KCRA Mercer Clinic Vets Treat The Pets of Sacramento’s Homeless
Last weekend I was sent out to shoot a quick V.O. (voice over) of the once-a-month vet clinic that veterinarians and vet students from the U .C. Davis Hospital of Veterinary Medicine provide for the pets of Sacramento’s homeless community.
Most of the medical staff are first and second year students who are volunteers from the U.C. Davis veterinary school. Their first two years of study are all classroom and books, so this is the first actual hands-on medical experience they get — so this clinic is as important for them as it is for their homeless clients and their pets.
Homeless folks are usually very suspicious when there’s a TV camera around. But you start talking to them about their pets and the walks come down and most people are very happy to talk about their pets — and about the important and badly needed work that the vets and vet students are doing for them.
I only expected to be there for 15 minutes — just long enough to shoot a shot V.O. However, once I got there and started talking to people and to the vets and students who where there, I felt the need to tell a longer, more complete story. I put a full 1:30 story together for the Saturday 5 O’Clock News. Then this week is the week that we put together Common Ground, KCRA‘s once-a-month magazine show. (Does it seem that “once-a-month” has a connection going on here?) We were a story short for the show, so I expanded my news story into the magazine-length story that appears here, and which aired on KCRA-TV on Common Ground at 6:30 on Saturday, May 18, 2013.
The pet clinic is held in a parking lot at Loaves and Fishes, which helps Sacramento’s homeless. It’s called the Mercer Clinic for the Homeless and has been going on for 20 years. For the past few years they’ve been working out of an old, metal warehouse, which is being torn down next month. They’ve purchased some modular buildings and started work on making it into a permanent vet clinic that would be open and staffed all the time. They’ve raised $75,000 so far, but need another $75,000 to complete the interior.
As anyone who has followed this site for a while, you’ll know how much the greyhounds that Bonnie and I have rescued and fostered have meant to us. As with the homeless pet owners who line up every month to get their pets (dogs mostly) cared for, we have great empathy for those individuals and their pets, who provide so much needed comfort.
If you’d like to help, please click here if you would like to donate to help the U.C. Davis students and vets to help complete their permanent pet hospital. One of the vets stressed to me and all of the donations go directly into running the clinic and the medicines for the pets. Every one who works at the clinic does it on a completely voluntary basis and no individual receives a penny from their work.