“I’ve had seizures, and this dog really helped me through that,” said Lucia Casso, who brought her dog, Spencer (below), for a checkup to Sunday morning’s Pets of the Homeless Free Clinic at Pershing Park. “We take really good care of our dogs, but it’s expensive, so this fills a need for us.”
The event, which has happened three times a year since 2009, was put on by Santa Barbara Veterinary Group, whose vets, vet techs, and support staff provided 18 loyal companions of the homeless with preventative care, flea treatment, vaccinations, and rabies tags. Vendors donated vaccines, and members of the community contributed dog beds, toys, food, and treats to hand out during the event.
“The relationship between the person and their pet isn’t any different than any of our other patients,” said Katie Sahyouni, DVM, of San Roque Pet Hospital (above), who donated her time for the event. “We’re lucky enough to be a part of an organization that does something like this.”
By Caitlin Fitch