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PAWtners: An Affordable Veterinary Care Partnership

Delahaye, Clara Daniele
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Affordable veterinary health care in the Laramie community is often not very accessible for low-income individuals, and this is cause for concern. The general well being of animals is compromised with the lack of accessible pet care. There is a public health concern with animals not up to date on vaccinations like rabies, and untreated illnesses can place unneeded strain on the emotional connection between pet and owner. The overall goal of this study is to create a sustainable and affordable veterinary care partnership, justify the need for this program, and demonstrate the mental health benefits of pet ownership. By partnering clients from the DTC, a low-income primary health clinic in Laramie, with local veterinary clinics, the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory (WSVL), LAWS, and the Wyoming Pre-Veterinary Club can enable an affordable pet care program for low-income Albany residents. To create this PAWtnership, numerous meetings were held with various entities including the Animal Shelter, LAWS, local veterinary clinics, and WSVL faculty. A survey was conducted in which 61 of the current DTC clients were interviewed regarding vaccination and spay/neuter status of pets as well as their ability to afford veterinary care. This survey also included an assessment of the emotional relationship between low-income pet-owners and their animals. Integrating this program into the Wyoming Pre-Veterinary Club will ensure its longevity and sustainability, since motivated and caring pre-veterinary students will continue to provide much needed accessible pet care to those in need.
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Keywords
Low income , Affordable Veterinary Care , Mental Health
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