SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A free pet clinic for the homeless has less than a month to raise $40,000, or the service could go away.
“I can’t afford vet care on my own. I’m homeless,” said Nathan Larimore.
He shares something in common with the more than 100 people lined up at the Mercer Clinic.
“They help with pet food, heartworm, rabies vaccines, all sorts of things,” said Larimore.
For 20 years, volunteer veterinarians and UC Davis students have run the clinic. There are no paychecks, just their own donated time.
“They don’t step in and just take over. They let us go through the motions, the diagnostic steps and let us find out what’s going on with a particular patient,” said head coordinator Damion Walters.
The homeless community at Loaves and Fishes take advantage of this once a month opportunity.
“We’ll see anywhere from 100-150, maybe on average 125,” said CFO Dr. Tom Kendall.
But now, the warehouse they’ve been working out of is being torn down on June 1.
“We purchased some modular units from the Roseville Unified School District that we’re remodeling and making a clinic to handle a facility that we need here,” said Kendall.
All of these changes come with a cost. Without donations, it could mean an end to the free services and back to the classroom for the students.
“It’s really fulfilling — as a student — to do something for the community, and not only do something for them but increase my clinical skills,” said Tarini Ulial.
Kendall is optimistic and hopeful.
“You can always trust your dog to love you no matter what the problem is,” he said.
The Mercer Clinic just celebrated its 20 year anniversary.