LOS ANGELES — The ElleVet Project has helped thousands of homeless pets since it launched during the pandemic.
The team drives around California in a 32-foot RV and parks in places with the highest need.
Living in Skid Row without much of anything to call his own, Kevin Robinson says his dog “A-Baby” makes life worth living. He wants to make sure A-Baby has everything he needs to be healthy, which is why Robinson was so grateful to come across The ElleVet Project’s RV on the way to the store.
Amanda Howland co-founded the effort in response to the COVID-19 pandemic after seeing the skyrocketing need — more unhoused with pets and less resources.
"The shelters were closed, the humane society was closed," she said. "There was nowhere to go for them to take care of their pets or themselves."
Though her background is in science and public health, Howland said her passion for animals developed at a young age. The ElleVet project is just one component of her company, ElleVet Sciences, but when the pandemic hit, she knew she needed to be on the frontlines when she saw firsthand how important these pets were to their humans.
The ElleVet Project drives all through the state offering everything from vaccinations to flea and tick treatment, wound care and anything else that’s needed.
Howland estimates she and her team of vets helped 3,000 pets since 2020, and this is the first year they’re planning to take their efforts across the country. They set up outside the Union Rescue Mission. Lisa Cox, program director for the family emergency services, says this is needed here now more than ever.
"With inflation, the number of those experiencing homelessness has increased and is increasing due to the economy. We’re going to see a lot more pets on Skid Row," Cox explained.
For Robinson, a man’s best friend doesn’t quite cover what A-Baby means to him.
"They help you deal with so much," he said. "Having a dog for me, motivates me to get up and do something and be a positive person.”
After leaving Skid Row, The ElleVet Project headed to Pasadena. For more information about their journey or to volunteer, visit here.