We offer free veterinary care for homeless and low-income pet owners in the Victoria area.
What is Vets for Pets?
Vets for Pets is a veterinary clinic offering free veterinary care to the dogs and cats of homeless and low-income pet owners of the Victoria area.
Vets for Pets Victoria was born out of the idea that the powerful bond between humans and animals shouldn’t be reserved only for those who can afford the rising cost of veterinary care. We have been serving the greater Victoria area since September 2009.
We are a completely not-for-profit organization. All donations received go into offering vet care to pets around the city. Our newest component to Vets for Pets is our mobile addition. This allows us to services folks and their pets who may not be able to access our services through Our Place Society.
See below for answers to more frequently asked questions:
Frequently Asked Questions:
Who can take their pets?
The clinic is intended to help the pets of low-income and homeless pet owners of the Victoria area. We do not confirm pet owner’s income status. We can see a MAXIMUM of 60 pets on each clinic day. Registration does not guarantee that your pet will be seen.
What services are offered?
We provide primarily preventive care in the form of vaccines, parasite control and the management of simple ear, eye and skin infections. We CANNOT euthanize pets. We do NOT carry any narcotics, opiates or barbiturates. We do not carry fentanyl. We do not provide hospitalization of pets. We cannot provide surgical services.
When are the clinics?
The clinic operates on the second Sunday of each month at Our Place Society at 919 Pandora Avenue.
At 9AM, please come to the courtyard of Our Place Society for your pet to be registered, medical file prepared and pick up pet food and supplies from our charitable partner, BC SPCA Victoria Branch. Your pet does not need to be present at this time.
Pets are seen starting at 10AM. The clinic “closes” at 11:45Am, as we need to leave the courtyard by noon.
** Please contact Our Place Society at (250) 388-7112 to determine if registration tickets are needed that day.
Where do the clinics take place?
The clinics take place at Our Place Society in downtown Victoria. Registration takes place in the courtyard.
Cats are seen in the “shipping/receiving” room and dogs are seen in an enclosed area of the courtyard.
What can I expect when I get there?
The courtyard can be very chaotic at the start of the clinic as there may be over 60 animals and their owners. We have two security guards dedicated to the clinic. They work from 11am – 3pm on clinic days to ensure the safety of volunteers and pet owners. All pets MUST be restrained (cats in kennels, dogs leashed or in kennels).
Some pet owners may exhibit mental illness or signs of drug use.
Each appointment lasts about five minutes due to the sheer volume of pets we see. You may be waiting for several hours to be seen. If you are not present when your pet is called, you will not be seen.
Can children attend?
No, children under the age of 18 years are not able to attend. The courtyard is not a suitable area for children. As well, several of the pet owners get distressed in the presence of children.
Who are the veterinary professionals?
All the veterinary professionals are VOLUNTEERS from different clinics across Vancouver Island. We do not know until the day of the clinic who will be available to assist.
How is Vets for Pets funded?
We receive no funding from any government or non-profit organization. There are no administrative fees – the only people who are paid are the security guards. Some products are donated from pharmaceutical companies.
How can I donate? Are you a registered charitable organization?
Food and Pet Supply Donations: Please contact the BC SPCA (Victoria) branch (250-388-7722) regarding pet food or supply donations. They have a booth/table set up on clinic day and provide pet owners with needed donations.
Veterinary Supplies: We cannot use expired drugs. We are always in need of prescription parasite control such as Revolution, Bravecto, Advantage, Trifexis, Comfortis, Sentinel, Program, Simparica, Interceptor, etc We frequently need oral broad-spectrum antibiotics such as Cephalexin, Fluoroquinolones, Penicillins. We are always in need of prescription topical, eye and ear medications. We are always in need of Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatories Drugs such as Deramaxx, Onsior and Metacam. Behaviour medications such as trazodone and gabapentin are also accepted. Other medications needed will be based on our immediate needs. We CANNOT use drugs for chronic illness such as heart, thyroid, diabetes and ongoing GI issues. We CANNOT use controlled drugs (opiods, barbituates etc). All drugs that are not eligible for donation will be returned as we cannot dispose of large amounts of medications.
Monetary Donations: If you wish to donate, please contact Chloe at email@example.com Alternatively, you can donate via Our Place Society BUT you must specify that the funds are going to Vets for Pets. Please visit https://vetsforpetsvictoria.com/donations/ for more information.
All donations greater than $20 are eligible for a tax receipt.
I would like to volunteer – where do I start?
Frequently Asked Question for Volunteers
- How do I go about volunteering? Contact us via email and we will get back to you.
- What time should I arrive? If you are new, please arrive at 9:30pm. If you are a returning volunteer, please arrive at 9:45pm. Clinic starts at 12pm sharp.
- What should I wear? The clinic runs in the shipping/receiving room (cats) and courtyard (dogs) so please be prepared for all weather and circumstance. Please dress appropriately – scrubs are allowed and encouraged.
- What should I bring? Stethoscope (if available) and labeled water bottle. Purses and bags will be kept in a secure location within the clinic.
- Who can volunteer? As we are a fast –paced environment, most of our volunteers work within the veterinary field. However, please contact us for further information.
- Do you accept pre-veterinary students as volunteers? YES!
- Is any training required? No – we will help you on clinic day with any questions.
- Where do I park? We recommend parking in a City of Victoria Parkade. Neighboring parkades are the Johnson Street parkade (between Douglas and Blanshard) or the Yates Street Parkade.
At this time, our volunteers are primarily veterinary professionals given the intense and sometimes dangerous nature of our work. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Chloe at firstname.lastname@example.org