AVMA, Street Dog Coalition partner to help pets of people experiencing homelessness in Denver

For more information Phone: 847-313-9597 Cell: 847-313-9597
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Free clinic is sponsored by Merck Animal Health, Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Western Veterinary Partners

(DENVER, Colorado) July 13, 2023 — Pets give their humans love, companionship and protection, and in return their owners want to give them the medical care, nutrition and comfort they need and deserve. But for owners experiencing homelessness, providing that level of care to their pets can be a real challenge.

During the annual American Veterinary Medical Association Convention – held this year in Denver – the AVMA and The Street Dog Coalition partner to offer pet owners experiencing homelessness free veterinary examinations for their animals and complimentary food and essential supplies. This year’s event, scheduled for Sunday, July 16 from 11am-3pm MT at the Welton Street entrance of the Colorado Convention Center, is sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Merck Animal Health and Western Veterinary Partners.

Animals will receive health checks and basic care, and pet owners will get a hygiene kit for themselves and – for their pets – food, a collapsible water/food bowl, treats, toys, leashes and collars.

Merck Animal Health, a Street Dog Coalition Legacy Sponsor since 2021, is providing all the vaccines for the clinic and preventatives such as heartworm and flea/tick medications, along with dog bowls and other supplies as needed. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, a global leader in science-led nutrition, will provide free pet food for cats and dogs. Western Veterinary Partners, a Street Dog Coalition Legacy Sponsor since 2023, will be supplying lunch for volunteers and pet owners. For spaying, neutering and other surgeries, owners will be referred to local veterinarians who donate or reduce the cost of in-office procedures.

Each volunteer care team will be led by a Colorado state-licensed veterinarian and consist of a veterinary technician or student and staff to help with intake, check-in and check-out, and distributing hygiene kits.

“Veterinarians are compassionate and altruistic people, and every year many AVMA members and staff volunteer for this wonderful event,” said Dr. Lori Teller, AVMA President. “The Street Dog Coalition is incredible and working with them helps to give back to our host communities. And we couldn’t be more grateful to our generous sponsors.”

“People experiencing homelessness have incredibly strong bonds with their pets who provide companionship, purpose, and unconditional love. By providing free compassionate care to both ends of the leash, we hope to help preserve, protect, and strengthen those bonds,” said Katrina Weschler, Executive Director of The Street Dog Coalition.

“As a company that stands by our unconditional commitment to pets, pet owners, and those who care for them, it’s an honor to continue our long-standing partnership with The Street Dog Coalition to provide vaccines, medications and resources that allow the AVMA and our volunteer veterinarians to deliver accessible, quality care to those who need it most,” said Dr. Robert Duquette, professional services veterinarian for Merck Animal Health.

"The Street Clinic at the AVMA Convention is a great example of veterinary professionals doing what they do best – coming together to serve people and pets in the community," said Dr. Karen Shenoy, US Chief Veterinary Officer for Hill's Pet Nutrition.  "We are humbled to again have the opportunity to support this Street Dog Coalition initiative.  It's a wonderful opportunity to live our shared mission of enriching and lengthening the special relationships between people and their pets.”

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with The Street Dog Coalition and help support their mission to provide free medical care and related services to pets of people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness,” said Carollee Brinkman, CEO of Western Veterinary Partners. “The team at Western Veterinary Partners recognizes and honors the human-animal bond and we are committed to doing our part to help protect that bond through our partnership with The Street Dog Coalition.”

About the AVMA

Serving more than 100,000 member veterinarians, the AVMA is the nation's leading representative of the veterinary profession, dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of animals, humans and the environment. Founded in 1863 and with members in every U.S. state and territory and more than 60 countries, the AVMA is one of the largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. Informed by our members' unique scientific training and clinical knowledge, the AVMA supports the crucial work of veterinarians and advocates for policies that advance the practice of veterinary medicine and improve animal and human health.

About The Street Dog Coalition

The Street Dog Coalition (SDC) started in 2015 with one team in Fort Collins, CO. It is now an international nonprofit with teams across the United States and in Ukraine providing free medical care and related services to pets of people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. Volunteers include veterinarians, vet techs, vet assistants, students, social workers, human healthcare professionals and human-animal bond advocates. SDC’s four core values are unconditional love, compassionate activism, unbridled collaboration, and trust. SDC looks at the leash as a lifeline and cares for the mental and physical health on both ends, delivering services with compassion and kindness, devoid of judgment or conditions. SDC’s legacy sponsors include Merck Animal Health and Western Veterinary Partners. For more information, or to donate, visit www.thestreetdogcoalition.org.

About Merck Animal Health

At Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than a century, we’ve been at the forefront of research, bringing forward medicines, vaccines and innovative health solutions for the world’s most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business of Merck. Through its commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of connected technology that includes identification, traceability and monitoring products. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.merck-animal-health.com and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Founded 75 years ago with an unwavering commitment to science-led pet nutrition, Hill's Pet Nutrition is on a mission to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. Hill's is dedicated to pioneering research for dogs and cats using a scientific understanding of their specific needs. As a leading veterinarian recommended pet food brand, knowledge is our first ingredient with 220+ veterinarians, PhD nutritionists and food scientists working to develop breakthrough innovations in pet health. Hill's Prescription Diet therapeutic nutrition plus our everyday wellness product line, Hill's Science Diet, are sold at vet clinics and pet specialty retailers worldwide. For more information about our products and nutritional philosophy, visit HillsPet.com. Veterinary professionals can visit HillsVet.com for more information.

About Western Veterinary Partners

Western Veterinary Partners is a people-centric veterinary support organization that partners with veterinary practices across the United States. We believe that the most successful partnerships are built from collaboration and trust – and keeping people at the center of every decision. We are committed to creating positive change in the veterinary care community and cultivating a supportive network for veterinarians and veterinary professionals to share knowledge and best practices. Our mission and values guide everything we do and play a big part in how we engage with our partner practices and the broader veterinary profession.