What It Takes to Save a Life: A Veterinarian's Quest for Healing and Hope (Paperback)

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Mountains Beyond Mountains meets Tattoos On the Heart in this unforgettable, powerful, and stunningly-told memoir of a struggling veterinarian saving animals and humans on the streets of California - and how he discovered what bonds all living creatures.

Dr. Kwane Stewart was questioning his career as a veterinarian when he saw a homeless man with a flea-infested dog outside of a convenience store. In a moment of spontaneous generosity, he offered to examine the dog and treat him for free. It was the first step in a now nine-year journey that has taken Dr. Kwane from Skid Row to San Francisco and beyond to care for pets and their humans who are living on the streets.

In What It Takes to Save a Life, Dr. Kwane shows how our four-legged, feathered, scaled, and swimming family members—these dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, and other animals that live side by side with us—provide more than companionship. They offer essential love, hope, and a sense of security.

Written with striking honesty and rich detail, Dr. Kwane looks back on his childhood, how he discovered his appreciation for animals and his calling, and offers a frank assessment of the state of veterinary medicine today, where compassion fatigue, burnout, and suicide are facts of life. Full of warm and inspiring stories of human-animal relationships, this powerful and eye-opening book is a reminder that we are all members of a wider family. It is also a clarion call for each of us to help those in need—especially our most vulnerable brothers and sisters—and the animals who are their families. Wise and warm, Dr. Stewart's story is a reminder that one life can make an immeasurable difference.

About the Author

Dr. Kwane Stewart is a veterinarian with more than twenty years of experience. He is the founder of Project Street Pet, a nonprofit organization devoted to caring for the lives of the homeless and their animals and his work as “the Street Vet” treating homeless animals and their human caretakers can be seen on YouTube. He lives in San Diego.

Praise For…

"This book holds out an invitation. Dr. Kwane Stewart's vulnerability, tender heart, and longing to make the homeless and their pets less invisible, calls us all to kindness and loving attention."  — -FATHER GREGORY BOYLE, New York Times bestselling author of Tattoos On the Heart and Founder, Homeboy Industries

"Stewart's memoir is a guaranteed tearjerker...Through it all, the animals prevail." — Booklist

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063215832
ISBN-10: 0063215837
Publisher: HarperOne
Publication Date: January 28th, 2025
Pages: 304
Language: English