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Vets for pets: Winnipeg Humane Society unleashes new program

Humane society says pets need regular check-ups.

A new Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) program aims to connect all WHS adopted pets with a local veterinarian at the time of adoption.

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A new Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) program aims to connect all WHS adopted pets with a local veterinarian at the time of adoption.

If you’re looking to adopt an animal in Winnipeg without getting in touch with a vet, the Winnipeg Humane Society says you’re barking up the wrong tree.

The animal shelter and non-profit launched a new initiative Wednesday—the Welcome Home Program—that will link new adopters with vets in the province, who will then provide a free consultation.

“In recent years, we have been receiving calls from people who have concerns about their pets,” said WHS communications coordinator Kyle Jahns.

“So we realized that there was a great need to be able to connect these pets with vets in the community.”

He added that some adopters don’t take their pets to the vet until a condition has developed, and many don’t realize pets need regular check-ups, just like humans need to visit the doctor or dentist.

“We get those calls from people sometimes who have these big medical issues that cost thousands of dollars, and could have been prevented with an annual check-up,” Jahns added.

The end-goal is to establish a relationship where owners take their pets to get an annual check-up with a veterinarian, who is able to monitor and track disease or injury.

“Instead of if they were to wait for something to happen and react instead of being proactive,” Jahns said.

There are 22 vet clinics signed on for the program in Manitoba. Though a large majority of them are in Winnipeg, there is coverage available in some rural areas.  

Jahns said the WHS also hopes to grow the numbers of participating clinics as the project moves forward.

During the adoption process, the adoption counsellor will send a pet’s medical file to a veterinary clinic. Then, two weeks later, the clinic will contact the adopter and arrange a free consultation for the pet.

“This is something that’s completely new to us with regard to connecting pets to the vet community,” Jahns said.

“Pets don’t have the opportunity to tell us how they’re feeling and that’s why its super important that pet owners do consider a vet to be part of their regular routine.”

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