MEALS ON WHEELS DURHAM SETS TO OFFER FREE MOBILE VET SERVICES FOR PETS OF HOMEBOUND OLDER ADULTS
This May, Meals on Wheels Durham will partner with DEGA Mobile Veterinary Care to provide free mobile veterinary services to clients thanks to a grant from Meals on Wheels America and PetSmart Charities.
To enhance MOWD’s existing Pet Food Program, which provides weekly deliveries of wet and dry dog and cat food, Dr. April Gessner, the founder of DEGA, will offer services to 10 MOWD pets on May 14, including deworming, heartworm testing, flea/tick preventative, nail trimming, and ear cleaning. Due to the program’s popularity, Meals on Wheels Durham will add two more mobile vet service dates for clients and their pets!
“For many of our clients, pets are very much like family,” said Meals on Wheels Durham Executive Director, Jason Peace. “They provide companionship to combat social isolation and at times, entertainment that guards against boredom. With that said, we are extremely thankful to partner with Dr. April Gessner in providing more than a meal in efforts to keep our clients’ furry loved ones as healthy and good-looking as possible—and keep our clients just as happy.”
In our most recent annual client survey, we learned that half of our pet-owning clients had been unable to obtain needed vet care over the past two years due to financial constraints and/or lack of transportation. Data shows that pets reduce social isolation and loneliness for older adults. Therefore, in addition to enriching the lives of older adults through food and friendly visits, it is also our goal to ensure that the four-legged companions of our clients remain healthy and continue to nourish the lives of their owners.
DEGA Mobile Veterinary Care is a nonprofit located in the Triangle that provides free basic veterinary care to low/no income and homeless pet owners all across the state. Dr. Gessner Is passionate about doing vet volunteer work and has volunteered in several impoverished countries in Central America, South America, and Asia. She was recently awarded the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from Ross University for her international volunteer work. Dr. Gessner decided to start DEGA so that she could help pets on a local level just as she had done internationally.