The rush of the Healthy Pet Clinics in Syracuse: Matt's Memo

Volunteer Maureen Davison meets beagle and boy.

The Healthy Pet Clinic pace is brisk. One moment I am petting a purring kitten, the next moment stepping in dog poop. One second I am answering a question from a pet owner, the next second I am coordinating volunteers and managing the crowd. The day begins at St. Lucy's with table set up at 10:00 a.m. It ends loading veterinary supplies back in the car at 5:00 pm.

The time flies. Once the adrenalin subsides it becomes apparent how much energy has been offered to play my role in this team of volunteers. The same sentiments are expressed repeatedly by volunteers and veterinarians who man their stations or bounce from client to client.

Watch slideshow of images from September 2013 Healthy Pet Clinic.

As the third year of the Healthy Pet Clinics begins we have served some 1550 pets from Syracuse's neediest neighborhoods. Sunday we vaccinated, examined and treated approximately 130 dogs and cats. The puppies and kittens grab your heart. The gratitude renews your soul. The teamwork brings satisfaction.

Three years ago a group of animal advocates came together at the request of the Shamrock Animal Fund and leaders of Wanderer's Rest Humane Association to form the Central New York Animal Welfare Coalition. From those early meetings came the concepts that founded these Healthy Pet Clinics as a lasting legacy. Some of that core group are the ones still showing up every month bringing stability to the Clinics. A large group of new faces also have joined the effort.

The head of the Cornell University Veterinary College Shelter Medicine program Dr. Elizabeth Berliner is noticing a tangible pay off in this third year of operation. She sees improvement in the overall health of the animals in the community.

We will use that information as motivation when it comes time next month to load up the supplies and set up the tables again.

Any questions or comment please forward them to I may even use some of your thoughts on NBC 3 News at 5:00, the 10:00 News on CW6 or on

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