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.
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.”
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.