Through the leadership of the SFCCC's SOS program, the VET SOS project brings together highly respected and effective animal welfare organizations to participate in this project.
VET SOS is a project of the Street Outreach Services (SOS) program at theSan Francisco Community Clinic Consortium (SFCCC) . The Street Outreach Services (SOS) team, a program of the SFCCC, is comprised of outreach workers, physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and volunteers who travel throughout San Francisco creating "clinics without walls" on the streets, at soup kitchens, in parks, under freeway overpasses - wherever homeless people live or congregate. The primary goal of SOS, which was launched in 1988, is to provide urgent and preventive medical care to homeless San Franciscans, ultimately connecting them to an appropriate clinic for primary health care.
SOS utilizes every avenue to reach its homeless clients, many of whom have companion animals. Based on an idea from a former SOS client, in 2001, the SOS program partnered with volunteer Dr. Ilana Strubel, DVM, to begin offering veterinary care once a month to homeless animals as a way to reach out to homeless San Franciscans. The project has been very successful in getting homeless clients linked with needed health and social services-- the first step to turning their lives around and becoming productive citizens.
The San Francisco SPCA provides VET SOS with free spay/neuter services for animals under six years of age, pet food, free short-term boarding after-spay/neuter surgery, and no-interest payment arrangements for advanced or urgent-care, provided through its community veterinary practice.
San Francisco Animal Care and Control provides VET SOS with free microchipping clinics through Friends of SF ACC, donates free DHLPP, FVRCP, and rabies vaccines, maintains a donation bin for supplies and pet food in their lobby, collaborates with VET SOS to reduce fees and prevent over-vaccination of animals by obtaining up-to-date patient records when impounded, and in special circumstances, provides emergency boarding for up to 14 days, when contacted by the appropriate authority.
Pets are Wonderful Support (PAWS) provides VET SOS with storage space and supplemental supplies of pet food to VET SOS and enrolls eligible clients for additional PAWS services, such as: discounted preventative and emergency vet care, emergency foster care, and PAWS also provides VET SOS clients free information on safe pet guidelines for immunocompromised pet owners and their physicians, and counseling and advocacy in regard to animals in rental housing and service animal licensing.
Pets Unlimited provided VET SOS with $1,000 in seed money in 2001 to launch this unique outreach program and it continues to promote and support VET SOS's high quality, effective services. Pets Unlimited also provides discounted veterinary care to clients who are referred by VET SOS.
San Francisco Veterinary Medical Association promotes VET SOS to its members who, in turn, volunteer their services as veterinarians and veterinary technicians. SFVMA has provided annual financial support of VET SOS programs, with the most recent gift of $3,000 in 2009.
Project Homeless Connect* (PHC) is a national best practice model that originated in San Francisco under Mayor Gavin Newsom's leadership in October 2004. PHC is now implemented in 32 cities across the United States. Every other month over 1500 individual community volunteers partner with city government, nonprofits and the private sector to provide a one-stop shop of health and human services for homeless San Franciscans.
*VET SOS provides services at Project Homeless Connect.
The Friends of San Francisco Animal Care and Control is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds for the city's municipal, open-door animal shelter, San Francisco Animal Care and Control (ACC), and its partnering rescue groups, in order to establish or enhance programs of humane welfare, comfort and placement, public service and humane education.
Founded by Paula Benton, Training Wheels San Francisco provides complimentary animal training & behavior coaching at VET SOS outreach clinics.