SPCA donates 500 microchips to free vet clinic in Nanaimo

The free vet clinic called Helping Paws is a volunteer-based program made up of local veterinarians, animal technicians and reception staff who give pet owners basic care for their furry loved-ones. (CTV)

A free animal wellness clinic that helps homeless and low-income pet owners in Nanaimo receive veterinary care for free is celebrating its third anniversary with a gift of 500 microchips from the BC SPCA.

The free vet clinic called Helping Paws is a volunteer-based program made up of local veterinarians, animal technicians and reception staff who give pet owners basic care for their furry loved-ones. 

The once-a-month clinic provides examinations, vaccinations, flea and tick medications, deworming and treatment for some simple medical conditions.

“The last two years with COVID has been hard on veterinary staff," says Dr. Courtenay Large, founder of Helping Paws. "There has been shortages, everybody is overworked, but doing something like this really brings back the joy of why you got into the profession in the first place."

“Every single vet that I have met in Nanaimo, animal care and welfare is their primary reason for being and it shows that they’re here wanting to help those people who can’t access regular vet care,” says Leon Davis, BC SPCA's senior manager for the Island and Coastal region.

The BC Pet Registry, which is run by the BC SPCA, has supplied the clinic with 500 microchips that will supply all the pets they see this year with one.

“A microchip is permanent. It never goes away. It can always be scanned. It can always be read,” says Large.

“It’s number one way that we find animals get home, (it's) animals that have microchips,” adds Davis.

The Helping Paws clinic is held once a month at St. Peter’s Church on Machleary Street in Nanaimo.

More information about the clinic including dates and times can be found on its Facebook page