For many pet owners in Ontario, basic animal wellness services are not an option for their animals. Financial barriers, a lack of transportation and a lack of available care in many communities leaves pets in limbo. The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society is changing that with a new mobile unit.
Providing wellness services for pets in under-served communities acknowledges how important they are to their owners and strengthens the family unit as a whole, says Daryl Vaillancourt, chief, Humane Programs & Community Outreach, Ontario SPCA and Humane Society.
To deliver care where it’s needed most, the Ontario SPCA launched its SPCA Mobile Animal Wellness Services unit, a 38-foot trailer made possible by a grant from the Pet Valu family of stores through its Giving Back Project. The trailer features two surgical tables where 20 to 30 spay/neuter procedures can be completed each day. It also delivers wellness examinations, including vaccinations and microchipping.
“We’re trying to get service as close as possible to where people and their pets live,” says Mr. Vaillancourt.
While the Ontario SPCA has been offering high-volume spay/neuter services for 10 years at two sites in Stouffville and Barrie, the mobile unit takes those services on the road.
“Ontario is a very big province, and some communities live hours and hours away from their nearest veterinary service,” says Mr. Vaillancourt. “By working with our animal wellness partners at the Niagara SPCA and Humane Society, which also operates a mobile unit, we hope to cover much of the province.”
Since launching in June, the Ontario SPCA’s mobile unit has already performed over 300 spay/neuter procedures, preventing over 13,000 potentially unwanted kittens and puppies.
Operating on a break-even basis, the mobile unit depends on donations to keep it stocked with medical supplies and cover operating costs.
“We want to ensure pets in under-served areas live long, healthy, happy lives with their families,” says Mr. Vaillancourt. “It’s good for pets, it’s good for their people, and it’s good for our communities.”
More information: ontariospca.ca/mobileservices
Advertising feature produced by Randall Anthony Communications. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved in its creation.