Veterinarians across the nation have started hosting free clinics to those who are in need financially. “As veterinarians it is our job to protect the public from zoonotic diseases and prevent needless suffering where possible” said David Dawson, DVM, owner and medical director of San Roque Animal Hospital in Santa Barbara, CA. Veterinarians and their staff members volunteer to provide basic care and distribute pet food. These clinics are intended for people who could not provide health care to their pets otherwise, due to financial instability.
Some veterinarians and business managers like Terry Stoothoff of South Ocala Animal Hospital in Ocala, FL have started having pet owners register. They must provide a proof of need in order to avoid abuse of this free service; volunteers want to make sure they can reach their intended audience. Suzanna Brown, DVM, of Best Friends Animal Hospital in Mays Landing, NJ, recently held her fourth free clinic in two years and has attracted more than 200 people in a day. Due to high volume she has had to turn people away because of a lack of supplies and time. There is a huge need for these clinics. “Some people are just scraping by and their pet might be the only thing that keeps them going” said Suzanna Brown, DVM.