PAW Team, a nonprofit providing veterinary care to homeless and
low-income Portland-area residents, is working to more closely return to its
core mission “to serve the pets of the homeless and those living in extreme
poverty.” Executive Director Cindy
Scheel says, “Over the past few years we’ve expanded our work well beyond the
scope of the mission. As of January 1,
2014, clients will need to prove ‘extreme poverty’ with financial documents showing
they live at or below Federal poverty guidelines.”
The scope of PAW Team’s services gradually (and unintentionally) expanded to help those on any form of government subsidy at any level (eg, food stamps, etc), resulting in the group's work ballooning from quarterly clinics serving 30-40 pets to monthly clinics serving 110-150 pets, which Scheel says is financially unsustainable.
PAW Team is also implementing an agency referral system involving social service agencies, shelters, and others serving its core client group, with the ultimate goal of “serving more of those who need it the most and making a greater positive impact on the homeless population and their pets,” says Scheel.
The coming changes have been posted on PAW Team’s website and on posters at the clinic for the past three months. Anyone with questions or who wish to update their financial information with PAW Team should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. PAW Team's next clinic is Oct. 13.