Not just for humans: Students from WSU’s nursing and veterinary school hold joint clinic for people and their pets

SPOKANE, Wash. — It’s not something you see very often; one clinic provided vaccines for both people and pets. Washington State University held a clinic for both on Wednesday all under one roof.

In an effort to help people maintain their health, the university gave pet owners and their animals some free health care. The clinic provided different shots for people including the flu shot, COVID vaccine, TDAP, Hep A and B, and more.

Many people have busy schedules. Alejandro Lopez is no different. As a student, he’s buried with school, work and taking care of his dog, Domino.

The clinic on Wednesday was a treat for the both of them.

“He got dewormed and also got a nice checkup and a lot of treats,” Lopez said laughing.

While WSU veterinary students gave Domino a checkup, Alejandro was being checked by WSU nursing students, even getting his flu shot.

“It would be a tough time to schedule something like that for our schedule and I’m just so glad this worked out for us,” Lopez said.

Lopez and 55 other people got vaccinated and health checks from WSU nursing students. Students from the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine vaccinated 46 dogs, cats and gave them health checks, too.

It’s a lower turnout compared to the last four clinics. Raelynn Farnsworth with the College of Veterinary Medicine attributed it to the rain and pandemic.

Still, it helped people get what they need.

“Honestly, I think a lot of times, they’re coming from their pets, and we kind of corral them into getting vaccines themselves. We’re kind of using the pets as bribery,” Farnsworth said laughing.

The clinic being free also helped, as some people don’t have the means to get health care.

Lindi Hobbs said it is helpful for her since she’s on disability. For her cat, Piglet, to finally get the shots he needed, it meant a lot. It took two years for her to get him the vaccines he needed.

“He’s my whole world and I’ve felt really bad I haven’t been able to bring him in. When I found out about this free clinic, I knew I could come in and it would be extremely affordable. I’m thrilled they’re doing this and the donations have been incredible,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs didn’t end up getting vaccinated herself, saying she got all the shots she needed. However, recently leaving the Hope House for a home of her own, she knew others who needed this resource.

“A lot of these homeless ladies I lived with this for this past year, they kind of don’t look after themselves,” she said. “And, having the vaccinations for free here and the pet clinic, they’ll be able to vaccinate a lot of the ladies and their therapy pets they have with them.”

The university hopes to have another clinic like this next year, wanting to help people like Lopez and Hobbs and their pets. However, Farnsworth says it all depends on funding.

While the clinic helped people in the community, it also helped nursing and veterinary students, allowing them to get hands-on.

“They get to see a wide variety of things and do stuff they don’t always get to do. It’s kind of a win-win all the way around,” Farnsworth said.

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