Local vets give free pet exams to owners in need

Four veterinary clinics in Colorado Springs are giving free wellness checks and rabies shots to dogs and cats whose owners can’t afford them.

Briargate Boulevard Animal Hospital, Cook Veterinary Hospital, Pikes Peak Veterinary Hospital and Yorkshire Veterinary Hospital are participating in the 9PetCheck — an effort to help economically disadvantaged pet owners get wellness examinations and rabies vaccinations for their dog or cat.

9PetCheck is a coordinated effort with the  Colorado Veterinary Medical Association and 9News. The idea is that veterinarians want all pet owners to understand the importance of annual examinations in keeping pets healthy and preventing future health problems.

More than 50 veterinary clinics across the state are offering more than 750 complimentary wellness exams and rabies vaccinations April 14-15.

“Wellness exams are vital for your pet’s overall well-being,” said Dr. Apryl Steele, CVMA president. “So many diseases and health issues can be easily treated if caught early; so taking your pet to the veterinarian every year is extremely important.”

Along with the exam, all pet owners need to be sure vaccinations, like rabies, are updated to help control the spread of serious diseases, Steele said.

Pet owners, living on a restricted or low income, or those who have recently lost their jobs, can call the phone bank at 1-855-699-6397 between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. April 9. Appointments will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis and are not meant to treat injured pets. The number to call to make an appointment is 1-855-699-6397.