BEND, Ore. - Bend Spay & Neuter Project and Cascade Youth & Family Center said Monday they will hit the streets to hold a vaccination clinic for dogs belonging to homeless youth in the downtown area on Monday, August 26th.
A recent outbreak of Parvovirus in Drake Park prompted this collaboration. At least three puppies have died since the outbreak began earlier this month.
Bend Spay and Neuter Project's veterinary team will provide vaccinations for Parvovirus free of charge, and is asking for donations so that Rabies vaccinations and County licenses can also be provided.
When asked what these dogs mean to kids living on the street, Megan Prince, Street Outreach Coordinator for Cascade Youth and Family Center said "companion pets of individuals experiencing homelessness are a source of unconditional love, affection, safety and protection.
The youth experiencing homelessness in our community are exposed to negative stigmas and feedback on a daily basis. Companion pets help counteract the marginalized experience these youth face while offering a means of something to love and care for, as well as a sense of purpose.
Bend Spay and Neuter Project works to address the gaps in services to help keep pets and owners together.
"Many people don't understand that dogs and cats belonging to people who are homeless or displaced can live very happy lives. They get to be with their best friend 24 hours a day and be outside most of the time -- what pet wouldn't want that?" says Megan Wellinghoff, Executive Director at BSNP.
BSNP hopes to raise $400 to cover the cost of Rabies vaccinations and 20 Deschutes County Dog Licenses for this and future outreach events.
Cascade Youth and Family Center (est. 1989) focuses on safety, stability, and self-sufficiency for runaway, homeless, and unaccompanied youth, ages 16-20 in Deschutes County. Services include emergency and transitional shelter, family mediation, and crisis intervention for 150 youth per year in addition to street outreach for close to 300 youth. Cascade Youth and Family Center is a program of J Bar J Youth Services.