practice you quickly build up bonds with your clients. For me personally this is what being a vet is all about. The human-animal bond is immensely precious and I feel privileged to be in a position to help vulnerable owners and their cherished pets."