Please don’t doubt how much of an impact you can make one day, in one way. On a lovely Sunday morning several weeks ago, in the middle of Gilbert Lindsay Park, 163 dogs and a few cats were vaccinated, microchipped, given flea and tick medication, and examined by volunteer vets, all at one of our free clinics.
We’ve been doing regular clinics at this park since June of 2015, and have literally watched puppies grow into healthy dogs before our eyes. Puppies who had come to our first clinics of the year are now spayed/neutered and fully vaccinated. For many of the families we have served, learning about the importance of vaccines as well as getting their dog microchipped and sterilized, is the beginning of setting their pets on the right path for life.
This clinic also brought about many new cases. New puppies were dewormed for the first time, and new clients got to know us. Some people came with specific health care concerns, like Maria who brought her two senior Chihuahuas, both already spayed/neutered and vaccinated, but who had problems chewing their food. After a volunteer vet examined their teeth, he discovered severe placque build up and several painful, rotting teeth. Maria knew her dogs needed dental care, but spending the majority of her income on rent and barely getting by, there was never money left over for her dogs to get it. We find this type of situation happens often. People know their pets need to see a vet, and yet they can’t afford it. It’s not that they don’t care; it’s that they don’t know where to find free or low costs resources, and in many cases, the options don’t exist. We work hard to be the resource they’ve been looking for. We work hard to be the option they need.
For Maria, we paid to have both of her dogs’ mouths cleaned and any bad teeth pulled. The Chihuahuas were also given a full senior blood panel. Maria was over the moon grateful for the assistance, but we were over the moon grateful, too. After all, we got to provide it. We got to be a part of offering a necessary service, to fill a gap that’s been building for way too long. A gap that has hurt our communities, people and animals alike. A gap that, simply put, stems from lack of support. At any point, it could be any of us needing that support. Wouldn’t you appreciate it if it were you?
We continue to find people who want to do the right thing but simply cannot or do not know how. Every clinic and every day, in one way or another, we intend to help narrow this gap which doesn’t have to exist at all. We intend to witness as many more animals grow into healthy pets in their happy homes.