Aiding a forgotten segment of society
“These people are going through some hardships and that pet might be the one thing that gives them the unconditional love and loyalty they need in these particular times,” says Genevieve Frederick, executive director of Feeding Pets of the Homeless, a nonprofit group that works to make lives for pets of the homeless a little easier.
The group has for some time collected food and supplies for the animals -- 37,000 pounds of food and $11,000 in cash donations in 2008 from 133 collection and 72 distribution points in 28 states. But Frederick says a new grant program initiated last July takes the effort a step further by helping veterinarians provide free medical care to homeless pets.
“What we’re expecting from the veterinarian is that they would donate their time and go out to where the homeless actually congregate,” she says. “There’s people out there who are willing to go out and service this forgotten part of our society.”
So far, nine grants totaling $9,000 have been awarded to veterinarians who provide medical care to the pets of the homeless. The criteria for the grant award vary, depending on the veterinarian’s own plan. The grants are distributed to cover the veterinarian’s cost of care, not their time, she says. Grants range from $500 to $1,000, and recipients can apply for a new grant once every 12 months.