Help for Pets of Reno's Homeless
Homeless individuals who own pets have an extra set of challenges. But there is help from a generous veterinarian. We went to Reno’s Record Street to see a homeless pet clinic in action.
Homeless individuals who own pets have an extra set of challenges. But there is help from a generous veterinarian. We went to Reno’s Record Street to see the crew from the VCA Lakeside Animal Hosptal homeless pet clinic in action.
Up to 10% of homeless people in the U.S. have pets, according to one Nevada nonprofit. Take a trip outside a shelters or a tent city, and you'll see dogs and cats providing affection and love to owners who need it. We saw many today on Reno’s Record Street. That’s where we met Skyla Liles and her “Angel.” It was plain to see Skyla loves Angel. Angel's almost 2 years old, and was getting a free checkup. As Skyla told us, "She is adorable and she's sweet and she loves people. And other dogs, and cats."
Anyone there can tell you...it’s hard to hold on to a pet on the streets. The shelter only allows service animals, and many would never part with their pets. Elizabeth Stanton of VCA Lakeside Animal Hospital knows how financial problems leave pet owners in crisis mode. As she told us, "A pet to a homeless person is their whole life. They will sacrifice everything to keep their animal. They'll feed their animal before them. They will do anything to take care of their animal before themselves."
Which is why she works these clinics for pets of the homeless. Wellness exams, nail trims, vaccinations, deworming, micro-chipping…all done at no charge once a month every summer. They also bring pet food to pass out, to folks like Edith Bonds, who lives in an RV with her puppy. She told us, “He's a schnoodle. He's a miniature schnauzer and miniature poodle mix."
Swelly is new to her family. She just lost her pet of 9 years. "He got diabetes and got sick, and we couldn't afford to get the medication to help him, so we had to have him put down." Swelly, and Angel, both checked out A-OK…a clean bill of health.
The next homeless pet clinic will be held next month, its location to be announced later.