Lack of access to veterinary care and pet resources is a significant animal welfare crisis affecting pet owners throughout Los Angeles County. This problem has multiple causes, but socio-economic status, including homelessness, is a major factor. This was made even more evident when the pandemic hit as it created even more financial hardship for so many who were already struggling. The Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) established an outreach program which partnered resources from their animal care centers, mobile veterinary unit, and departmental volunteers.
The group focused on providing services to pet owners in underserved areas where pets are at high-risk of surrender due to the owners’ economic challenges and new financial hardships brought on by the pandemic. Over 89 animals were vaccinated, given flea treatment, rabies shots, dewormed, microchipped, and owners received pet food, leashes, treats and toys, all for free. DACC’s outreach program complements the Managed Intake model and provides support and resources to pet owners to mitigate the need to surrender pets to their animal care centers.
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