For pets and their owners, one-stop health centers
SEATTLE, WA – A unusual collaboration is aiming to ensure that pets have the same level of health as their human parents. The best part is that it's all completely free.
It's a win-win situation for low-income people, homeless people, and their dogs. A multi-purpose clinic with medical personnel to cater for both.
The mobile clinic set up in the Ballard Food Bank's parking lot was bustling with activity. Helping those in need, veterinarian Hanna Ekstrom bounced across the parking lot and in and out of the veterinarian ambulance. She explained that the Seattle Veterinary Outreach usually provides free veterinary treatment to pets, and that they are now teaming with others to take advantage of a unique chance to provide care to the pets' parents as well.
By keeping pets healthy, first and foremost, they're there for their human companions, their owners, Dr. Ekstrom explained. Secondly, the pets are actually serving a purpose by encouraging them to take care of themselves, and we're seeing people who might not otherwise get vaccinated get vaccinated because they want to be there for their pets.
When a huge cat arrived at the mobile vet office to be neutered, Dr. Ekstrom checked his condition and performed the treatment on the spot. Inside, vaccination staff from the Washington Department of Health injected COVID-19 vaccine into the arms of persons wanting the vaccine.
Today, we have master's in public health students from the University of Washington conducting their practicum, and they're learning a little bit more about why people choose to receive immunizations or not, she stated.
Because those who are not fully vaccinated are 2.4 times more likely to have an infection than those who are, Dr. Ekstrom thinks it's critical to learn more about those causes and try to answer their queries. In addition, unvaccinated people are 13 times more likely to be hospitalized and 27 times more likely to die, according to Dr. Ekstrom.
The Seattle Veterinary Outreach facility in Ballard isn't the only one providing this service. On January 19, they'll be at the Compass Health Resource Fair. Several more services are available at the event, which takes place at 77 South Washington Street in Seattle.
Then, on Friday, January 21, they'll perform at Seattle's Recovery Café, located at 4202 6th Avenue South. Vaccination teams from the state or county join the veterinarian teams in all sites.
All of this is possible thanks to donations from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Seattle King County Public Health.