Local animal shelters teaming up to open vet clinic


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Two local animal shelters are teaming up to provide their animals with quick and livesaving care through a veterinary clinic.

The Norfolk Animal Care Center and the Portsmouth Humane Society will open the clinic at the center in Norfolk early next year.

“We were able to come together to do something that would’ve individually been impossible,” said Alison Fechino, who is the executive director for the Portsmouth Humane Society.

NACC received funding to open the clinic at their center on Sabre Road but needed help to staff the clinic.

A Request for Proposals was put out and the Portsmouth Humane Society was awarded the contract to help hire staff. PHS had the resources but did not have enough funds to open a clinic.

The rest of their partnership is history.

“It is common for shelters to have their own vet clinics in house, but it’s not common for two different shelters to make a clinic operational so that is a unique partnership and it’s something we’re excited to move forward with because neither of our organizations would’ve been able to open it by ourselves,” Fechino said.

Shelters have been inundated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with the number of intakes and they’ve seen another demand because of it.

“Nationwide, we’ve seen an increased demine in veterinarian services and having a hard time keeping up with that demand,” Fechino said. “This will allow us to take the burden off of local practitioners having to service our shelter pets but it will also allow us to have access to that care much faster without having to book outside veterinarians. It means the pets in our care will get help much quicker than they would otherwise.”

It will also help take a burden off their budget.

“We are stewards of public dollars and public trust here. While we definitely appreciate and enjoy our partnership with all our local vendors, this is something that will maximize our already limited resources and just do more with what we have. It’s very important,” said Michelle Dosson, who is the bureau manager for the Norfolk Animal Care Center.

While the clinic will initially service animals who come in to be sheltered, those in charge hope they can eventually expand their services to pet owners in the community.

Fechino says they’re incredibly motivated to reach beyond their shelter doors to help.

“Animal sheltering is experiencing this really exciting movement where we’re shifting our focus away from exclusively putting our services into pets and shelters and expanding that into the community,” she said.

The Norfolk Animal Care Center is currently offering a “Home for the Holidays” deal where you can adopt a pet for $50 dollars, which includes vaccinations.

They also are offering a ‘Best Buddies’ program where you can adopt two pets for one price.

Click here for more information.

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