Caring for Pets of the Homeless

Homeless people with pets are usually criticized and sometimes turned away from shelters. But that’s starting to change.

Homeless people sometimes take better care of their pets than themselves; this clinic helps them

Seattle, WashingtonThe Doney Clinic is hosted at Union Gospel Mission in downtown Seattle in the more than 30 years it has been running. It’s one of very few clinics in the country like it. Named for Bud Doney, a veterinarian in Interbay who started it in 1985, the clinic is free — the only requirement is that owners get their pets neutered after the first appointment.

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The clinic is funded entirely by donations and assembled, then taken down, by volunteers every other Saturday. Homeless and low-income people start lining up as early as 8 a.m. on clinic days, saving their spots in line until 3 p.m., when the clinic opens. Volunteers estimate the clinic sees about a thousand clients or more a year.

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