Our Mission

Community Veterinary Outreach (CVO) is a registered charity that aims to improve the health of homeless individuals and their pets through a “one health” model of care. By offering human health services and health education alongside preventative veterinary care, CVO seeks to improve access to veterinary and human health resources for an at-risk population, and leverage the human-animal bond to increase human health resource uptake.

Although we provide pro-bono veterinary care, we are not solely an animal welfare organization. Our mandate is to improve the health and welfare of the client by providing health services and community connections that matter to them.

Our Mandate

Community Veterinary Outreach’s mandate is to:

  • Improve the health and welfare of both animals and people;
  • Create multilateral collaborative partnerships with community organizations;
  • Contribute to the scientific knowledge base on social issues involving animals;
  • And develop program models that are reproducible in other communities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if my pet is in urgent need of care?

We receive many emails from pet owners in need of urgent care for their pet. As we are a primarily volunteer-run organization, we do NOT currently offer urgent or emergency care.

IF your pet is in need of emergency care, please take your pet to the closest veterinary clinic, emergency veterinary hospital OR local humane society

What is most critical is to have your pet examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible. The veterinarian can then make an assessment and decisions can be made at that time.

What services does Community Veterinary Outreach provide?

Community Veterinary Outreach programs provide preventive veterinary care through One Health clinics and pet fairs for animals of those who are homeless and vulnerably-housed alongside human health services that may include primary care, immunizations, harms reduction, smoking reduction, and dental care referral.

Who is eligible for One Health clinics?

In order to access One Health clinics, clients must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. homeless or vulnerably-housed (based on the definition by the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness)
  2. referred through a case worker or health worker
  3. receiving social assistance or disability support (or if have no ID are making regular use of shelter services) AND
  4. do not have a current veterinarian-patient-client relationship (i.e. had their pet seen by a veterinarian in the past 12 months – exceptions are humane societies and spay neuter clinics)
Does Community Veterinary Outreach have an actual office/veterinary hospital that I can take my pet to?

NO. We do not have a bricks/mortar building or location. Programs are run entirely by volunteers every few months at different social service locations and agency partners.

What are our programs?
  • One Health clinics are available in some regions, and occur every few months. At full service wellness clinics, we provide examinations, vaccinations, deworming and microchip identification. In some regions, spay and neuter appointments are also available. Access to the full service clinics is by appointment, which is obtained through the referring case worker.
  • Pet Fair for People Care are present in many regions, and provide animal-related services such as pet health education and home care, nail trims, grooming, and microchip placement, as well as pet food and supplies. Pet fairs allow us to operate in smaller spaces in more neighbourhoods, have more events, and continue to focus on clients associated with our partner agencies.
What if I am not sure if my pet is in need of urgent care?

IF you have a veterinarian-patient-client relationship with a veterinary hospital/clinic, please call and/or visit the clinic and speak to a veterinarian or veterinary technician for information on how to proceed.

IF you do NOT have a veterinarian-client-patient relationship, we recommend calling and/or visiting your nearest veterinary clinic/hospital and establishing a relationship with a veterinarian.

While there is no replacement for a hands-on examination by a veterinarian to assess your pet’s health, Vet Help Direct is a UK website that can help determine if your pet needs immediate veterinary care. You can also find information on our Pet Health Resources tab.

What if I am an existing client of Community Veterinary Outreach and have a non-urgent veterinary question?

If you are an existing client, please contact your referring case worker with your question. The case worker will get in touch with one of our veterinarians to answer your question.

What if I have a stray, feral or rescued animal in need of veterinary care?

Community Veterinary Outreach’s mandate is to serve vulnerable pet owning populations (i.e. owned animals), and as such do NOT provide service for stray, feral or rescued animals.

If you have a stray, feral or rescued animal in need of veterinary care, please contact your local veterinarian, local humane society and/or rescue groups.

What should I do if I witness an act of animal cruelty?

If you have witnessed an act of cruelty towards an animal, please contact the investigations unit of your local or provincial humane society or SPCA. The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies provides details on how to report animal cruelty for different species.


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