AVMA, Merck Animal Health, and Hill’s Pet Nutrition Join The Street Dog Coalition to Provide Free Veterinary Clinic for Pets of Homeless People in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA (July 31, 2022) – Philadelphia pet owners experiencing homelessness will be able to receive free veterinary exams for their pets and free food and essential supplies at an event hosted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and The Street Dog Coalition.

The clinic will be held July 31 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Norris Square Park during the AVMA’s annual convention, to be held this year in Philadelphia, and is sponsored by Merck Animal Health and Hill’s Pet Nutrition, with support from the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. Care teams will consist of a volunteer veterinarian licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, along with 2-3 vet techs and other support staff.

In addition to health checkups and basic pet care, each pet owner will receive a hygiene kit for themselves and, for their pets, dog food, a bowl of collapsible water/food, treats, toys, leashes and collars. Merck Animal Health, the national partner of The Street Dog Coalition, provides all vaccines for the clinic and preventatives such as heartworm and flea/tick medication, as well as dog bowls and other supplies as per needs. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, a world leader in science-based nutrition, will provide up to 350 free bags of dog and cat food. For neutering, neutering and other surgeries, owners will be referred to local veterinarians who donate or reduce the cost of in-office procedures.

“Pets offer us love and companionship, and in return we must provide them with care and nutrition, but when the owner is homeless, it is sometimes difficult to give the animal everything it needs. “, said Dr. Jose Arce, president of the AVMA. . “As we return to an in-person convention, we are thrilled and grateful to be able to join The Street Dog Coalition, Merck Animal Health and Hill’s Pet Nutrition in bringing high-quality, free veterinary services and supplies to these animals in our Host City of Philadelphia.

“People living on the streets are often isolated and their pets offer them companionship, protection and help them navigate dangerous places and give them purpose,” said Dr Jon Geller, the veterinarian who founded the Street Dog Coalition in Colorado in 2015. “We are committed to protecting the human-animal bond. It’s amazing what we can do when we come together to create these clinics.

“Access to veterinary care, regardless of their life situation, brings peace of mind knowing their pet is receiving high quality care,” said Dr. Christine Royal, Associate Vice President, Merck Animal Health. , US Companion Animal and Equine. “At Merck Animal Health, we are committed to protecting the human-animal bond and know how important companion animals are in bringing companionship, safety and purpose to our lives. We are proud to donate our medications, vaccines, and volunteer hours at The Street Dog Coalition to support pet owners in Philadelphia and other cities across the United States.

“Hill’s Pet Nutrition is proud to partner with the AVMA and the Street Dog Coalition to support this important initiative to help pets and the people who love them,” said Dr. Karen Shenoy, Chief Veterinarian from Hill’s Pet Nutrition US. “Just like with humans, regular care and proper nutrition are essential for animals to live long and healthy lives.”

For more information about the clinic or other media opportunities at the AVMA convention, to schedule interviews, and to register as a press attendee, please contact Michael San Filippo, AVMA Senior Media Relations Specialist, at (847) 732-6194 (cell) or msanfilippoavma [dot] org.

Boyd S. Abbott