WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Nursing teamed up to help homeless and low-income people and their pets

A woman and her 2 dogs at the Healthy People + Healthy Pets clinic in Spokane, Washington.

On a January winter day, the College of Veterinary Medicine teamed with the WSU College of Nursing to help homeless and low-income people and their pets at the WSU Veterinary Specialty Teaching Clinic in Spokane. During the five-hour Healthy People + Healthy Pets clinic, students and faculty gave no-cost health screenings, vaccinations, and simple treatments to 125 dogs and cats and nearly 100 people. Gloves, hats, personal-care items, and pet supplies such as collars, leashes, coats, and pet food were offered to clinic-goers at no charge.

“It is a really good way to connect with the community and is a great service for both the owners and their pets,” says WSU Community Practice veterinarian, Dr. Raelynn Farnsworth. “The clients were very appreciative of all the services that we provided their pets. We vaccinated the animals and provided them with dewormer and other external parasite control.”

WSU veterinarian Dr. Cariann Turbeville joined Dr. Farnsworth at the clinic along with licensed veterinary technicians Melody Gerber and Aleena Nemeth, and eight fourth-year veterinary students, Allyson Atwell, Belinda Baumel, Annika Benedetto, Cassidy Broggs, Carrie Jo Cobb, Kevin Gavin, Laura Mailard, and Tara Whalen.

The clinic was so well received, they are hoping to do it again next year. “We look forward to partnering with the WSU College of Nursing on this effort again,” says Dr. Farnsworth. “I think it would make a great annual event.