Older Man with beard, long hair and hat holding his cat

Community Veterinary Outreach and Treatwell Pet Care

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Working Together to Improve the Health of Pets and Pet-Parents

You may never have heard of Community Veterinary Outreach (CVO), but for clients who use their services, they are a ray of light and hope during difficult times.


CVO is a registered Canadian charity based in Ottawa and operates in multiple regions across the country. The organization was founded in 2003 by Dr. Michelle Lem, who has since been joined by Dr. Susan Kilborn, many regional directors and countless volunteers.

Sometimes described as ‘veterinary social work’, CVO runs multiple programs to provide veterinary care to pets of people experiencing homelessness and who are vulnerably housed. Clients and their pets are referred to CVO through their case workers and affiliated agencies.

CVO and Treatwell Pet Care - Partnering for One Health

Preventive veterinary health care, including exams, vaccinations, and even access to spay/neuter procedures, go a long way to make sure pets get the care they deserve, but the work of CVO goes much deeper than that. CVO believes the best way to help animals is to help people, and human health and social services are imbedded within every program that CVO offers. “We realize the potential of veterinarians and veterinary care to influence the health and welfare of marginalized people who are pet owners,” says Lem.


This concept is called One Health, and it focuses on how closely human health is related to animal and social / environmental health, including social determinants like culture and economics. Treatwell Pet Care has a similar philosophy - our core belief is that if we can make pet-parenting easier for people, they will end up providing better care for their pets as a result. For this reason, Treatwell has chosen to partner with Community Veterinary Outreach. We’ll be seeing some cases for them, and our hope is that we can fill an important niche (in-home care) that complements other programs.

How You Can Help

If you'd like to help, click here to find out how you can volunteer with Community Veterinary Outreach, or donate using the button below (you will be redirected to a secure donation page on the CVO website)

For the homeless and most vulnerable, their furry best friends may be their most important friends. Sadly, this story is true to the word,


With this in mind, all those precious cats, dogs, pups and kits, Community Veterinary Outreach decided their voices needed to be heard,


Volunteers come from far and wide, Ottawa’s north, south, east and west, giving their time, love and care,


Vaccinating, microchipping, educating, deworming, examining, smiling, on clinic day, not one pet, will they spare,


Improving health, providing support, aiding and maintaining that human-animal bond, it is a very long day from end to start,


But at the end of the day, after laughs, and sometimes fighting tears, it is the volunteers who get to fill their hearts


- Connie Velten

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