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Colorado-based nonprofit ‘taking care of lives on both ends of the leash’

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FORT COLLINS, Colo (KDVR) — A national non-profit that started in Colorado is ensuring all pets, no matter their circumstance, have access to care.  

And now, thanks to a huge grant, their reach is only growing.  

The Street Dog Coalition provides free vet care for pets of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. 

Dr. Hilary Wheeler, veterinarian and medical director with The Street Dog Coalition, said the organization started in Ft. Collins in 2015 and has expanded to 60 other cities across the country. 

“We’re very strong supporters of taking care of lives on both ends of the leash and that’s a huge part of who we are,” Dr. Wheeler said. “We’re not here to make people feel sorry for animals that are living with people that are experiencing homelessness. We’re here to show them how important that bond is and it gets even deeper as animals get older.” 

The group recently received a grant from the Grey Muzzle Organization to help save or improve the lives of at-risk old dogs.  

“They really emphasize ethical storytelling and having compassion and respect for the person and the animal and that is such a huge part of who we are at The Street Dog Coalition with compassionate activism, collaboration, trust, unconditional love,” Dr. Wheeler said. 

The non-profit frequently hosts clinics in Colorado and across the country. 

“We came today to make sure she got all her shots and we’re super glad she got microchipped,” one attendee said. 

Dr. Wheeler said the clinics are volunteer-based. 

“I was actually homeless myself at one point and I was ready to go and if it wasn’t for my animals I wouldn’t be here,” a volunteer said. “There’s a lot of bad in this world, but there’s so much good in this world, and even if sometimes the bad seems to outweigh the good, we can, each in our own way, tip that scale into the positive side.”  

The group is making a difference and touching lives one wagging tail at a time.  

The Street Dog Coalition hosts a weekly clinic at the Murphy Center in Ft. Collins every Tuesday from 2 to 3 p.m. that provides free veterinary services. 

People are asked to sign up in advance at the front desk or by calling 970-494-9940. Walk-up appointments are not guaranteed. 

More information can be found on The Street Dog Coalition website

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