NORFOLK, VA – For animal shelters, prompt and affordable veterinary care is an essential component of lifesaving efforts. At the Norfolk Animal Care Center (NACC) and Portsmouth Humane Society (PHS), operating a veterinary clinic for their shelter animals has been an impossible dream – until now. Through a unique public-private partnership, NACC and PHS have collaborated to open a veterinary clinic. The clinic, located in the city-owned space adjacent to NACC, will provide spay/neuter services and medical treatment for pets in both organizations.
The two shelters currently rely on contracted and vendor veterinary services. “Our contracted vets and local clinic partners have helped us save lives, but access to care is always an obstacle without a veterinary team on staff,” notes PHS Executive Director, Alison Fechino. The partnership will vastly improve the level of animal care for both shelters.
Each shelter is contributing their resources to create change for animals in both communities. NACC received funding to outfit their clinic space with equipment hoping through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process someone with the capacity to staff the clinic might surface. PHS had the resources to hire veterinary staff but lacked funding for the start-up cost needed to open a clinic. After reviewing NACC’s RFP, PHS submitted a proposal and was ultimately awarded the contract. “That’s what meaningful partnership is about,” says Fechino. “We’re making something together that neither of our organizations could make alone.”
“I think this a great example of collaboration and trailblazing new processes for services and programs that meet the needs of your shelter and your community, and we are excited to increase our services,” says Michelle Dosson, Bureau Manager for NACC. Both shelters hope to expand the clinic’s service capacity to offer low-cost services to the public in the future.
NACC and PHS are finalizing space and staffing needs as the clinic is slated to open at 5585 Sabre Road, Norfolk in February 2022. Veterinarian professionals interested in employment with the clinic should visit the PHS website, www.portsmouthhumanesociety.org, for hiring information or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.