The Nova Scotia SPCA has established a non-for-profit veterinary clinic in Dartmouth.
Dr. Kellie Haggett is a veterinarian at the SPCA veterinary hospital, and says the clinic will help ensure pets get the medical attention they need regardless of the financial situation of their owners.
While the clinic has fees comparable to other animal hospitals in HRM, funds will be available for people who may not be able to pay the full price.
Dr. Haggett says the clinic could help reduce the number of homeless animals in the community.
“We think by providing a subsidized cost of veterinary care to people we can help keep animals in their homes, and help reduce the number of animals we see through our shelter system,” she says.
She says veterinary costs are a common barrier to pet ownership.
“We have a high relinquishment rate, so animals are being surrendered to the shelter a lot of times for medical conditions,” she says. “This allows us to treat the animals before they are surrendered.”
Dr. Haggett says COVID-19 has increased the need for a non-profit clinic, with more people feeling less secure financially.
“This is something that has been in the back of our head for some time, but it is now super important with people being laid off or having limited employment because of the pandemic,” she says.
The clinic is being called the first social enterprise animal hospital in Atlantic Canada.
The Nova Scotia SPCA is seeking donations to grow their ability to help pet owners in need.