What We Do
Helping pets stay where they belong.
We are facing a pet care crisis in BC. Inadequate access to veterinary care is the number one animal welfare issue in Canada today. Far more animals suffer from a lack of veterinary care than from intentional acts of cruelty and neglect. And British Columbia is no different.
Paws for Hope recognizes the positive effect that pets have on vulnerable individuals, including those people that are homeless. The relationship with their pet is often their only constant source of companionship, and at times can be the one thing that keeps them going. No matter where you live or who you are, we believe that healthy communities include healthy animals.
We ascribe to the one welfare approach to service delivery and believe that in order to support pets over the long term, we must ensure that their people are supported as well. As such, we have enhanced our Better Together program and modelled it after AlignCare—a one health system that aligns the resources of social service agencies and veterinary service providers and community funding. This approach improves access to veterinary care for under-served families and enables social service and animal care professionals to better meet their goals and live into their missions.
Donate today. Your donations directly help animals in need.
Through our Better Together program, we have helped hundreds of pets get food and supplies, and we have provided funding for emergency veterinary care for animals in need. In addition, we continue to hold pet health care clinics in Vancouver’s poorest neighbourhoods, New Westminster, and Surrey.
The number of pets we helped throughout 2020
Number of veterinary service provider partners
Number of community social service partners
Better Together Program Details
- Qualified pet guardians enroll*
- Can enroll up to a maximum of four pets at the time of enrollment and cannot add additional pets
- Are required to provide a 20% co-payment for all veterinary services
* Individuals are means tested according to the Stats Canada Low Income Cut off Rate + 10%
Veterinary Service provider
- Provide incremental veterinary care
- Accept payment for services at a 20% discount for emergent veterinary care and 33% for annual wellness/preventative care, including spay and neuter
Social Service & Public Health Agency
- Refer existing clients for enrolment
- Receive referrals from Paws for Hope for clients in need of support
Animal Welfare Agency
- Refer individuals for enrolment when veterinary care support is outside their mandate
- Receive referrals from Paws for Hope if support required is outside the mandate of the Better Together program
- Veterinary Care
- Pet care needs (e.g., pet food, supplies)
- Pet licensing support
- Support through end-of-life decisions
- Connections to social services and public health services
Better Together can support individuals in BC communities with current Paws for Hope veterinary service provider partners. Our current service areas are:
- Maple Ridge
Better Together Manual
The Better Together Manual provides an overview of our approach to veterinary care and practice and explains the program’s expected outcomes, eligibility criteria, partners, and payment policy.
Enrolment & Contact Info
If you have questions or want more information about the Better Together program, please contact Emily Aono, Human Support Coordinator.
To apply for enrolment in the Better Together program, click the link below and fill out our online enrolment form. You will need to provide confirmation of your household income and number of dependants.
Animal Health Clinics
Each year we work with local community agencies, veterinary hospitals and veterinary medical staff to provide free health clinics for the pets of the homeless and those that are low income. Currently, we are authorized by the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia to hold these clinics in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, New Westminster, Langley, Abbotsford and Surrey. We are aware that the need for our clinics is province wide and we aim to continue to expand.
These clinics are part of our ongoing, long-term goal to increase access to veterinary care and to build a sustainable animal welfare system that provides the utmost care for our companion animals in our province. The Better Together program promotes responsible pet guardianship by assisting individuals to get basic veterinary care for their pets. We increase people’s knowledge of the benefits of spaying and neutering their pets, with a goal of getting them to agree to sterilize their pet. By providing the necessary vaccinations, we also provide health benefits to the community at large, by reducing the likelihood of the spread of deadly diseases, such as parvovirus, distemper and rabies. Information on responsible basic care, and pet guardianship, including licensing information, is also made available.
Our animal health clinics are run by our volunteer Animal Health Team. Many of the supplies are donated from veterinary medical supply companies. The clinics are busy days, with many cases requiring follow-up care, such as medications or surgeries. Each pet who requires care beyond what can be treated at the clinic receives the veterinary care needed. Donations to the Better Together help to keep our clinics going, and ensure those pets receive the follow-up care they need.
- Scottsdale Veterinary Hospital (Surrey/Delta)
- Yaletown Pet Hospital (Vancouver)
- Burnaby Veterinary Hospital
- Menzies Pet Hospital (Chilliwack)
- Fraser Valley Animal Hospital (Abbotsford)
- Tynehead Animal Hospital
- King George Veterinary Hospital
- Haney Animal Hospital
- West King Edward Animal Clinic
- Guilford Animal Hospital
- Apollo Animal Hospital
- Killarney Animal Hospital
- BC SPCA Penticton Veterinary Hospital
- Sechelt Animal Hospital
- Huff Animal Hospital
- South Fraser Animal Hospital
- Queensborough Veterinary Hospital
Community Social Service Partners
- Directions Youth Services Centre
- Lookout Housing and Health Society
- RainCity Housing
- Seniors Services Society
- The Portland Hotel
- The Kettle Society
- McLaren Housing Society
- Options Community Service Society
- Pacific Community Resource Society
- Family Services of Greater Vancouver
- Archway Community Services
Latest Success Stories