Not Just For Humans: Students from WSU School of Nursing and Veterinarians Organize Joint Clinic for People and Their Pets

SPOKANE, Wash. – It’s not something you see very often; a clinic provided vaccines for people and pets. Washington State University hosted a clinic for the two on Wednesday under one roof.

In an effort to help people maintain their health, the university offered pet owners and their pets free health care. The clinic has provided different vaccines to people including influenza vaccine, COVID vaccine, TDAP, hepatitis A and B, and more.

A lot of people have busy schedules. Alejandro Lopez is no different. As a student he is buried with school, work and caring for his dog, Domino.

The clinic on Wednesday was a treat for both of them.

“He was dewormed and also had a good track record and a lot of treats,” Lopez said with a laugh.

While WSU veterinary students checked Domino’s health, Alejandro was examined by WSU nursing students, even getting a flu shot.

“It would be a tough time to schedule something like this for our schedule and I’m so glad it worked for us,” Lopez said.

Lopez and 55 others got vaccinated and had WSU nursing student health checkups. Students at the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine vaccinated 46 dogs and cats and also gave them checkups.

This is a lower participation rate than the last four clinics. Raelynn Farnsworth of the College of Veterinary Medicine attributed it to the rain and the pandemic.

Still, it helped people get what they needed.

“Honestly, I think a lot of times they come from their pets, and we kind of force them to get themselves vaccinated. We kind of use pets as a bribe, ”Farnsworth said with a laugh.

The free clinic has also helped, as some people cannot afford health care.

Lindi Hobbs said it was helpful to her since she is on disability. For her cat, Piglet, finally getting the vaccines he needed meant a lot. It took him two years to get the vaccines he needed.

“He’s my whole world and I felt really bad that I couldn’t get him to come. When I discovered this free clinic, I knew I could come and it would be extremely affordable. I’m so glad they’re doing this and the donations have been amazing, ”said Hobbs.

Hobbs did not end up getting the vaccine herself, claiming that she received all the vaccines she needed. However, having recently moved from Hope House to her own home, she knew other people who needed this resource.

“A lot of these homeless women that I have lived with this year, they don’t take care of themselves,” she said. “And, having the free vaccines here and the pet clinic, they will be able to vaccinate a lot of the ladies and their pets that they have with them.”

The university is hoping to have another clinic like this next year, wanting to help people like Lopez and Hobbs and their pets. However, Farnsworth says it all depends on funding.

While the clinic has helped people in the community, it has also helped nursing and veterinary students, giving them a helping hand.

“They can see a wide variety of things and do things that they don’t always have the opportunity to do. It’s kind of a win-win all around, ”Farnsworth said.

About Homer Yonker

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