Arizona Humane Society mobile clinic provides free pet care for underserved communities

Arizona Humane Society mobile clinic provides free pet care for underserved communities

Shaunie Davie and Cash, her half-cocker spaniel, half-Shih Tzu, wait for Cash’s turn to get vaccinated at the Arizona Humane Society’s Healthy Tails Mobile Veterinary Clinic in downtown Phoenix on Jan. 21. (Photo by Troy Hill/Cronkite News)

Shaunie Davie and Cash, her half-cocker spaniel, half-Shih Tzu, wait for Cash’s turn to get vaccinated at the Arizona Humane Society’s Healthy Tails Mobile Veterinary Clinic in downtown Phoenix on Jan. 21. (Photo by Troy Hill/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX – The Arizona Humane Society last month teamed with NourishPHX, a food and clothing bank, to help pets in an underserved community just west of downtown.

Outside NourishPHX’s building on South Ninth Avenue, the society parked its Healthy Tails Mobile Veterinary Clinic, a large truck equipped with medical equipment and an operating room inside. Staff and techs administered vaccines, deworming treatments and flea and tick prevention, and microchipped pets whose owners had appointments or walked in.

Kim Rivers, left, and her Chihuahua, Little One, wait for their vet appointment with friend Elena Gonzalez and her dog, Peanut, in downtown Phoenix on Jan. 21. (Photo by Troy Hill/Cronkite News)

A bulldog waits with its owner at the check-in table in front of the Arizona Human Society’s Healthy Tails Mobile Veterinary Clinic in downtown Phoenix on Jan. 21. (Photo by Troy Hill/Cronkite News)

Arizona Humane Society veterinary technician Kathryn Lee prepares a dog for its procedure in the Healthy Tails Mobile Veterinary Clinic in downtown Phoenix on Jan. 21. (Photo by Troy Hill/Cronkite News)

A small crowd waits for their pets’ turns in the Arizona Humane Society’s Healthy Tails Mobile Veterinary Clinic in downtown Phoenix on Jan. 21. (Photo by Troy Hill/Cronkite News)

Sara Cruz-Mora, the Humane Society’s nonprofit operations director, said the most common barriers to people getting veterinary care for their pets are financial and transportation.

“That’s why it’s so crucial for us to be able to do these services, so that we can remove those two barriers,” She said. “For today, we’re bringing that clinic right to their community, so they don’t have to drive anywhere if they can’t, if they live near the area. And then, of course, we’re offering it for free.”

Left: Cheryl McCreight and Willow, her dachshund-beagle, wait outside the Arizona Humane Society’s Healthy Tails Mobile Veterinary Clinic in downtown Phoenix on Jan. 21. McCreight wants to get Willow microchipped and up-to-date on vaccinations. Right: Arizona Humane Society veterinary technician Robert Allen prepares vaccines for the dog in his arms inside the Healthy Tails Mobile Veterinary Clinic in downtown Phoenix on Jan. 21. (Photo by Troy Hill/Cronkite News)

The partnership with NourishPHX is especially effective because most households that Nourish serves have a pet, so Nourish patrons were able to get services for themselves and their pets on the same trip.

“Getting pet care as well as people care at the same time just sounded like a great idea,” said Beth Fiorenza, executive director of NourishPHX.

The mobile clinic holds similar events around metro Phoenix once or twice a month, and the society hopes to partner with NourishPHX on a more regular basis

(Video by Molly McBride/Cronkite News)

Troy Hill

News Visual Journalist, Phoenix

Troy Hill graduated in May 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in film production. Hill worked for the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation and is working for the Phoenix news bureau.

Molly McBride

News Broadcast Reporter, Phoenix

Molly Mcbride expects to graduate in May 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. McBride, who has interned for 12News and Arizona PBS, is working for the Phoenix news bureau.

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