A mobile veterinary clinic offers high-quality, affordable on-site pet care for all types of animals. The services offered vary between the different clinics, as do the terms of the financial assistance, which the clinics can offer to qualified pet owners. As a resource, the American Association of Home Veterinarians offers a directory of mobile clinics, as well as a directory of veterinarians who conduct home visits. To provide animals with the welfare services they need, while providing comfort to their owners, many veterinary offices provide on-site clinics.
Many on-site clinics provide the same services that owners would receive at a veterinary office. For cats and dogs, the clinics offer vaccinations, along with the first wellness visits for kittens and puppies. In addition to wellness exams, some clinics offer heartworm and flea diagnostics and medications. If equipment and facilities are available, some on-site clinics will offer dental and surgical services.
The clinics can also treat other animals in addition to cats and dogs. Reptiles, birds, rabbits, and ferrets are some examples of animals that can be treated at on-site clinics. Services may depend on staff availability, because specialists often provide medical and surgical care for exotic pets. In addition to caring for exotic species, some mobile clinics offer services to farm animals and equines.
Some mobile programs are dedicated to special services. For example, in New York City, Operation Pit is run by the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Operation Pit spays, neuter, or offers vasectomies to pit bulls and pit bull mixes. Along with reproductive surgeries, pit bulls and mixes can receive vaccinations and microchips. Owners receive Operation Pit services free of charge, regardless of place of residence or income level.
For homeowners using public assistance, on-site clinics often provide services at a deep discount. Owners who use Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), food stamps, Social Security disability, Medicaid, Medicare, or other forms of welfare will generally receive lower prices on animal care. Sometimes the facilities provide assistance to homeowners who are unemployed or to low-income families.
Mobile clinics offer services at a variety of sites. In some cases, vehicles will park in central neighborhood locations, where owners will bring their pets. In other cases, the vehicles will even come directly to the owner’s home to provide services. Owners should call the nearest service to find out if vehicles will come to the house or if they need to bring pets to a neighborhood location.
At some clinics, pets can receive walk-in services. However, for surgeries, owners must make an appointment in advance, by calling the office or using an online form. When owners arrive for appointments, they must be on time and pets must be in cages or on a leash. Some clinics require that animals remain inside a vehicle until they are admitted.
A mobile veterinary clinic will provide a reasonable pet care solution, particularly for owners who do not have access to transportation or who are confined at home. For people on public assistance, or for people below certain income levels, many clinics will offer reduced prices. For more information, pet owners should consult the American Association of Home Veterinarians or contact their local veterinary clinic.