VET na Rua is a pioneering initiative in Portugal

Lisbon's social worker has a vet sidekick, to help out the destitute and their pets

Lisbon's social worker has a vet sidekick, to help out the destitute and their pets

The pets living with disadvantaged residents in the Portuguese capital have not been forgotten

The development of a society is reflected not only in the way it takes care of its most disadvantaged and marginalized populations but also in the way it treats those who cannot voice their concerns – the animals.

In that light, the City of Lisbon has recently announced that it had renewed its contract with the Animalife non-profit to continue providing free veterinary services to socially disadvantaged families who own pets. The initiative is called VET na Rua (Vet on the Street). It includes veterinary treatments, deworming, vaccination and electronic identification of domestic and companion animals.

The proper public health scope also includes pet healthcare

The new agreement is valid for three years and also aims to guarantee food and/or animal hygiene products and/or temporary shelter for animals, previously marked by the project, and living with families in need, homeless people or people with humanitarian status.

In a pioneering and unique way for Portugal, VET na Rua integrates a multidisciplinary team, made up of a social worker and a veterinarian, dedicated to providing social support and providing veterinary medical services at the homes of needy families.

This team has a vehicle at its disposal, with which it travels to the places of residence of the families for the appropriate technical visits and prophylactic actions that are considered mandatory. The latter can include vaccination and deworming, prevention of serious diseases and raising awareness.

The team also carries out follow-ups to medical-veterinary clinics, in case of need for surgical treatments (such as sterilization, among others).  

First launched in 2020, VET na Rua's main objective is to prevent the abandonment of animals by families living in tough conditions. Such families usually find it hard to comply with the mandatory provisions regarding domestic animals. That service ensures that said families can continue enjoying their pets’ company.



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