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Homeless shelter funds vet clinic

Homeless pet owners can get their furry companions treated

Photo Credit: BANFIELD CHARITABLE TRUST - A Good Neighbor Center client waits to have his dog examined by a veterinarian at Project Homeless Connect 2011.
A veterinary clinic for Washington County’s homeless pet owners will continue for another year, thanks to Tigard’s Good Neighbor Center.

In December, Banfield Charitable Trust — the philanthropic arm of Portland's Banfield Pet Hospital — awarded a $3,500 grant to the Good Neighbor Center to fund a veterinary clinic for Washington County Project Homeless Connect.

Known as PHC, the Hillsboro-based organization works to end homelessness across the county and holds a one-day event for people who need to gain access to local nonprofits, government agencies and services such as haircuts, food stamps and eye exams.

The ninth annual Project Homeless Connect is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 30, at Sonrise Church in Hillsboro.

The Good Neighbor Center, Tigard’s only homeless shelter, offers a free, one-day veterinary clinic for pet owners during the PHC event.

The homeless center has offered the clinics since 2007, said Kim Marshall, coordinator of Project Homeless Connect and former manager of the Good Neighbor Center.

“Who among us does not want and need to feel we are providing for our families?” Jennie Proctor told Banfield after it received a similar grant in 2011. “It is empowering for them to make the effort to have their pet seen by the veterinary staff, and it aids in their belief that they have decision-making abilities in their lives. These pet owners are willing to wait almost an entire day to ensure their pets are seen by qualified doctors. It’s really very moving.”

The clinic is open to pet owners who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Veterinarians and staff members volunteer at the clinic every year to provide checkups for pets.

The clinic offers preventative treatment, Marshall said, such as vaccinations to protect against diseases.

“The provision of preventive health care makes pets’ lives more comfortable and can prevent the onset of more acute health issues providing for longer term health,” Marshall said.

Demand for the veterinary clinic has grown, Marshall said. In 2014, the clinic treated 58 pets. This year, it expects to see as many as 70.

Sonrise Church is located at 6701 N.E. Campus Way, in Hillsboro.

For more information, visit phcwashco.org.


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