Meet Our Fourth Quarter Nonprofit Partner: The Street Dog Coalition







On a crisp, fall Sunday morning, a line of more than 40 people had formed outside even before the doors opened. Inside, Drs. Stefan Knep and Laura Ziegler Gurda, Debranique Pitter, and a team of 14 veterinary techs set up for a pop-up clinic to help the pets of people who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. 

The Street Dog Coalition is the nonprofit organization behind this amazing — and, sadly very popular due to high need — free clinic.

For four hours the flow of clients who came through the clinic was steady. By the time the doors closed, 30 dogs and 29 cats (owned by 42 individuals) were examined, and their owners had an opportunity to connect one on one with a veterinary professional. The Street Dog Coalition clinics offer vaccinations, spay/neuter vouchers, and a three-month supply of parasite (flea, tick, and heartworm) preventive medications.

According to Dr. Knep, Team Lead for The Street Dog Coalition – Minneapolis, “Our goal for each clinic is to help as many people and their pets as possible, but not to rush them through. We like to say that we ‘pride ourselves on caring for the lives on both ends of the leash.’ Research tells us, and all pet owners know from first-hand experience, how important the human/animal bond is. This importance is amplified even further when one’s pet is literally their home.”

Dr. Knep added, “We are thrilled to have Downtown Dogs and Dog’s Day Out as community partners and are grateful for their dedication and support of our effort to provide free veterinary services to clients and pets in need.”

Downtown Dogs and Dog’s Day Out owner Ralph Bernstein learned about The Street Dog Coalition from the businesses’ third quarter community partner, People & Pets Together. These two nonprofits work hand in hand (and 🐾 in 🐾) to support Minneapolis housing- and food-insecure residents with pets. Since starting its work in Minneapolis in 2018, The Street Dog Coalition has treated more than 1,000 pets in need.

Bernstein feels fortunate that his two businesses can support Street Dog Coalition. “Most of us will never experience homelessness and the stress and challenges that go with it,” he says. “And the sad truth is that, as scare as resources are for people experiencing homelessness, there are even fewer resources available for their pets. We are excited that a volunteer from Street Dog Coalition will be on hand at our Dog-cember Open House from 11am – 3pm on Sun., Dec. 10th to help get the word out about the critical work of this amazing organization. And on Wed., Dec. 13 I’m honored to be a guest on The Street Dog Coalition’s national Podcast  It will air on Facebook Live at 12:00 PM CST.”

As part of our ongoing commitment to community outreach, Downtown Dogs and Dog’s Day Out are pleased to partner with The Street Dog Coalition between now and the end of the year. Through our Change Unleashed! initiative we are raising funds and awareness for Street Dog Coalition.

Here are three, easy ways you can help:
  1. Round up or donate an extra $2, $5, $10 or more to The Street Dog Coalition when you checkout at Downtown Dogs or Dog’s Day Out.
  2. Make a purchase at Change Unleadhed!Barktique and we’ll donate 3% of sales to The Street Dog Coalition.
  3. Place an order through Twin Cities Caricatures and they will donate 25% of the  proceeds to The Street Dog Coalition.

To learn more about Street Dog Coalition visit

As a completely volunteer-run non-profit, they are always looking for new people to help!

Together we can CHANGE the lives of pets in need!