By Evelyn Vega, DVM, CCRT >>>
For the month of December, Happy Pets Veterinary Center will collect food, treats, toys and cat litter for pets of low-income families, senior citizens and the homeless of SCV. What inspired me to do this was when, five years ago, I was driving through West Los Angeles, and at a stoplight I saw a homeless man crossing the street with a black-and-white cat riding on his shoulder. I immediately thought how lucky my cat was to have a warm home, a bed and food each day. However, this cat was also lucky, in that he had a companion to look after him.
With the shelters so full and pets dying in the street, this cat was lucky to have a “home” with this gentleman. That was when I considered how I could help this man and others like him who are limited in their material possessions, but are willing to share the little they have with their furry friends.
Since 2013, Happy Pets has collected almost 1,000 cans of pet food and over 1,200 pounds of dry pet food that has been distributed to the SCV Food Pantry and the Meals on Wheels program at the SCV Senior Center. We also collected various pet supplies, treats and toys. Every year we are overwhelmed by the response from our community. We had the help and support of not only our customers, but also our local, privately owned pet stores such as Pet Supply, Canyon Pet Center and Pet Stop in Canyon Country.
There is much we can do to help those in our community and beyond with their pets. Animals provide comfort, hope and companionship to people in all walks of life, and we hope our efforts here will truly make a difference in the lives of the homeless, our low-income families, and seniors of our hometown.
Dr. Evelyn Vega is the owner of Happy Pets Veterinary Center in Valencia, California.