Our Companions recognized the need for affordable vet care in our local community. Establishing these low cost pop up veterinary wellness clinics for pets not only gave us an opportunity to provide affordable vet care to families, but we were able to connect and support the people in our community.
After a successful year in 2019, our goals were to continue to expand this amazing program to more communities and families. Yet, like many people can attest, Covid put these plans on hold until there was a safer time for everyone. As the year rolled on and safety guidelines were put in place, OC noticed a much bigger need for vet care as vet hospitals and clinics were stressed and people were overwhelmed with the cost of caring for their pets. Our Companions yet again was determined to help out our community, especially during a time where they needed us the most.
Previous pop-up clinics were held at our Valerie Friedman Program Center in Manchester, providing assistance to the Manchester/Hartford area. This time, we held our pop-up event in the Mansfield/Windham area, providing assistance near our Ashford Sanctuary. Thanks to the Eagleville Firehouse for giving us the facilities to hold this event, as well as the Mansfield ACO Noranne Nielsen and the amazing Dr. Brown of The Mobile Animal Clinic for providing vet care. Pets were able to receive physical exams, SNAP tests, vaccines, bloodwork, prescriptions, and much more, all from inside the mobile clinic. This clinic was made possible by a generous grant from the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.
Along with vet care, Canine College Head Trainer, Beth Vincent, provided creative enrichment toys for the dogs to enjoy. These enrichment toys were specifically made from regular household items, like busy boxes, ice cube trays, treats in rolled up towels, and more! These dogs were able to have fun while waiting for their vet visit and families learned more ways they can bond and have fun with their pet. Each dog took home their own busy box and even stuffed toys just for them! OC provided donated beds for the pet patients, and even the firehouse provided free smoke alarms to the families. Another Canine College Head Trainer, Natalie Hernandez, even offered her help in translating for any Spanish speaking families.
Though these low cost pop up clinics are held for the day, follow-up has always been an important part of these events. This can include results on bloodwork, follow up on prescription treatments, spays/neuters, and much more. It was such an honor to meet these amazing families and pets in our community. Thank you to everyone who helped offer their services and time helping these great pets live healthier, happier lives alongside their people!