Empowering underserved communities to keep their pets happy, healthy, and at home.
How much is the life of a pet worth to a family?
How much is the love of a pet worth to a child?
For most of us the answer is: priceless.
But for many in our community, the most basic elements of pet care, such as vaccines, spay and neuter surgery, collars and ID tags, and even pet food, are out of reach.
At 4 R Friends, we do not believe that the value of a pet diminishes with a person’s income. We believe that every person with love in their heart and time in their day deserves to have a pet.
We also believe that the only way to stop animals from dying every day in our shelters is to stem the tide of relinquished, lost, and abandoned animals entering the shelters.
Unless our community members have the means to keep their pets happy, healthy, and at home, we will never adopt our way out of euthanizing or warehousing pets in the shelters.
Nor will spay and neuter campaigns suffice to control shelter crowding and euthanasia. It is not puppies and kittens who are languishing in our shelters. It is the middle aged dog whose owner cannot afford care for dental disease. It is the energetic two year old pit bull who has escaped through a faulty fence, who lacks identification, and whose owner may be loath to claim him from a government agency where people dress like police, and ask for formal identification.
Experience shows that free adoptions can only clear out a shelter for a few days, before it fills up again, especially if adopters have little support after taking their pets home.
At 4 R Friends: The Street Vets, we do not believe that we can ask our animal shelters to bear the full burden of rehoming every pet running loose or left behind in our neighborhoods.
Shelter crowding and euthanasia are community problems, requiring community solutions.
We aim to be part of the solution.
We not only rescue pets with catastrophic illness and injury, whose needs are beyond the capacity of the local shelters.
Our Street Vets Team provides life saving care, basic supplies, and in the areas where intake to the shelters is highest, and where access to care is most limited.
Our free clinics are guided by principles of harm reduction and trauma informed care, and our medical protocols adhere to currently accepted best practices. We analyze intake and outcome data from the local shelters and community statistics from the Census Bureau to identify the areas of need, and context.
We endeavor to practice cultural humility, remembering that we are guests in our clients’ communities. We strive to build durable relationships based on mutual respect, reliability, and substantive responses to real needs.
Jean Rabinowitz, DVM
Founder and Director, 4 R Friends: The Street Vets