Pet clinic for homeless moving to new site

Published: Monday, January 23, 2012 at 2:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 23, 2012 at 10:34 p.m.

A program that provides veterinary care for the pets of homeless people has found a new home.

The St. Francis House Pet Care Clinic on Feb. 1 will start operating at the former site of a dog grooming business at 501 SE Second St. in downtown Gainesville that is known for its red color, said program vice president Chris Machen.

“The clients will know where we are and how to get there,” said Machen, the wife of University of Florida President Bernie Machen. “We felt that to move away from that area would be hard.”

The clinic began operating in September 2007 at the St. Francis House homeless shelter at 413 S. Main St. and was started by Machen, Gainesville veterinarian Dale Kaplan-Stein and University of Florida veterinary professor Natalie Isaza.

It is staffed by the veterinarians and by UF veterinary students.

Homeless and low-income residents can get their pets exams, vaccinations, flea and heartworm prevention and other basic treatment. Spaying and neutering through the program is done at UF.

More than 1,200 pets have been treated at the clinic.

In October the clinic, which is held every Tuesday, had to move from the homeless shelter because the shelter needed the space.

The clinic was moved temporarily to the Civic Media Center at 433 S. Main St.

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