Cannabis company brings pet care to homeless community – California News Times


On Wednesday morning, Boss Baby twisted in her owner’s arms and worried that the vet would approach her with a needle.

She yelled at the jab, and Marie Hickerson hugged her tightly to let her know it was okay.

“She is my soul,” she said of the Chihuahua. “My clarity. My tranquility.”

Hickerson and her fiancé Paul Louderbach have been homeless for the past two years and live in tents on National Avenue in downtown San Diego. The Boss Baby and his puppy Bear are around to help the challenges they face every day, Louderback said.

“They give me some peace when I’m lying in bed,” he said. “This homeless life is not for me.”

On Wednesday, they were one less worried.Non-profit organization ElleVet project Neil Goodday Center, a city-owned facility run by Father Joe’s Village in downtown San Diego, has a clinic with two local veterinarians to provide vaccinations, health care and other pet services. Established. Receive emails and learn about various services.

Christian Kjaer is the co-founder of the project and the CEO of a for-profit company. ElleVet Sciences, Cannabis plant-derived chemicals CBD (cannabidiol) and CBDA (cannabidiol acid) are used to manufacture pet health products.

Amanda Howland, co-founder of ElleVet Sciences, said the Portland, Maine-based company launched a nonprofit organization last year as a way to help its most vulnerable pets during a pandemic.

California is on the other side of the country, but Howland said he chose the state because of its largest homeless population. Last year, the mobile clinic observed 1,200 pets and set a goal of 3,000 this year, she said.

Last year, some people lined up for 7-8 hours to see their pets with a veterinarian. Howland said he will be ready this year and will have more time to see as many patients as possible.

Howland did not travel, but San Diego was the first stop and Kea was on the road.

“For me, one of the biggest lessons I learned last year was the extreme close bond between the homeless and their pets,” he said. “For many homeless people, pets are probably the only family they have.”

It may be how James Loften feels about his pitbull puppy, Blessing, who received as a gift after the March death of his service dog Carolina for nine years.

“She meant everything to me,” Loften said of a companion he called a guardian and best friend. “She handled everything. Homeless. Attacked on the street. Rain. Everything.”

Mr. Kear also said that pets owned by homeless people seem to behave better than pets owned by residents, probably because they spend all day with their owners.

Pet owners will receive an official card from the ElleVet Project showing the vaccines their pets will receive in the clinic. This can be important for people to enter some shelters, Kjaer said.

Many shelters do not accept pets, and it is known that homeless people choose to live outdoors rather than give up their dogs and cats.

Melissa Carlin said she had taken her Schnauzer / Chihuahua Mix Annie to a mobile clinic on Wednesday and gave up her dog to make it easier to get service. She said she wasn’t angry with the situation because some friends took her dog, and she was able to visit her.

After being homeless for 27 years, Carlin has been off the street for four years and still appreciates the free clinic.

“This is great because I live in GR (general relief) and food stamps,” she said.

Paul Sheck, manager of the Neil Goodday Center, said the Helenwood Ward Animal Center and the San Diego Humane Society would visit regularly to take care of their pets during the pre-pandemic period. Street Dog Union We also launched the San Diego branch last year to provide veterinary services to homeless people.

According to Kear, veterinarians have about 15 pets in each city. The next destination is Riverside, after spending a few days in the Skid Row section of Los Angeles, and then on the road throughout the summer. The mobile clinic also stopped in Las Vegas, and Kear said the company plans to visit New York at the end of the year.

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