SPOKANE, Wash. — The SpokAnimal shelter is providing resources for pet owners experiencing homelessness after the City of Spokane received part of a $130,000 grant.
Spokane is one of just seven cities to be awarded the funding through Mars Petcare’s Better Cities for Pets program, which is aimed at assisting pet parents that are facing challenges keeping and caring for their pets.
Pet expert liaisons from SpokAnimal will assist individuals at the Trent Resource and Assistance Center (TRAC), a homelessness services navigation center with pet-related needs while they are in and transitioning out of the shelter.
“We’re honored that the City sought our partnership and were receptive to our suggestions about ways to keep pet-owners, pets, and non-pet owners safe at the TRAC navigation center,” Dori Peck, SpokAnimal executive director, said.
The program consists of a SpokAnimal vet technician and advocates on-site each week for a two-hour clinic to ensure pets of the homeless have access to vaccines, wellness checks, and supplies such as harnesses, muzzles, leashes, and coats.
Spay and neuter services are also available to pet owners. SpokAnimal also stocks an on-site pet food bank that TRAC patrons can access throughout the week.
“This partnership with SpokAnimal is keeping pets with their humans and well cared for as they transition into permanent housing through the navigation center," Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward said.
Woodward said SpokAnimal is providing pets with the care they need and future landlords the information they require.
"They have also already provided a pet travel certificate for an individual that was intending to relocate," Woodward said. "This is a level of care that hasn’t been previously provided.”
Peck said the pet care provided at TRAC benefits the community at large by providing vaccinations to prevent pets' diseases and spaying and neutering services to reduce animal control services.
TRAC has been serving more than 300 people during the recent winter months.
“In many cases, these animals are support animals that are closely bonded with their owners,” Peck said.
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