Pets in the Park is a fabulous initiative, set up by one of my favourite vets Dr Mark Westman. Pets in the Park helps homeless people and their pets in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. I have spoken with one of their recipients (I find it hard to walk past a homeless person in the street when they have their pet with them) and he said that he would not be here today if it wasn’t for the help of Pets in the Park…
Do you know about Pets in the Park?
Pets in the Park is a group of volunteer veterinarians and veterinary nurses helping the homeless care for their companion animals by providing free veterinary care. PITP runs free monthly vet clinics and quarterly desexing clinics for much-loved animal companions of people struggling with homelessness.
Now more homeless pet owners will get access to free vet care in Melbourne.
More homeless pet owners to get access to free vet care in Melbourne
Many homeless or once homeless people lead a difficult and isolated life, particularly those who struggle with depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. But for those with pets, their companion animals act as their refuge and give many a reason to live.
Pets in the Park (PITP) is a group of volunteer veterinarians and veterinary nurses that provide free veterinary care at monthly vet (health) clinics and quarterly desexing clinics for much-loved animal companions of people struggling with homelessness.
PITP has been operating in Melbourne for more than a year through its Frankston clinic in conjunction with Community Support Frankston and the support of Frankston City Council.
The national charity is now launching in Central Melbourne on May 29 and covering the Melbourne CBD area!
“For many homeless people, having a pet provides the unconditional love, companionship, emotional support and security that they’re unable to find elsewhere,” says Dr Mark Kelman, a Director of PITP Melbourne. “The benefits of this bond between owner and pet are immense; including increased social, emotional and physical health.”
PITP began in Sydney in 2009 with one vet, two fold-out tables and an esky full of vaccinations, set up in a small park and offering free vet checks for clients attending an outreach program run by Stepping Stones Community Ministry. Today, it runs free monthly vet clinics across Victoria, Brisbane and Sydney, including a mobile clinic (outreach program) in Sydney. The monthly clinics operate on the last Sunday of every month and are run by a strict client referral system.
PITP relies on community donations and the financial support of sponsors and community grants. All donations received go towards medicines and materials required to run the monthly health clinics and quarterly desexing clinics. The charity is also supported by veterinary practices that donate surgery space and surgical procedures, as well as the many wonderful volunteers who generously donate their time to health and surgery clinics.
PITP Central Melbourne launch
PITP is launching a new clinic in Central Melbourne that begins on Sunday, 29 May. The clinic will be held at Wesley Church, 148 Lonsdale Street in Melbourne from 2.30pm – 4.30pm. For more information, phone 0476 970 570.
PITP Frankston is held at Frankston Football Oval. For more information about PITP Frankston, click here.
About Pets in the Park
PITP became a charity in 2012 and currently runs two clinics in New South Wales (Parramatta and Darlinghurst) and Victoria (Frankston and Central Melbourne), and one in Queensland (Brisbane). PITP also runs a Pilot Outreach Program (mobile clinic from a van), supported by the City of Sydney’s Community Matching Grant Program.
PITP acknowledges the support of the State Trustees Foundation Australia through the 2015 Grass Roots Grants Program for PITP’s operations in Victoria.
PITP’s Corporate Partners are Elanco, Virbac, BRC Lift Interiors and Fixtures and The Lyone Foundation. To be eligible to attend a PITP clinic and receive assistance from PITP, a referral letter from a social worker or welfare officer is essential.