Early on a Saturday morning in one of the poorest communities of the greater Sacramento area, a team of volunteers gathers. Current veterinary students, many of whom have spent dozens of their precious few personal hours through the month planning, organizing, and raising funds for their all-day volunteer clinic, are here to share their growing skills with the least privileged among us. Community and faculty veterinarians arrive, after their 40-60+ hour work weeks, just to help make a few more lives happier and healthier. A team of pre-veterinary students supports the care team through the day, expressing the compassion of the field to which they are pledging many, many years of their futures.
Outside our small clinic, our humble clients with their four-footed friends, our patients, gather in the parking lot. In the clinician/client/patient relationships that occur at our clinic, something miraculous happens. For a moment, a client who may own nothing in this world but the clothes on his back is no longer one of the most forgotten in our society. As we talk about the healthcare of his pet, he becomes just another pet owner, a partner and peer with all these esteemed persons who have teamed up to deliver that care. For a moment, one of our fellow humans -- who might not know where she’s going to find shelter tonight -- can escape being viewed as homeless person, because she is her pet’s home.
Decades of experience; thousands of hours of study; lifetimes of passion for living things -- they all crystalize in a moment of diagnosis. “Yes, sir, your puppy looks healthy. You’re doing a great job caring for him; here’s some preventive treatment to keep him in good health.” “Yes, ma’am, I think we know why your dog is limping. We can help her feel better.” Our effort to help their companions thrive is our contribution to the health of humanity. This is what our careers in veterinary medicine mean to us. This is compassion. This is Mercer Clinic.
If you'd like to support the work of Mercer Clinic for the Pets of the Homeless, click the donate button on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MercerClinic/.
You can also support via Amazon Smile at smile.amazon.com/ch/68-0284501
If you are a veterinarian or pre-veterinary student who would like to volunteer with us, you can contact our team via our Facebook page or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.