Once a month, on a Monday or Tuesday, veterinarian Susan Grove holds a two-hour free clinic at the Neil Good Day Center in East Village. Grove started the clinic in May with the intent of helping homeless folks with basic pet care—vaccinations, supplies, check-ups. But, as word of the clinic has spread, a handful of low-income people who simply can't afford vet services are showing up, too. I stopped by the clinic today to check it out. By around 10:15 a.m.—Grove planned to be there from 10 a.m. to noon—there was a line of at least a dozen people. Grove had to bring in a small team of volunteers to help her keep up with the demand.
Alpha Project's Bob McElroy said homeless people sometimes end up with pets no one wants. It's not unusual, he said, for people to decide they no longer want a cat or dog and simply drop the animal off in East Village, where the homeless population's most concentrated. Indeed, a couple of folks I spoke with found their pet on the street.
Alpha's set up a donation page for for the vet-services program; they'll also take donations of pet supplies: food, leashes, carriers, travel bowls and sports towels.
Anthony with Snowball. "She's healed me every day," he said.
Terry brought Little Girl up from Imperial Beach to get vaccinated.
Robert David with Squeaks. He said his doctor had been suggesting he get a cat because having someone who relies on him will push him to take better care of himself.
Ladybird's owner, Bob, brought her in to get her shots. Ladybird was abandoned by her previous owners.