Hearts Alive Village Las Vegas has received a grant to implement the Humane Society of the United States’ Pets for Life (PFL) program. PFL provides free veterinary care and support services in communities with limited or no access to pet wellness resources, and is dedicated to bridging the gap between animal service providers and the millions of people and pets living in poverty.
“Resource deserts” making it difficult for individuals in low-income communities to access care for their pets are well documented throughout the United States and Las Vegas. Without access to care, pets in these areas are at the greatest risk of being surrendered to the shelter, picked up by animal control, or “economically euthanized” for treatable medical conditions. With the COVID-19 pandemic, people’s ability to cover the costs of pet care and related expenses have been further impacted. Millions of pets in Las Vegas, Nevada, and across the country are at risk of being surrendered by the families who love them, but may be forced to choose between paying rent and buying groceries, medicine, and other necessities, and keeping their pets.
When families are ripped apart, both humans and pets experience detrimental effects on their physical and emotional wellbeing.
Hearts Alive Village has been focused on providing solutions from its inception, keeping pets in their original homes whenever possible rather than running them through the “surrender, rescue, adopt” cycle. With the Pets for Life grant from HSUS, Hearts Alive will target the most at-risk zip codes in the Las Vegas Valley, starting with 89115. Through strategic physical door-to-door outreach, establishing a consistent on-going community presence and support, and providing a comprehensive follow-up process for every pet met, Pets for Life provides support to keep pets healthy and in the loving homes they already have.
The program’s philosophy (a philosophy Hearts Alive Village whole-heartedly agrees with) promotes the understanding that a lack of financial means does not equate to a lack of love felt for and provided to a pet. Everyone’s lives can be enhanced by a pet, and those who choose to should have the opportunity to experience the unconditional love and meaningful relationship a pet brings.
“We are grateful for the support from Pets for Life and proud to provide this service to our community,” says Hearts Alive Village Executive Director, Christy Stevens. “We can no longer ignore the inequalities in our underserved communities. Protecting pets means addressing these access-to-care issues.”