Struggling pet owners receive free veterinary care for their pets

SEATTLE--Many pet owners struggling during these times got free veterinary care for their furry friends on Wednesday.

Seattle Veterinary Outreach offered full veterinary care services and basic essentials, such as food and accessories for pets at the Ballard Food Bank.

"My dog needs help. He had perennial hernia which he had surgery for and it was $5,000, so I came to get more dog food and a new harness," said pet owner Bobbie Jane Barber.

Doctor Hanna Ekstrom founded Seattle Veterinary Outreach about 2 years ago to help homeless pet owners thrive with their pets. But with more pet owners struggling during these unprecedented times, Ekstrom said her free vet clinics are busier than ever.

"We have been busy because of Covid. We don't want anybody to have to choose to relinquish their pet. It's not good for anybody. It's not good for the pet or the person, so we do everything we can to keep them together," said Ekstrom.

The organization also connects pet owners with service to help them through their crisis.

Sean Sills said Seattle Veterinary Outreach not only saved his cat's life, but also his life. He was struggling to look for a job and now works part-time for the organization.

"Oh, it's great. I'm feeling a lot better about myself. I've been homeless on and off and I've always tried to help people and give back and now I'm really doing that in a big way. I feel really good about it," said Sills.

The organization will have free clinics every week. For more information on locations and times you can visit their website or follow their Facebook page.