By Joel Hillan

DENVER (CBS4) – Sunday, the Colorado Convention Center became an on-site street clinic, to provide free medical care and other services to pets of the homeless.

(credit: CBS)

“We’re heading off trouble before it happens, if we can.  If they already have a problem, we are going to treat it as well as we can,” said Dr. Jon Geller, the Director of Street Dog Coalition.

The Fort Collins-based nonprofit helps provide care for pets of the homeless.

(credit: CBS)

“People living on the streets and near homeless folks have very little opportunity to get veterinary care if any at all,” he said.

In addition to an examination, each pet is given a rabies vaccine and a voucher for the pet to be spayed or neutered.

(credit: CBS)

“Pets need care no matter who their owners are and what their resources are,” said Mike Topper, President of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

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Topper and more than 5,000 other veterinarians and technicians are in Denver for a convention.

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They saw this as the perfect opportunity to not only highlight the work Geller does, but to join in the volunteer effort, and perhaps create similar programs in their cities — helping people like Octavia Montoya.

She purchased Cash just three weeks ago. She knew he needed to see a veterinarian.

“It was really pulling on me, ‘what do I do? What did I get myself into?’ and this was a blessing. I saw it a couple of days ago on Facebook so it’s perfect timing,” she said.

(credit: CBS)

Montoya was chronically homeless in her 20s and things were finally getting better when she says she was recently hit with a road block.

“I’m going through some tough stuff in my life right now and having him to take care of, it gives me a reason not to go off the deep end.”

Born around Thanksgiving, Cash gives her new hope and comfort.

“I just hope that not only having him would help me, but I want to help him feel safe.”

And thanks to the popup clinic, she can keep Cash safe and healthy.

LINK: Street Dog Coalition

Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.


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