Service to aid poor whose animals are ‘like their family’



rafe arnott/metro vancouver


Vancouver police Sgt. Don Cayer, right, and Const. Billie Aadmi show off their latest recruit — eight-month-old Koko — to promote today’s free vet exam for pets of the homeless and those on income assistance. The clinic will be held at the Roundhouse Community Centre, Room B from noon until 3 p.m.


The Vancouver Police Department is teaming up with a veterinarian to provide free treatment today to pets whose owners are homeless or on social assistance.

Sgt. Don Cayer and Const. Billie Aadmi said it is a unique opportunity to interact with members of the community police may not have a strong relationship with.

With officers seeing more and more animals on the street, Cayer said, this type of service is essential.

"We saw a kitten that had been stepped on and you could see the devotion in the owner’s eyes," he said. "The people who do show up to the clinic, their animals are like their family. There was no abuse that we saw. They’d rather feed their pet than feed themselves."

The first clinic was held in July, also operated by Dr. Bruce Burton. More than 30 animals treated were treated then, which led to the second clinic being run today.

"I’m amazed at how (this clinic) bridges the gap between (street people) and the police," said Cayer.