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The charitable mission of St. Francis Pet Care (SFPC) is to help keep people in our most vulnerable communities together with their pets, so both can benefit from the human-animal bond. To this end, we provide primary non-emergency veterinary care to the companion animals of homeless persons, veterans referred from the VA, and very low income residents of Alachua County, Florida.
We provide exams, treatment, vaccines and medicines, consultations, spay/neuter services, monthly flea and heartworm preventives, pet food and pet supplies. We work to reduce the number of companion animals turned into shelters because their owners can no longer afford their care, and to increase the proportion of spayed and neutered pets in the population we serve. We educate our clients in responsible pet care and help them improve the lives of their pets. We do home visits when necessary to ensure the well-being of the animals and reduce the incidence of zoonotic diseases in these communities.
St. Francis Pet Care provides primary non-emergency veterinary care and services to responsible but homeless or very low income pet owners at our weekly Clinic. We only see pets belonging to clients who meet our eligibility criteria and have attended a screening and orientation session.
Veterinary care at the Clinic is provided by veterinary students and faculty of the shelter medicine elective at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine and by local veterinarians donating their time. Non-veterinary functions such as scheduling, client screening, cleaning, and record keeping are handled by students and other community volunteers.
Primary veterinary services provided include exams, vaccinations, and treatment for common problems. Our vet techs do nail clipping and microchip implantation. Patients are provided with medications for common ailments such as ear infections, skin conditions, and pain. Clients are supposed to come in monthly to pick up doses of flea and heartworm preventives, and they can get pet food weekly. Pet supplies (leashes, collars, harnesses, coats, beds, cat litter, toys and treats) are offered when available.
A major objective of SFPC is to teach responsible pet ownership and to encourage the spaying and/or neutering of all cats and dogs. Clients are allowed to have no more than two animals in the program at any one time, and in order to be accepted as clients, all animals in their household must be spayed/neutered. SFPC arranges and pays for intact animals to be sterilized and in some cases provides transportation.
For more information on our services and eligibilty, see Services and Eligibility.