k9 connection is proud to be a program of one of Los Angeles County’s largest social services agencies, The People Concern, a leading provider of, and advocate for, evidence-based solutions to the multi-faceted challenges inherent in homelessness and domestic violence. By extension, we provide support for animal-assisted interventions that acknowledge the importance of healthy and safe emotional, psychological, and physical interactions that incorporate animals for the purpose of therapeutic gains and improved health and wellness.
I suffer from schizophrenia and depression, so when days feel like I don’t want to get up, my doggie is the only reason why I get up. She’s the only thing that I have.”
— Gloria, a program participant, about her dog Lulu
“What are we put on this earth for if we can’t help each other out?”
— Vito, volunteer grooming specialist
In May 2018, k9 connection launched the Pets’ Landing project to serve pets of people experiencing homelessness. Our k9 office was at the Cloverfield Services Center, and we began to informally interact with the clients and their pets; and as the agency was growing, so was the need to help the pets. We held our first free clinic in the Cloverfield back patio providing veterinary services to more than 25 pets. That same year, we held our first spay/neuter clinic in Skid Row, and thus began our commitment to offer veterinary services to our most vulnerable neighbors with pets, year around.
Our street outreach services have grown and we now have a clinic residency in Skid Row four times a year where an estimated 500 pets currently live with their guardians in the 4.32 sq miles alone (as of a 2020 count). With the help of our amazing partners, each free pet care clinic includes a team of veterinarians and vet techs who are able to treat up to 200 pets with services such as health exams and all necessary vaccinations for both dogs and cats, such as Rabies, Bordetella, DAPPV and FVRCP; deworming and flea medications. There is on-site grooming which includes nail trimming and ear-cleaning, and each pet can be fitted for a new harness (yes, cats, too!), collar and leash at our Pets’ Landing Gear booth, and receive a gift bag filled with pet food, blankets, bowls, treats, toys and other pet supplies. As part of our One Health approach, pet parents can benefit from the UCLA Health team’s healthcare, such as COVID vaccinations and Flu shots. They also receive a Pet Parent Info packet; assistance with obtaining a free spay/neuter voucher and donor-sponsored people bags with essential items and a boxed lunch upon departure.
To serve our Westside population, we offer two clinics a year in Venice/Santa Monica with the same services and amenities as the Skid Row clinics, and smaller mobile clinics at project-based housing sites.
Working closely with case managers to help our clients in transition, we also have a foster program and provide assistance with rehoming and adoption. Clients’ pets can be spayed/neutered through our program’s high volume rescue membership with Spay4LA at no cost. Other services include a plentiful inventory of dog and cat food and supplies and flea medication available for pick-up upon request at the agency headquarters, and at our new Pet Pantry events, which are also held in Skid Row; mobile pet visits for homebound clients; help with serious medical procedures and medications as needed and client/pet veterinary treatment at Eastside and Westside clinics under k9 connection accounts, by appointment.
Do you have a passion for helping animals and people, but don’t know where to start? Here’s your opportunity to join a team of like-minded people, all coming together to help preserve the family bond of people experience homelessness and their pets. Helping pets can take on many forms – and we’re here to help you find just the right role!
Join our Street Teams! We are in need of volunteer DVMs, Vet Techs, Groomers, Outreach, Meal and Gift Bag Donations and Pet Supplies.
Do you enjoy the hand- on experience with animals? If so, you might want to try fostering a dog, helping at our veterinary clinics, giving a pet a ride to the vet, a foster or to a new home! Dog behavioral training a plus!
Besides fostering, we have other at home tasks. Help us with phone calls, database entries, and mailings. We hold several big events and campaigns each year and are always looking for fundraising, event planning, and social media assistance.
We welcome students who are eager to get direct training in social services, whether veterinary or global (people) health.
One thing we know, is that there is nothing more rewarding than playing a part in keeping people and their pets together, and we can accomplish a lot by working as a team.