The Veterinary Shortage in the U.S. Continue to Poorly Impact Pets in Unhoused Communities
PORTLAND, MAINE (May 31, 2023) – —“The ElleVet Project” announces the return of its summer veterinary mobile relief tour providing much-needed FREE veterinary care and supplies to the pets of the unhoused and low income communities throughout the United States beginning June 5, 2023 and continuing throughout the year. Since the pandemic, pet ownership has grown and veterinary care has become increasingly difficult to find in vulnerable communities.
The summer mobile relief tour will travel throughout California, Washington and Montana making more than 30 stops to treat thousands of thousands of pets with services that range from vaccines, flea and tick preventatives, deworming, general checkups, along with emergency surgeries and provide donated pet supplies to owners.
“Pet ownership within the unhoused and low-income communities provides mental and physical health benefits to their owners – especially women safety benefits,” says Amanda Howland, co-founder of The ElleVet Project. “By treating the pets, we are helping the owners in numerous ways.”
Adds co-founder and CEO Christian Kjaer, “Pets are an anchor for someone living in these vulnerable communities. When you speak with people experiencing hard times about their pets, it’s incredibly helpful to break down conversation barriers and give them extra comfort knowing their pet is being given proper medical services.”
According to Reverend Andy Bales, CEO of Union Rescue Mission, “About 93 percent of the people disintegrated by homelessness have no connection whatsoever to family, so having a pet means everything to people devastated by homelessness. It was overwhelming to see the amount of people with their pets come to The ElleVet Project’s ‘ElleVan’ to get their pets taken care of.”
“If you are a woman on the streets,” Reverend Bales continues, “you have no chance of escaping the threat of rape and women are owning pets for their protection.”
According to many of those who have received free veterinary care via The ElleVet Project, the peace of mind knowing their furry family member is getting proper and much-needed medical assistance is immeasurable.
Unhoused resident Jenny, owner of Sis says: “People try to come into my tent Sis would throw them in the river. Knowing she is getting a physical and her shots for free is a great comfort to me.”
According to unhoused resident Jonathan: “I only have so much money to live off and for a vet to treat Gaucho, it would have taken me 10 months to save up. ElleVet’s services gave us a great gift by treating him.”
“People don’t have money or transportation to get their dog medical help,” explains unhoused resident Ellie. “To get Ranger treated for free is unbelievable, what a blessing.”
Collaborating with local city officials and municipalities, the project hosts a rotating team of compassionate and professional veterinarians to provide 100 percent free veterinary care. The ElleVet Project travels throughout the country treating thousands of pets in unhoused, low-income communities and areas stricken by natural disasters in a 32 foot RV dubbed the “ElleVan.” The complete schedule of summer dates and locations is available on the nonprofit’s website https://ellevetproject.org.
Donations towards vaccines, medical supplies, and emergency surgeries can also be accepted on the website. Every donation goes towards funding the charity’s mission of reaching as many vulnerable and voiceless animals as possible. For more information on the Project, go to https://ellevetproject.org or on social media at @Ellevetproject on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.“The ElleVet Project” was formally established in April 2020 as the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of ElleVet Sciences, the only pet CBD+CBDA in the marketplace proven to work in clinical studies. Howland and Kjaer originally developed it as a pilot program in response to COVID-19, knowing the unhoused had even fewer resources than usual, and their pets were in a very vulnerable position.