Pay-It-Forward vet scheme to support city’s vulnerable and homeless sponsored by Rushcliffe Veterinary Centre and their clients.
Nottingham University Veterinary School students run a regular veterinary clinic at the offices of the Big Issue’s Nottingham headquarters under the guidance of Dr Jenny Stavisky, Clinical Lecturer in Shelter Medicine. The 'Vets in the Community' clinic offers free vaccinations and health care for the pets of homeless and vulnerably housed people. These pets are particularly vulnerable to the infectious diseases covered by routine vaccinations. For many people who are homeless, their animals play a huge psychosocial role, offering them friendship, comfort and unconditional love in often very difficult circumstances. But very often they simply do not have the money for veterinary care such as vaccinations for their pets, which put the animals at risk of contracting serious diseases.
Recently the 'Vets in the Community' scheme ran into funding problems, a grant they received had run out. To support the project in its work to help some of the most vulnerable people and their pets in our local community we have developed the 'pay it forward' initiative which will assure the supply of vaccines for the long term. We have increased the price of booster vaccination for cats and dogs by £1 and matched it with a further £1 from general practice funds to buy all the vaccines they need.
Dr Jenny Stavisky, who heads up the Vets in the Community clinic, said: “The pay-it-forward initiative which Rushcliffe Vets is pioneering is a generous gesture and represents sustainable support for our initiative going into the future. It’s a great example of how vets and pet-owning individuals are helping owners who are struggling with homelessness care for their animals by adding a little to the cost of their own pet’s vaccine. It actually helps everyone – the more animals in the area that are vaccinated, the less risk for everyone’s pet. I really hope other practices in the area, and areas where similar community initiatives exist, are inspired by Rushcliffe’s fabulous example.”
We already supports a number of charitable ventures including sponsoring a former bile bear that has been rehabilitated by Animals Asia and working with organisations including The Dog’s Trust in Wymeswold and Nottingham’s Animal Accident Rescue Unit.
People who cannot take their pets along to Rushcliffe Vets for their vaccinations, can still support the Vets in the Community clinic. They can follow their activities on Twitter, purchase items via the Clinic’s Amazon Wishlist and donate via its JustGiving page.