LAS VEGAS (KLAS)– With so many people struggling to make ends meet nowadays, pets may no longer be a priority.
Many dog and cat owners could use a little help caring for them, but where does one go?
Duke is a large loveable dog, but to his owner, Robert Cruz, he’s more than just a pet, he’s a lifeline for fighting Cruz’s depression and isolation.
“He’s one of the most loving dogs you could ever have,” said Cruz, with tears in his eyes. “He saved my life.”
Cruz is a retired Marine and lives on a fixed income, he relies on Hearts Alive Village and its low-cost veterinary clinic.
Christy Stevens is the founder and executive director of Hearts Alive and sympathizes with those struggling to find affordable pet care. “There’s housing issues that people are dealing with, people are running up against problems all the time.”
The clinic has full-time veterinarians offering vaccinations, wellness checks, and dental care at reduced prices.
To alter a dog, the cost ranges from $70 to $165 depending on size.
Annual health checks are $25, blood work starts at $100, and shots are as low as $12.
The organization offers military discounts, sets up payment plans, and people can apply for grants so pets and owners can stay together.
“How incredibly important it is to be able to help those folks access care for these babies keep homes together and keep animals out of the system,” said Stevens.
While Hearts Alive Village is ensuring people have access to affordable veterinary care, the Nevada SPCA is doing its own charitable work.
“Our objective here is to be able to offer them something so they can keep the pet, said Lori Heeren, executive director at the Nevada SPCA.
The organization offers free pet food, and owners like Angelia have come in every few months to pick up supplies for her dogs and cats.
“It’s really expensive,” said Angelia, “particularly cat food, cat wet food is expensive.”
There are no questions and no qualifications. People just need to make an appointment and the food is all theirs.
Help is also available for surgical needs. The Heaven Can Wait surgical center has served over 175,000 patients. Cats can be spayed or neutered for 50 to 75 dollars. Starting at $20 one’s pet can see a doctor for minor illnesses like skin conditions, or ear infections.
For those wondering how to access the various resources available, a seven-day-a-week helpline is available at 702-496-0705.
None of these places handle emergencies or long-term illnesses. But there’s a lot of routine and preventative care people can get.