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Paws for Hope helps pets in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

For many people living on streets of the Downtown Eastside, their friendship with their four legged companion is their only constant relationship.

However, few homeless people have the resources to get proper veterinary treatment for their pets.

Today, volunteers from Paws for Hope are giving the area’s less fortunate a chance to give their beloved animals a free check-up.

Robin’s two dogs, Lulu and Layla arrived at the event for a much-needed check-up.

She wants to make sure they are in tip top shape, but seeing a veterinarian isn’t always in the budget.

“I lost my extra income, so this really helped me out a lot. I spoil them a lot,” says Robin.

“I do take good care of them i just couldn’t afford to do the little things.”

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All kinds of animals are welcome at the free vet clinic, from dogs, to cats, and even rats.

Lindsay brought her pet rat and thinks there should more programs like this for low-income neighbourhood.

“Absolutely, I think there should be more programs like this that are available to people who are low income or on the streets.”

The Paws for Hope animal foundation organizes the event, which offers animals physical exams, flea or deworming, and nail trimming.

“Vaccinations, skin and ear infections; severe dental disease, we’ve seen it all,” says veterinarian Shawn Llewellyn.

“We do follow up treatments, and get them feeling good again.”

The program offers up much more than a free medical exam, it helps ensure the special bond between owners and their pets can remain strong.

“People say their relationship with their pet, is their one constant trusting relationship that they have,” says Kathy Powelson of Paws for Hope.

“We are really honoured to help keep that relationship together as long as possible. People have spoken about getting off of the streets because of their pets.”

For more information on Paws for Hope, go to pawsforhope.org

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