You may be asking why Elica Health Centers, which provides a variety of health-related services for people, offers veterinary services as part of its Wellness Outside Walls (WOW) initiative. The answer is that helping these pets improves not only their health, but the health of the people who love and care for them.
In September of 2016, Elica partnered with Jim Reynolds, a veterinarian with over 35 years of experience, and began offering veterinary services as a pilot project for the homeless to whom our Street Medicine program delivers health care services. Many homeless individuals have pets as companions, often forming the most important bond in their lives. The pets provide love, protection and someone to care for and protect.
Caring for the health of these pets reduces the transmission of disease that can occur between animals and humans when living in close quarters and under difficult circumstances. It also gives our Street Medicine team an opportunity to offer care to those who are seeking help for their pets, but otherwise might not have made themselves known to us. Also, our providers can designate pets as service animals, which can eliminate the "no pets allowed" barrier to potential housing.
Below are several video clips with Dr. Reynolds asking some of our clients why they have pets and what they think of the veterinary services pilot project:
Read the Sacramento Bee's article from November 6, 2016, about Elica's veterinary services pilot project.