Seattle Church Helps Homeless Care for Their Pets
Liz Foxx waited outside of Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission with her puppy cockapoodle, named Precious, wrapped up in a fleece.
She was waiting for the volunteers from the Doney Memorial Pet Clinic, who have been helping the homeless and low income people in the Seattle area for over 25 years. The group relies on donations, and provides everything from veterinary assistance to medicines, from food to beds and from dog leashes to chew toys.
The group meets in front of Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission twice every month on the second and fourth Saturday, to provide care for the animals. Each animal gets a little index card to keep track of r medical history. This was Precious’ first visit, so she got a brand new card.
“I’m glad they have places like this to get your animals looked at,” Foxx said.
The program has four veterinarians with boxes filled with medicines waiting to look at any type of animal. In two hours time, they can look at more than 50 animals.
The Doney Memorial Pet Clinic is named after Dr. Bud Doney, who set up veterinary care for Seattle’s homeless in 1985. The group has partnered up with Seattle’s spay and neuter program. If the owner is not willing to have his pet spayed or neutered, they will not be seen by the clinic.
Precious ended up having a low-grade infection in her eyelids. She needed an amoxicillin ointment and an oral antibiotic, both of which were at the clinic. The clinic receives less than $50,000 in donations, but consistently receives food donations.
The program has helped many care for their pets. Especially Christina D., who lost her apartment in a fire. Luckily, her dog, named Strega and her kittens made it out alive. The Doney Clinic replaced everything for her pets, including leashes, pet beds and food.
“Everything else is just stuff,” Christina said.
*Based on an article originally published in Real Change, Seattle W.A.’s street newspaper.