Praise for helping pets and the poor

Surrey veterinarian lauded for his work with homeless and low-income animal owners.

Dr. Shawn Llewellyn

Dr. Shawn Llewellyn isn’t taking all the credit for a recent award, nor what led up to it.

Since 2012, Llewellyn, backed by a dozen staff members at Scottsdale Veterinary Hospital, has held day-long pet clinics for marginalized people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and West End.

He and the volunteers make at least one visit each year to help pet owners at RainCity Housing and Support Society, Portland Hotel Society and Dr. Peter Centre.

“Without everyone here supporting me, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” he says.

Overseeing the clinics is Paws for Hope Animal Foundation, a Vancouver-based non-profit organization established in 2011 to advocate for animal rights and pet ownership in B.C.

Llewellyn is the board president of the foundation, which was founded by Burnaby social services advocate Kathy Powelson.

At each clinic, they see about 30 animals, usually a mix of dogs and cats – plus “the occasional rabbit or rat.”

Animals are a big part of life in the Downtown Eastside, Llewellyn says, noting new housing units for marginalized people downtown now allow pets.

“They’ve come to recognize that human-animal bonds are key. A lot of times it’s the only stable companion they have in life. We hear many stories of how a pet saved their life or it helped them get off of drug addiction or through mental health/suicide issues. We hear that time and time again.”

Llewellyn, 34, graduated from the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island in 2008 and began working at Scottsdale Veterinary Hospital later that year.

For his work with the low-income and homeless community, Llewellyn has been awarded with the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s (CVMA) Humane Award.

“Dr. Llewellyn is an individual who is making a significant impact on the health and welfare of companion animals, especially among high-risk, low-income, transient and homeless populations,” said Dr. Ko Arman, director, CVMA – Society of B.C. Veterinarians Chapter board of directors. “Shawn plays a vital role in improving and ensuring the health of these animals and, by extension, the health and welfare of these owners.”

Llewellyn is also involved in referrals for homeless pets to his Surrey animal hospital and is planning more free pet clinics in Vancouver in the near future.

“We’re now branching into some youth services as well… we’ll expand from four to about six clinics.”

He says pets are critical for the well-being of people who are homeless or at high risk.

“Pets are a key factor in their ability to cope and get through some of those hardships. The pets of these people are more often than not cared for. There will be times when the person will go without food to feed their pet.”

 

Just Posted

South Surrey church members ‘praying for accused mother… for the whole process’

Lisa Batstone’s second-degree murder trial continues this week in B.C. Supreme Court

City will ask Fraser Health to remove pay parking at SMH, Surrey councillor says

Surrey’s new council has already made parking free on neighbouring city streets

Health and Technology District breaks ground on new building

City Centre 3 is the third of eight planned buildings: Lark Group

Spawning salmon returning to North Delta’s Cougar Creek

It’s early in the season, but the streamkeepers are hopeful it could be a good year for returns

Surrey White Rock Ringette Association ‘excited’ about world championships coming to Lower Mainland

Ringette Canada says the sport has reached record registration numbers

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Giants serve up major defeat to Pats at Langley Events Centre

On the ice, Vancouver G-Men wrap up home stand with a 10-4 win over Regina Friday night.

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

New chair of Metro Vancouver board is Burnaby councillor

The 40-person board is made up of elected officials from 21 cities and one First Nation

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Most Read