Thursday, November 2, 2017

Charity to help pets of the homeless launches nationally

Pets in the Park
Pets in the Park provide vital veterinary care for the pets of the homeless and at risk of homeless.

Around 105, 237 people are homeless in Australia, and many live with companion animals. As a regular volunteer for Pets in the Park, I’ve seen the mutual benefit derived by humans and animals in these situations, and the importance of access to veterinary care.

Tomorrow, Pets in the Park – an organisation founded in 2009 – is launching nationally. Yvette Berry MLA, Minister for Housing and Homelessness, and the Honorable Dr. Andrew Leigh MP, Shadow Minister for Charity and Not For Profits, will be speaking at the event to be hosted in the ACT.

Pets in the Park (PITP) will officially launch its community services in the ACT, aimed at helping people in the Canberra area who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness by providing free veterinary care programs for their companion pets.

“For many homeless people, having a pet provides the unconditional love, companionship, emotional support and security that they’re unable to find elsewhere,” PITP Director and founding member Mark Westman said.

“The benefits of this bond between owner and pet are immense; including increased social, emotional and physical health. However, although pet ownership greatly enriches the quality of life of those who are experiencing homelessness, it can at times come at a significant financial cost and result in the forfeiting of personal welfare. This is where Pets in the Park comes in.”

PITP began in Sydney. Today, PITP runs free monthly veterinary clinics in NSW (including a mobile ‘outreach program’ clinic in Sydney), Queensland, Victoria and most recently the ACT.  The monthly clinics operate on the first or last Sunday of every month (depending on the clinic) and are run by a strict client referral system.

The organisation relies on volunteer veterinarians, nurses, students and others to deliver excellent service to people in need. It doesn’t take too much out of your day to make a huge difference to someone’s life, so I’d recommend volunteering. You’ll also meet some amazing people.

The ACT program commenced in April this year as a monthly clinic service in collaboration with the Uniting Church Early Morning Centre in the Canberra CBD.
PITP relies on community donations and the financial support of sponsors and community grants. All donations are 100% tax deductible.  The charity is also supported by veterinary practices that donate surgery space and surgical procedures. Clinics can make a huge difference in this way, whether its donating desexing or other important services like orthopaedics, dentistry, lump removals and so on. 

For more information about PITP, visit or visit PITP on Facebook - PITP NSW, PITP Melbourne, PITP Frankston, PITP Brisbane and PITP Canberra.