record breaking healthy pet clinic


(Syracuse, New York)  A word of thanks.  A smile from a child.   An up close look at a puppy or kitten getting its first veterinary care. Those are the meaningful moments that carry value far beyond the ten dollar fee per pet at the Healthy Pet Clinic in Syracuse. 

We served a record breaking number of pets in the first clinic of the 4th year of this all volunteer efforts. Close to 170 dogs and cats received examinations, vaccinations and other care.  Some of the pet owners waited nearly four hours.  The long wait came despite the extraordinary effort of the team inside the St. Lucy's Church gymnasium where nine exam tables were constantly busy.

It is a sight to see. 

When visitors approach during peak hours, they first are stunned by the large eclectic gathering of people and pets spread out on the St. Lucy's lawn and sidewalk.  Each group clutches its number indicating their position in line.  The next moment of impact is the first step inside the gym.  It is a bee hive of activity. Dogs getting weighed. Paperwork being checked. Rabies certificates being filled out.  Then there are the exam tables.  Volunteer veterinarians and technicians from the greater Syracuse area.  They work side by side with a large team of students and faculty from the Cornell University Veterinary College Shelter Medicine Program.

 After the exam, there's licensing, spay/neuter information, check out and food and dog treat give away. Chaos and order live side by side.  There are messes to clean up.  Vaccines to be drawn. New collars and leashes to be given away. Then there are the red shirts. The designated color for the volunteers.  It is a group of community members dedicated to helping others while also sneaking in a few pets of some of the adorable clients.

The day that begins with unloading supplies before 10:00 am wraps up at 5:30 pm.   Everyone involved is drained, but satisfied.  All you have to do to measure whether it was worthwhile is remember the gratitude, the smiles of the people who greatly appreciate the effort.  

Watch slideshow of images from September 2013 Healthy Pet Clinic.‚Äč