MELBOURNE The Brevard Health Alliance (BHA), in partnership with The Street Dog Coalition (SDC), provided free medical assistance to the homeless population and their pets on June 23.
The one-day event gave the SDC the opportunity to serve 45 dogs and a cat with the necessary vaccinations, while allowing the BHA to help 16 people with primary care and five COVID-19 vaccinations.
The event was hosted by Daily Bread in Melbourne, one of the county’s only homeless pantries.
“Dr Michelle Dally, veterinarian, contacted Brevard Health Alliance. Brevard Health Alliance has a long-standing relationship with The Daily Bread, going there weekly to provide medical care to the homeless,” said Alicia Moore, director of marketing and public relations. for BHA.
“In the past, Dr Dally has worked with the Daily Bread outreach team to provide veterinary care to homeless pets in their camps, but providing on-site care allows Dr Dally to have a impact on more people at once. a clear partnership to provide connected health services to the same target population of homeless people. [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] promotes this idea of ”One Health” indicating that the factors that support human health, animal health and environmental health work together to create a healthy society “
The Street Dog Coalition, which has chapters in more than 50 cities, provides free medical care and related services to homeless pets using a One Health approach to street medicine.
According to their website, One Health is “a collaborative, multisectoral and transdisciplinary approach – working at local, regional, national and global levels – with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes by recognizing the interconnection between people, animals , plants and their common environment. The One Health office of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works to help people in the United States and abroad.
SDC’s mission “values unconditional love, compassionate activism, unbridled collaboration and empathetic empowerment, the Street Dog Coalition is committed to protecting the human-animal bond and caring for life on both sides of the leash “.
“Homeless people often keep pets for safety reasons as well as for companionship and a sense of responsibility. Sometimes their animals are the only family of the homeless; this connection is extremely important to their mental health, ”said Ms. Moore. “Part of the mission of the Brevard Health Alliance is to care for the whole person, and the Street Dog Coalition is committed to protecting the human-animal bond and caring for life on both ends of the leash. “
The event drew a large group of residents with dogs who received vaccines, heartworm vaccines, a microchip, and other medical needs.
Greg Galatovich and Shannon Perdue, parents of Dink, their terrier mix, were helped by Dr Dally with several vaccinations for the 10-year-old dog.
“They got us a grant for surgery. He was hit by a truck five years ago and he has a hernia,” Galatovich said.
The couple shared their appreciation for helping Dink, who has been a family member through difficult times.
“I spent 10 years homeless and I met her a little over two years ago. She lost her house and I took her with her dog, ”said Mr. Galatovich. “We were living in a tent in my friends’ backyard, then I got my van and I lived in my van for two years. They put us in section 8 accommodation and we finally got a place on the April 14. “
Residents also had the option of receiving medical assistance via the BHA bus. COVID-19 vaccines were also available for those who chose to receive one.
The funds for free medical assistance were provided by federal funding.
“Brevard Health Alliance is a federally accredited health center; it is funded by the federal government and BHA has a responsibility to serve underserved people through charitable care, ”Ms. Moore said.
For more information on the BHA and upcoming events, visit – https://brevardhealth.org/.
For more information on the SDC, visit – https://www.thestreetdogcoalition.org/.