SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) - The San Diego Humane Society now has a mobile van that brings veterinary services to underserved areas and Monday, they brought the clinic to the homeless community in Downtown San Diego.
The event partnered with the San Diego (Niel Good) Day Center on 17th street and brought services including vaccinations, microchipping, nail trimming, deworming, wellness checks, flea medication and more to people and pets who need it.
San Diego Humane Society Community Initiative Specialist Lauren Rogers said it’s important for them to bring services to the homeless community because many can’t afford regular services, although they are some of the best pet owners.
“These pets are so much more than companions for these owners. They really provide a sense of unconditional love and stability for people whose lives are somewhat unpredictable,” said Rogers.
She said there’s a stigma around homeless people owning pets, but the reality is that many owners will feed their pets before they eat, and many people turn down housing in order to keep their pets if that housing does not allow pets.
Fred, a man waiting in line to service his dog Marley, said he’s felt this firsthand.
“He comes first for me. If I have to get him his food, he eats first,” said Fred.
Fred said he’s in a better place now but has experienced homelessness in the past. He’s had Marley for seven years and said the dog has been a light through hard times.
“It’s a companion for sure. Makes my day much better. It helps a lot,” he said, saying he’s thankful for the help caring for his pet.
Rogers said they plan to have “Mobile Mondays” every week, bringing the van to different underserved parts of San Diego that need the help.