Southside Healthy Pet Clinic  

Public & Client Services

Southside Healthy Pet Clinic headed to Syracuse

The Southside Healthy Pet Clinic will offer subsidized veterinary care for dogs and cats on November 23, 2013, beginning at 11:30 AM at the Westcott Community Center, located at 826 Euclid Avenue, in Syracuse. The last patients will be seen at 4:30 PM. Although walk-ins will be accommodated as possible, pet owners are strongly encouraged to make appointments. Call 347-620-4738 (347-620-4PET) or send an email message to with times you are available. The visit will cost $30, with proceeds from the event going to the Syracuse Community Center. For an additional fee of $15, students will offer pet micro-chipping.

The program is modeled after a veterinary program that’s been running at Ithaca’s Southside Community Center since 1996, that serves patients whose owners may not otherwise have the resources to afford well visit care for their pets. To ensure we realize this mission, pet owners who wish to participate in the Southside Healthy Pet Clinic in Syracuse should bring one of the following documents on the day of the clinic:

  • Medicare care
  • Social security income card
  • EBT card
  • VA disability card
  • Pay stub from the last 6 months
  • W-2 from 2012
  • Proof of school lunch assistance
  • Other proof of public assistance

In addition, owners are required to bring proof of rabies vaccination for pets over four months of age and to bring all pets on leashes or in carriers.

During the event, students -- under the supervision of veterinarians -- will gain valuable hands-on training as they provide the following services:
 Physical Exams
 Vaccines
 One year supply of heartworm, flea, tick, and internal parasite prevention

Organized by Cornell parasitologist Dwight Bowman and veterinarians Daniel Fletcher and William Hornbuckle, the clinic allows first- and second-year veterinary students to hone skills that are used during typical wellness visits. During the clinic, students will perform wellness visits on pets that may not otherwise have access to veterinary care. Pets diagnosed with any clinical condition are referred to local veterinary practices for further diagnostics and follow-up.

"These outreach clinics are great not only for the community but for the students too," said Dr. Christine Armao, a veterinarian with the Ithaca-based Cornerstone Veterinary Clinic and regular volunteer at the Southside Healthy Pet Clinics. "They teach students how to interact with clients and their pets. That's not something that can be taught in the classroom, but only through experience. I wish something like this was available way back when I was a student. I truly believe these clinics help the students to be better veterinarians. A big part of medicine is being able to communciate with the owner."

This event is part of the College's Southside Well-Pet Clinic. Founded in 1996 at the Southside Community Center (a nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating African American culture), the Southside Healthy Pet Clinic is a monthly walk-in clinic that is run by veterinary students from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and provides health-care for about 500 pets annually in an under-privileged section of our community. Through the collaboration of students, faculty, and veterinarians in the surrounding area, the Southside program provides routine veterinary care for pets owned by families whose income is less than twice the national poverty level. Clients pay a nominal fee for the services provided. This income is invested in the Southside Community Center’s programs – not the Healthy Pet Clinic.

First- and second-year veterinary students provide veterinary care to animals that may otherwise not have access to life-enhancing and preventative medical care, thereby sustaining the human-animal bond that is recognized as a vital part of people’s lives. Supervised by advanced student mentors, volunteer veterinarians from the community, and College faculty, the students serve as the primary clinicians.


Published November 7, 2013