In September, 2016, veterinary services were added to Elica's Street Medicine program as part of a year-long pilot project. Evidence suggests that incorporating these services into the program will prove beneficial in a number of ways, such as providing:
A better chance at getting the homeless into housing
The issue of homeless people with pets refusing housing opportunities because of "no pets" policies can be mitigated by having Elica providers designate these cherished companions as medically necessary service animals.
An increase in the number of those willing to receive services
Veterinary services attract larger numbers of hard to reach individuals, who are often more open to receiving assistance themselves when their pets are also being cared for.
Improved health outcomes for people and pets
People and pets living in unhealthy conditions can pass certain diseases to one another. Treating both patient and pet will result in better health outcomes for both of them.
The project's veterinarian, Dr. James Reynolds, has over 35 years of experience, including working with the Sacramento Police IMPACT team to provide care for pets encountered in their interaction with the region's homeless population.