Photo courtesy UC Davis

Community members are invited to spread a little cheer this year by helping UC Davis volunteers fill holiday pet baskets for the four-legged companions of area homeless individuals.

A team of staff volunteers at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital needs help with monetary donations to provide more than 130 holiday-wrapped boxes filled with toys, treats, leashes, food and other pet-care products to animals served at the Mercer Clinic in Sacramento.

Since 1992, the Mercer Clinic has provided the pets of homeless individuals with basic veterinary care, access to emergency care and pet food — all free of charge. The clinic is open on the second Saturday of each month, staffed by veterinary faculty and practitioners who volunteer their time and supervise the veterinary students who run the clinic. Veterinary students also gain valuable experience applying their studies and working alongside veterinarians to learn veterinary responsibilities and client communication skills.

Funds are especially needed to purchase pet coats and sweaters to help protect the animals from the wet and cold conditions they and their owners often encounter during the winter months.

While pet supply companies provide food and some of the other items for the holiday pet baskets, monetary donations for the sweaters, as well as toys, treats, clinic supplies and operational costs, are still needed. Veterinary students will distribute the gift boxes to their clients and pets on Saturday, Dec. 8, during the clinic’s monthly operation.

Monetary contributions, in the form of checks made payable to the UC Regents – Mercer Holiday Pet Baskets, can be mailed to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Office of the Dean, P.O. Box 1167, Davis, CA 95617-1167, Attn: Mercer Holiday Pet Baskets.

A donation form to accompany the check and more information about the Mercer Holiday Pet Basket project is available online by clicking here.

General donations to the clinic can be made at any time by sending a check, payable to Mercer Veterinary Clinic, to the Mercer Veterinary Clinic for the Pets of the Homeless, P.O. Box 297 Davis, CA 95617.


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