The Victorian Government has awarded $1.59 million to not-for-profit animal care organisations in a recent round of grants.

The Animal Welfare Grant Program gives support to not-for-profit animal care organisations to purchase or upgrade their equipment and expand their services.

Funding of $450,000 was granted to not-for-profit and community vet clinics to improve services and set up new low-cost clinics in areas of need across the state. One such recipient is The Lost Dogs Home in North Melbourne, who will receive a grant of $197,032 towards their mobile low-cost veterinary clinic. 

Dr Jessica Wilde, The Home’s Director of Veterinary Services, said the mobile low-cost veterinary clinic will provide discount veterinary services to vulnerable communities in Melbourne and regional Victoria. 

“We are grateful for the commitment of the State Government in helping us improve animal welfare and support low-income pet owners who are facing significant cost-of-living pressures such as housing and food costs.

“Sadly, there are an overwhelmingly large number of pet owners who hold off desexing their pet or having a routine health check for their pet because they cannot afford it. And the consequences of that are often catastrophic in the long term.”

The funding will be used to purchase and fit out a low-cost mobile veterinary clinic, which will provide dental procedures, microchipping, health checks, vaccinations, senior animal checks, lump checks, medical case reviews, basic health concerns, surgical planning and advice, and also include basic diagnostics such as cytology and blood testing.  

The Lost Dogs Home hopes the new initiative will reduce the surrender rates of pets to the Home and reduce the cost-of-living pressures on pet owners on low-incomes.  

“Pets are particularly important for people on low incomes and in crisis situations such as homelessness or family violence. Ownership can provide a consistent and secure home for pets and improve the mental and physical health outcomes for owners. Keeping families and pets together is something we are very passionate about,” said Wilde.

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