You are hereNovember Healthy Pet Clinic triples in size over initial effort
November Healthy Pet Clinic triples in size over initial effort
Thank you to all of the volunteers who made the November Healthy Pet Clinic a tremendous success. The Clinic served some 150 pets from owners who patiently waited as long a 4 hours to receive an exam, vaccinations, flea/tick treatment and other care in exchange for $10. We are working on future Clinic plans which would likely happen in the Spring.
The Central New York Animal Welfare Coalition along with the Shamrock Animal Fund has organized these clinics filling a void in animal care in the Syracuse area.
The Healthy Pet Clinic was covered by NBC 3, CBS 5, CW 6, CNYcentral.com, YNN and the Syracuse Post-Standard.
Post-Standard photographer Mike Greenlar captured the hardship of pet owners as they waited for care, the dedication of the volunteers serving the community and the joy that animals bring to the lives of many. You can view his photos by clicking here.
His Post-Standard colleague Elizabeth Doran wrote this article after spending some time at the clinic Sunday.
Syracuse, N.Y. -- Tammy Deal and her son, Richard, arrived 2½ hours early for the Healthy Pet Clinic Sunday at St. Lucy’s Church to ensure Blue, their blue-nosed pit bull, would be seen.
There was already a line when they arrived.
“The price of going to the vet is just so ridiculous, but it’s necessary,” said Deal, who lives on Seymour Street. That’s why this is such a great thing for people who can’t afford the vet. Our family would go without food to feed our pet.”
The clinic, set up for pet owners with financial need who live in Syracuse’s south and near west side neighborhoods, attracted hundreds of people. By 1:30 p.m., the line of people with their dogs and cats stretched half a city block down Gifford Street, and organizers had to stop taking names and turn people away.
This is the third clinic in Syracuse; the first one attracted 55 animals and there were twice as many pets at the second one, said organizer Matt Mulcahy, a WSTM-TV news anchor and managing editor. This clinic served about 150 animals, but another 50 or more had to be turned away. Pet owners showed up from Oswego County, Camillus and Liverpool, and they were turned away.
“It’s unbelievable how many people turned out,” Mulcahy said of the clinic, which is sponsored by the Central New York Animal Welfare Coalition and the Shamrock Animal Fund, which Mulcahy co-founded. Pet owners are asked to pay $10. For that, their pet gets vaccinations, an exam, flea treatment, and their pet’s nails clipped.
“I saved at least $200; I can’t believe all they did for the dogs,” said Tanika Jones-Cole, who brought her four Yorkshire Terriers to the clinic: Bonnie, Owen, Mamas and Dior. “They found out one of my dogs is sick and needs some lab work, and I would never have known that if I didn’t come.”
Marissa Porter of Gifford Street and her fiance Syeeb Howard were happy to bring Nala, their pit bull, to the clinic. “It would have cost us $500 for all they did,” Porter said. “We can’t afford to go to the vet, so this is a great deal for us.”
“So many animals don’t get the proper health care they need because people can’t afford it, so this is a great service,” Howard said.
Shira Rubin, a third-year veterinary student at Cornell University, said she likes volunteering at the clinic because it gives people a boost. “It’s rewarding, and it’s touching to see what people will do for their pets,” she said. “Plus it gives me some good experience.”
People at the end of the line were upset, however. “I didn’t expect there to be a line like this,” said Terrie Lundy, who brought her Shoodles: Dezi, Lucy, and Nilla. “This is crazy. I really want to get them in.”
Mulcahy said the next clinic will probably be in April. The location hasn’t been set.
Elizabeth Doran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 470-3012.