This year’s annual convention hosted by the American Veterinary Medical Association took a bit of a different turn. The vets decided to turn it into a medical drive for companion animals for the homeless population living in the Denver area.
In partnership with The Street Dog Coalition and many other corporate sponsors, the event gave way to anyone needing to bring their pet in for a free health check, vaccinations, and other vital supplies, which they could take home with them.
Scientific research has found social isolation to be a major risk factor for human health, discovering that it is the same as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Having a companion animal can have a profound effect on that person’s life, alleviating those adverse effects that come with such loneliness. This becomes particularly vital for those dealing with homelessness, where emotional support from their pets hold even more significance.
One of the volunteer veterinarians who offered up their time during the convention, Dr. Ashley Ackley, said “I think there’s a big judgment and stigma out there about, ‘gosh you need to be able to afford everything or you shouldn’t have a pet,’ and I really struggle with that.”
Moreover, every pet owner who attended the event got a referral for other services, like spaying, neutering, or follow-up vaccinations, depending on the specific needs of their animal depending on the Denver area.
Executive Director of The Street Dog Coalition, Katrina Weschler, said, “People experiencing homelessness have incredibly strong bonds with their pets who provide companionship, purpose, and unconditional love. By providing free compassionate care to both ends of the leash, we hope to help preserve, protect, and strengthen those bonds.”
If you or someone you know is in need of veterinarian services, check out where The Street Dog Coalition plans to show up next here.
See more about this event in the video below:
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