Since its start in 2016, the Norwich Pet Wellness Clinic:
a) Served 769 pets
b) Gave 500 wellness exams
c) Performed 276 heartworm tests
d) Distributed 930 flea/tick preventatives
e) All of the above
What’s your guess? If you chose “all of the above,” you’re right!
The Connecticut Humane Society program made veterinary care accessible for free to Norwich area residents to help more pets stay with their families and out of shelters. The 18 Norwich clinic days, held over three summers, were made possible through a partnership with the Community Foundation of Eastern CT’s Letz Fund for Animals and the Environment and other generous funders.
But those numbers are going to grow even more, because the need for affordable veterinary care isn’t limited to Norwich. Beginning in the spring, CHS’ pet wellness clinic program will see new life in urban areas across the state, thanks to leadership funding from Petsmart Charities and the S.L. Gimbel Foundation, and the continued support of the Letz Fund.
The 2019 clinic days will assist senior citizens on fixed incomes who have furry best friends, but don’t have the means or transportation to provide veterinary care. And just like in Norwich, the care will be offered for free.
Here’s how the clinic days work: CHS brings everything needed for a temporary veterinary office (medical tools, vaccines, scales, nail clippers, cleaning supplies, and, of course, the medical team) and sets up for the day in a public building. The day’s clients and their pets have been referred to the clinic by social services or have seen posters around town.
Then, over the course of the next several hours, members of CHS’ medical and operations team provide wellness exams, tell pet parents things they should monitor, trim claws, take weights, give vaccines and tests, and distribute food (47,715 lbs. since 2016!), beds and other supplies. Some clinics also include a town clerk to license dogs.
Pet parents come to the clinic for all sorts of reasons. Some need certain vaccinations for their pets to abide by rules in their apartment building. Others can’t get to a veterinarian across town due to transportation limitations. Some are going through a rough patch after a lay-off or medical crisis. But the common denominator? They all love their pets, value their place in the family, and want to keep them.