Many people consider their pets to be their best friends and would do anything for them; but what if you are unhoused and your pet is injured and you do not have the means to afford the medical care your pet needs?

Discover the heartwarming story of CNN’s Hero of the Year 2023, Dr. Kwane Stewart of Project Street Vet, and how his work bridges the gap in animal healthcare for those in need in San Diego.

Origins of Project Street Vet

Dr. Kwane Stewart has been a veterinarian for 20 years, but it was during a five-year tenure as a shelter veterinarian in a low-income area of California that he developed a genuine compassion for those who endlessly love their pets but could not afford veterinary treatment for them when needed. To help, he founded Project Street Vet in 2020, an Encinitas-based nonprofit that provides free medical care to pets of people experiencing homelessness and/or housing vulnerability through “street vet work,” free pet clinics and financial support.

His work earned him a nomination as one of the top 10 nominees for CNN’s Hero of the Year Award. During the live television airing, Dr. Stewart was named as the 2023 CNN Hero of the Year. In a touching moment during his acceptance speech, he decided to share the $100,000 grant he received with the other nine finalists, expressing, “I am honored to know you.”

This remarkable act of generosity caught the attention of Mark Stuart, President and CEO of San Diego Foundation, making him wonder, “How can we make him whole?” In the following days, San Diego Foundation awarded a $90,000 grant to Project Street Vet to support Dr. Stewart’s ongoing work with animal medical care in the region.

The nonprofit organization plans to dedicate the grant funding to its work with residents and their pets in an encampment in Oceanside, Calif. The nonprofit began its work there last summer and continues to serve the encampment’s residents.

About the grant funding

The grant originates from The Linda C. Scott Fund for Animal Welfare at San Diego Foundation, established by North County philanthropist Linda C. Scott. The fund is dedicated to support and care for dogs and cats in North San Diego County.

While Ms. Scott passed away in 2016, her legacy lives on through this fund, along with her scholarship fund and another fund devoted to animals.

About Legacy Funds

San Diego Foundation collaborates with donors to create legacy funds for their planned gifts, ensuring ongoing support for causes, initiatives, and nonprofits that align with their values. Planned gifts are established during the donor’s lifetime but realized upon their passing.

Learn more about Legacy Funds and how you can support the causes that matter to you and leave a lasting impact.