ElleVet endeavor provides free veterinary care to vulnerable pets

July 8, 2020
dvm360 Staff

The two-month mobile relief mission has provided veterinary care for hundreds of pets owned by the homeless and those who became vulnerable in the wake of COVID-19 in California.

On a Tuesday in mid-May, the ElleVet Sciences’ “ElleVan” — a 38-foot RV turned mobile relief vehicle — arrived in San Diego to begin a two-month journey to provide free veterinary care and supplies for pets of homeless and otherwise vulnerable people in California communities.

The journey, formally known as the Pets in Need Project, is the brainchild of Christian Kjaer and Amanda Howland, cofounders of the Maine-based CBD+CBDA company.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we learned about the [devastating] effects it brought to homeless communities,” Kjaer, also the company’s CEO, told Authority Magazine in June. “Within homeless communities there is a large pet population and we were learning about how the homeless pet owners were making sacrifices of food and shelter for their pets’ needs.… [We knew] we had to galvanize a plan to help both the homeless pets and the new amount of street pets that have been abandoned because of challenges with the virus.”

The ElleVan has been working its way through Los Angeles, Salinas, San Francisco and a host of other California cities to assist pets of the homeless, residents of assisted living facilities and others with limited access to veterinary care. Local veterinarians and community-focused sponsors have donated supplies, samples and assistance to the project.

“I am honored to be part of this mission to help pets in need,” California house call practice owner Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA, CVJ, who serves as the project’s chief veterinary advisor, said in a press release about the mission. “As a veterinarian in California, I have seen firsthand animals suffering because their owners do not have the resources or ability to help them. We will make a real difference in the lives of many pets and people with this project.”

The last stop for the ElleVan is scheduled for July 13 in Los Angeles, but the company hopes to continue its mission of helping pets of the homeless in other areas of the country as a long-term relief mission.

“Understanding the impact of COVID-19, we decided to launch the Pets In Need Project now to provide immediate support for those struggling to care for their pets during this challenging time. To build on this effort, we hope to deploy our ‘ElleVans’ to different parts of the country as a long-term relief mission,” Kjaer said in the release.

To view additional photos and videos from the road trip, follow ElleVet Sciences and #ElleVan on social media, or visit ellevetsciences.com/petsinneed.