Pets in the Park - Veterinary Services for the Homeless

On 29th August we hosted our annual Vetwest Charity Quiz Night to raise funds for Pets in the Park.

We are thrilled to share with you that we raised a total of $3394.17, more than double that was raised last year. With the Vetwest co-donation, this will mean a total donation of $6788.34 to Pets in the Park, to support them in continuing to provide free veterinary care for the homeless of Perth.

Despite her busy schedule, Vetwest Veterinarian Kate Buffin still finds time to volunteer for a charity that offers free veterinary services to the homeless. In this article, Kate explains how the service helps people and their pets.

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Veterinary Services for the Homeless! 

I have been working as a locum veterinarian with Vetwest since the beginning of 2019 but in between my day to day work, I also volunteer with a charity called Pets in the Park. Those who participated in the recent Vetwest Quiz night may already be familiar with the charity as Vetwest kindly donated all of the proceeds of this event to help us continue the work we're doing in the community. 

Pets in the Park is a charity that was originally established in the eastern states as a means of offering free veterinary services to the homeless and those at risk of homelessness. Pets in the Park aims to support, build relationships with and improve the well being of homeless people in society living with companion animals. Many people experiencing homelessness own a pet that plays a significant role in their lives. These pets (as with any pet) offer love, companionship, security and emotional support and although pets often enrich the lives of those who are homeless it does come with significant financial strain. 

The idea of establishing Pets in the Park in Perth was developed after I started volunteering at an event in 2017 called Homeless Connect which is a one day a year event that offers a range of services to people experiencing homelessness. I have worked two years in a row now to offer veterinary services to the guests and their pets who attend this one day event and although we usually only get a handful of pets, we get between 50-80 people attending the vet stand and more than 1200 people attending the vet throughout the course of the day. This made me realise the need and importance for a regular and ongoing veterinary service. 

Operating on a once a month basis through a homeless services centre in Northbridge, we had our first clinic in February of this year and we've been growing each month. We now have a regular client base established and as well as offering basic veterinary services to include health checks, vaccinations, worming and flea treatment and microchipping, our services have extended to also include grooming, bathing, ultrasound and most recently surgical services. 

Our upcoming clinics are held on 6th October and 3rd November between 9.30-11.30am. We operate through Tranby Center 6 Aberdeen Street, Perth. If you know someone who you think might benefit from this service or you're just curious to see our work and meet some really cool people please feel welcome to stop by to say hello! If you want any further information or you have questions on how you can volunteer or make a donation, please contact us at [email protected]

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