Free Vets For Low Income - Low-income and homeless pet owners in Langley will have an opportunity Sunday, Sept. 30, to have their furry friends vet checked at a special animal health clinic.
The project is sponsored by Paws for Hope Animal Foundation and Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS).
Free Vets For Low Income
Clinics like Sunday's have been held in the province for six years, but this will be the first in Langley, said Cathy Powelson, executive director of Paws for Hope.
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"Sometimes pets are their constant companions," Powelson said. Their pets may be the reason they get out of bed in the morning. For some, caring for pets may mean trying to recover from drug addiction or find better housing.
A significant number of homeless and low-income people own pets. But veterinary care or pet insurance can be financially out of reach for people on fixed incomes, such as those living on the streets.
Visitors to the clinic can have their cats and dogs undergo a physical examination, as well as vaccinations, flea and worming, nail trimming and ear cleaning.
Pets can point to serious issues. LAPS, thanks to a generous donor, is beginning to cover these costs.
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"In addition to being there on the day, through our Major's Legacy Fund, LAPS provides any follow-up medical treatment/surgery any pet needs at the clinic during a veterinary exam," said Jane Nelson, executive director. Director of LAPS.
The legacy fund is named after the donor's beloved deceased dog. The fund was created to help fund grants for people who cannot afford veterinary care on their own.
They are equipped to handle small mammals such as dogs and cats, rabbits or rodents. The veterinary team does not specialize in handling exotic animals such as reptiles, Powelson said.
Each participant must get a guarantee from the shelter or prove they have a low income — less than $25,000 a year for a single person, slightly more with dependents.
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The Animal Health Clinic will be held on Sunday 30 September from 12:00 to 16:00. at the Shelter Gate of Hope at 5787 Langley Bypass.
Pets are checked at the former Paws for Hope free vet clinic. The first such clinic to be held in Langley is scheduled for Sunday, September 30. (Paws for Hope) The Humane Society of Sonoma County offers affordable veterinary services for low-income pet owners at its new Santa Rosa clinic. "Everyone is really hungry for change," says Dr. Sara Reidenbach.|
When the Humane Society of Sonoma County opened its doors to pet owners during the wildfires of 2017, Dr. Sarah Reidenbach noted a significant need for accessible veterinary care in the community.
All the animals he and his staff treat for free at the Santa Rosa facility were not injured in the fire. Most of them need routine health checkups and have never seen a vet because of the high cost of pet care.
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In response to the need, Reidenbach and his team launched a community veterinary clinic to serve low-income residents who could not afford medical care for their animals. The clinic opens on February 11.
"After the fire, we knew we had to step up our game," said Reidenbach, a UC Davis graduate who has been a veterinarian in Santa Rosa for more than three years. "Everyone is really hungry for change."
The clinic offers more than just spaying and neutering, said Reidenbach, who will manage the facility. Doctors can perform special surgeries and dental work at low cost.
Director of Development Priscilla Locke said the organization brought in a top veterinarian from Oregon. Dr. Ada Norris arrived in January and began seeing patients.
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Last week she walked around the operating room at the Humane Society in jeans and navy scrubs. He helped calm a dog that was about to be sedated. After a few seconds of Norris running his hands through the dog's fur, the howling stopped.
"Ada has a way with animals that makes her special and perfect to lead this community clinic," said Locke. "Not only does she care about animals, but she also supports pet owners and spends time talking to them, regardless of their background."
Norris said she worked as a high school history teacher for several years, but spent all her free time volunteering at animal shelters. He decided to pursue his passion and changed careers four years ago.
"This is my dream job," she said. "Instead of people having to give up an animal, we can keep them with a loving home."
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One of the most challenging aspects for veterinarians working in the nonprofit world is the long-term care of animals because the family cannot afford to care for them or pay for surgery, Reidenbach said. The Humane Society tries to alleviate the problem by providing affordable medical care for animals.
“We get these calls when families have to surrender or euthanize or lose their animals to a shelter. It has nothing to do with them not loving their pet," Reidenbach said. "What's missing is intensive medicine, because it's expensive and you need a clinic like ours."
It's not cheap to run, Reidenbach said. It costs the Humane Society $160,000 a year to operate the clinic, he said.
The organization received a number of private donations for the clinic, as well as two grants totaling $25,000, Locke said.
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"But what we're really hoping for is that once the community sees what we're doing, they'll support us," Locke said.
Wendy Welling, executive director of the Humane Society of Sonoma County, said they hope to raise more money to open the clinic more than once a week. While other nonprofits offer spay and neuter services, they do not offer specialized medical procedures, such as oral surgery, she said.
"We are now very dependent on donor support, and many have poured their hearts into this effort," said Welling, who served as executive director for six months. "But Sonoma or Marin don't have these services, and we're talking to many other vets and rescue shelters in the city to put this effort together."
As she prepares for opening day, Reidenbach said she doesn't want residents to be intimidated when they come looking for services for their pets.
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"I hope people know that if they can't get veterinary care or they're concerned, there's no judgment for their animal being judged to be in poor condition," she said. "We want everyone to come in."
Editor's note: An earlier version of the story misstated the cost of running the clinic. The number has been updated. One day I noticed that my puppy was behaving strangely. He took a few steps, stumbled and slowly got up, only to fall again. I realized her belly was very big.
I rushed him to the vet clinic. The vet looked at him for a few minutes and started laughing. Then my puppy let out a yelp and the vet really started laughing.
When she asked me if I left food for the dog, I remembered the large bowl on the kitchen floor for my other dog. My puppy had 4 cups of food in his half cup stomach.
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It wasn't serious, but swelling can be a serious condition, but I didn't laugh when I got the $100 bill. Finding an affordable veterinary clinic is an important part of owning a pet.
Whether it's routine care or surgery, your pet's medical bills can be expensive. Here are some ways to find affordable veterinary care.
Local animal welfare organizations, rescue groups, and shelters often offer low-cost vaccination, spay, and neuter services. They also offer other affordable veterinary care.
Veterinary schools are usually cheaper than veterinary clinics and animal hospitals. When procedures are performed by students, they are supervised by a qualified and experienced veterinarian. This is a great opportunity for affordable pet care.
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Vets can vary in cost. For example, when I was looking for a new vet in New Orleans, I called six different clinics. The basic cost of the visit was between $45 and $95. So look around.
If your pet requires expensive treatment or you are struggling to cover the cost of the appointment, discuss the situation with your vet. Some vets offer payment plans or discounts to their regular customers.
If your vet can't help - and you can't afford an expensive and necessary medical procedure - you can get help from a charity.
The Humane Society of the United States has a list of organizations that help with the costs of certain species
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