Vet clinic for low-income, homeless had ambulance ‘trashed, stripped of equipment’

Mar 22, 2024, 6:09 AM

homeless vet clinic...

(Photo courtesy of Seattle Veterinary Outreach's Facebook page)

(Photo courtesy of Seattle Veterinary Outreach's Facebook page)

Thursday was a difficult day for a Seattle nonprofit that provides veterinary services for homeless and low-income people’s pets in Seattle, King and Snohomish Counties.

Seattle Veterinary Outreach is now regrouping after its van was stolen and trashed Thursday.

Executive Director Rachele Raj said the vet clinic on wheels was reported missing from its storage garage early in the morning.

“We are completely mobile, which makes this particularly devastating for us,” Raj told KIRO Newsradio.

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Everett Police found the converted ambulance later in the day, but it was trashed and stripped of equipment.

“All of our medication was taken and all of our veterinary supplies were taken,” Raj said.

What’s especially devastating to Raj is the amount of medication in the mobile clinic was much greater than it usually carries.

“The medication is hard because we had just ordered, thanks to a grant, a large amount of medication,” Raj said. “And that has all been taken.”

In addition, the thieves broke a window, stole the generator that operates all the equipment and damaged the ignition.

Raj said while the van itself is insured, it is an older vehicle they converted, so it’s doubtful they’ll get much of a settlement to repair the damage. Buying new veterinary equipment and medications for the animals is a daunting expense because they have no way to provide veterinary care to the homeless and low-income communities they serve now.

Some mobile pop-up clinics have been canceled, but Raj is hopeful.

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“We’ll work it out” she sighed. “This is going to give us a setback, but we’re gonna get back out there, as soon as we can.”

When she talked about the community’s response to this loss, it strengthened her resolve.

“As difficult as it is to see that someone stole an ambulance from a non-profit that supports the most vulnerable people in our community, at the same time it’s amazing to see all the people sharing and offering supportive words,” Raj added.

You can read more of Lisa Brooks’ stories here. Follow Lisa on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email her here.

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Vet clinic for low-income, homeless had ambulance ‘trashed, stripped of equipment’