Why the CARe Van Mobile Veterinary Clinic?
The number of homeless and at-risk veterans, elderly, and families are rising, and seven out of ten families in America live one paycheck away from homelessness.
Pets play a crucial part in the quality of life, mental and physical wellbeing, recovery, and keeping society relevant to those most struggling to stay afloat. Within this population, pet ownership serves to:
In Massachusetts, 7,565 people were counted as experiencing homelessness in January, 2017. This population includes families with children, unaccompanied adults, unaccompanied youth, veterans, and people experiencing chronic homelessness. Between 10% and 25% of homeless people have pets, varying by location. For most of these pets, there is no affordable veterinary care possible. For many of these people, their pet is their last connection to hope and a sense of family. In Boston, with a population of roughly 260,000 households, this means that 108,000 households are at risk. At least 50% of these households own pets. Abandoned and stray pets have significant negative effects on domestic and wild animal populations, human health, and even tourism.
How We Can Make a Difference
The Community Animal Resource Mobile Veterinary Clinic – the CARe Van – offers free veterinary care to homeless and at-risk veterans and families’ pets throughout the Greater Boston community.
Staffed by a volunteer coalition of experienced veterinarians and veterinary technicians from all across Massachusetts, the CARe Van provides quality wellness and urgent veterinary care at no cost to those in need.
The CARe Van provides compassionate, individualized care for clients’ pets in a clean, modern, mobile clinic outfitted with state of the art diagnostic and surgical equipment.
The CARe Van is staffed by experienced veterinarians, veterinary technicians, a general volunteer, and a driver/client manager, all volunteering their time. The Clinic makes monthly, regularly scheduled stops at Veteran’s Administrations and other locations. By going directly to homeless veterans and other people unable to afford critically needed help for their pets, the CARe Van team builds relationships of trust and caring, and breaks down the barriers that keep homeless people and their companion animals from the care they need and deserve.
The CARe Van requires start-up capital as well as ongoing funding for annual operations. We are seeking corporate sponsors to fund:
We Could Use Your Help
If you’re interested in joining us to launch this venture, please contact us at info@EveryPetCounts.org. We’d love to talk to you, get your feedback and grow our team in this important work.
Adam Parker, DVM
Marjie Alonso, CDBC, CDBC-KA, KPA CTP