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dog at the vet clinic

Caring for the community’s pets

When Mark isn’t in a taekwondo class with his children, he works as a veterinary keeping Toronto’s furry neighbours healthy and happy.

Seeing a community need, Mark, in partnership with Community Veterinary Outreach, started a free, bi-monthly veterinary clinic at YSM back in 2011.

“It’s amazing to see the gratitude on people’s faces when they can help their best friend. It’s so rewarding to see how much people care for their pets when they don‘t have to worry about money. They go from skipping meals to take care of their pet, to crying in disbelief and gratitude when they realize they don’t have to pay a vet bill for their pet’s care.

Companionship though pet ownership has a huge impact on a community member’s quality of life, by reducing drug addiction, incarceration and promoting harm reduction. Many community members say their pet is their only family and work hard to stay in stable housing as a way to protect their animal.

YSM’s appointment-only vet clinic houses 5 exam tables and serves 40-50 pets in an afternoon. Not only does the clinic provide free services and referrals to community members‘ pets, they also partner with YSM regarding the health of pet owners by supplying vaccines for pnemonia and the flu, nicotine replacement kits to support smoking cessation and also offer referrals to dentists. It’s a place where all receive needed care.