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Denver nonprofit at risk of shutting down its free vet clinic if it can’t find new location

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Posted at 5:00 PM, Jun 11, 2024

DENVER — The Denver nonprofit Peace, Love and Paws is at risk of shutting down its free vet clinic if it can’t find a new location. The group provides free veterinary services for the people experiencing homelessness and living below the poverty line.

Sherry Fidler brought her 5-year-old dog Cota to the clinic located inside St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Denver on June 6 to get checked out for an injury. The clinic is held the first Thursday of every month.

Peace, Love and Paws at Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church

 “She was limping on her leg, and I brought her in,” Fidler said.

 Fidler found out Cota, her energetic dog, tore her ACL and will need surgery. This marked Fidler’s third time coming to the Peace, Love and Paws free vet clinic. She said she can't afford a veterinarian right now.

 This is a similar story for others Denver7 talked to at the clinic.

 “I was really needing help financially. I’m low-income and disabled,” said Dani Foster.

 “I’m on social security, SSI and I can’t afford the vet,” said Dawn Walters.

Executive Director and Medical Director for Peace, Love and Paws Dr. Carolyn Karrh said the clinic sees about 100 to 110 animals in a four- to five-hour period of time. She said the need for free vet care has increased as costs continue to go up.

“Just a typical veterinary visit for an exam, vaccines, heartworm testing, and testing could be $200 or $300 for one pet,” she said.

Soon, Peace, Love and Paws may have to close the clinic’s doors.

Peace, Love and Paws_Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church

“If we don’t find a location, then we have to shut down,” Dr. Karrh said.

July 11 is set as the last day, since St. Barnabas will begin using the space for other programs come August. So far, the nonprofit has had no luck finding a new place to set up.

“Totally worried about finding a new space,” Dr. Karrh said. “The space we’re looking for is probably equivalent to something like this because we’ve grown so large to provide the same services we’ve been doing.”

While Dr. Karrh continues to search for a new place to set up her free vet clinic, those who use it remain hopeful — because hope is all they have right now.

“I pray that they will. I’m sure that God will make a way for them because of what they do,” Fidler said.

Dr. Karrh said ideally, she’d love to find a permanent location so they can offer this clinic more often but will be happy with at least a temporary location so they can keep running the monthly clinics.

Denver nonprofit at risk of shutting down free vet clinic

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