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Free veterinary service serves south Seattle homeless communities

"Something like this [The Ellevet Project] benefits us a lot," said pet owner Dana Yin. #newdaynw

SEATTLE — Dana Yin has been homeless since the pandemic started two years ago. But despite his situation, he finds a way to take good care of his two dogs. 

Yin traveled from west to south Seattle to make sure his dogs could get healthcare.

"Gas is expensive... To get gas to come here, you know, I'm homeless, I don't have a job," Yin said. "Something like this [The Ellevet Project] benefits us a lot."

Yin is one of many pet owners who came to South Massachusetts and Airport Way South to receive free care for their pets from The Ellevet Project. He found out about the service through the West Seattle chatline and Facebook.

"We are a relief tour offering free veterinary services to pets of the homeless, including vaccines, preventative exams, wellness exams, flea and tick dewormer, things like that," explained Ellevet Project technician Katelyn Kirk.

The Ellevet Project was founded in California as a response to the pandemic to help homeless people and their pets.

This mobile veterinary project held a 5-day service for the first time in Seattle on the first week of August. Currently, the Ellevet Project doesn't plan to open other free services, but the more veterinarians sign up for this program, the more underserved pets are going to get the care they need. 

"I wish they had more of these and more clinics," Yin said.

For Yin, this free vet service means more than just taking care of his dogs’ health, it's also about his own well-being. 

"I just got some illness that I just found out that I had. So, I want to move back to Hawaii to be with my family. And I can’t go without them," Yin shared. "They're part of my treatment, they're part of my sanity. So, they mean everything to me."

Besides volunteering, another thing the community can do to help is spread the word. 

"The largest way we connect with these people who don’t have access to certain media is by using local resources," Kirk explained. "So, advertising with the local clinic, veterinary outreach where these people are, and word of mouth."

Segment Producer Gloria Angelin. Watch New Day Northwest 11 a.m. weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.com. Contact New Day.

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