First 100 pets receive free exams at Carson City event
Between 2012 and 2015, Carson City’s homeless rate significantly increased, from finding 10 individuals on the street in 2012 to 72 by 2015, according to a report by the Nevada Housing Division.
With that, many of them only have one companion by their side, either a dog or a cat. But what happens if their pet gets hurt or falls ill?
Pets of the Homeless, a Nevada-based non-profit charity, is there to help pets of in-need individuals and is hosting a free pet clinic to the public Saturday at FISH, 138 E. Long St.
“We have veterinarians donating their time to help,” said founder Genevieve Frederick. “We sponsor it and pay for the costs.”
The annual event helps keep Carson City’s homeless pets safe from infectious diseases, with the service of three to four vets from Sierra Veterinary Hospital and Timberline Animal Hospital.
The first 100 pets will receive basic examination, including vaccinations for parvo, rabies, and feline leukemia. However, Frederick said the event is open to all kinds of pets for health advice, based on the amount of veterinarians serving.
“Lines will be long and it’s first come, first serve,” Frederick said. “If a vet determines a pet needs more medical attention or treatment, they let us know and we negotiate to set up an appointment with and for the individual. If they are homeless, we take care of the hospital costs.”
The local veterinarian clinics also are offering five vouchers each, for free spay and neuter procedures. Before individuals exit the event, pet food and toys are provided for pickup, thanks to donations from the community.
The event is also an opportunity for those who enjoy the gift of giving, Frederick said.
“We also are accepting donations to help defer the costs of these services,” she said. “A $10 donation would be appreciated.”
Established in 2008 in Carson City, Pets of the Homeless treated 410 emergency cases of pets among the homeless nationwide, while 64 percent of those individuals were women and 6 percent veterans, according to Frederick.
The charity also used 150 veterinarian hospitals in 26 states including Nevada, and sponsored 91 wellness clinics.
Since 2008, the charity collected more than 484 tons of pet food — a market value of $1.98 million.
That resulted treatment for more than 15,600 pets.
In Carson City, the charity has at least four donation sites, such as FISH, to provide pet food.
Frederick was inspired to begin the program after a trip to New York City and walking by a homeless man with his unleashed dog.
“I was confused as to the reason anyone who is homeless, who could barely feed or take care of themselves, would even consider having a pet,” Frederick wrote on the charity’s official webpage.
The free clinic at FISH begins 10 a.m. Saturday with dogs required to be leashed and collared, and cats required to travel in carriers.
As for donations, the charity could use them. Donations also are accepted through petsofthehomeless.org.