Praise for helping pets and the poor

Surrey veterinarian lauded for his work with homeless and low-income animal owners.

Dr. Shawn Llewellyn

Dr. Shawn Llewellyn isn’t taking all the credit for a recent award, nor what led up to it.

Since 2012, Llewellyn, backed by a dozen staff members at Scottsdale Veterinary Hospital, has held day-long pet clinics for marginalized people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and West End.

He and the volunteers make at least one visit each year to help pet owners at RainCity Housing and Support Society, Portland Hotel Society and Dr. Peter Centre.

“Without everyone here supporting me, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” he says.

Overseeing the clinics is Paws for Hope Animal Foundation, a Vancouver-based non-profit organization established in 2011 to advocate for animal rights and pet ownership in B.C.

Llewellyn is the board president of the foundation, which was founded by Burnaby social services advocate Kathy Powelson.

At each clinic, they see about 30 animals, usually a mix of dogs and cats – plus “the occasional rabbit or rat.”

Animals are a big part of life in the Downtown Eastside, Llewellyn says, noting new housing units for marginalized people downtown now allow pets.

“They’ve come to recognize that human-animal bonds are key. A lot of times it’s the only stable companion they have in life. We hear many stories of how a pet saved their life or it helped them get off of drug addiction or through mental health/suicide issues. We hear that time and time again.”

Llewellyn, 34, graduated from the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island in 2008 and began working at Scottsdale Veterinary Hospital later that year.

For his work with the low-income and homeless community, Llewellyn has been awarded with the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s (CVMA) Humane Award.

“Dr. Llewellyn is an individual who is making a significant impact on the health and welfare of companion animals, especially among high-risk, low-income, transient and homeless populations,” said Dr. Ko Arman, director, CVMA – Society of B.C. Veterinarians Chapter board of directors. “Shawn plays a vital role in improving and ensuring the health of these animals and, by extension, the health and welfare of these owners.”

Llewellyn is also involved in referrals for homeless pets to his Surrey animal hospital and is planning more free pet clinics in Vancouver in the near future.

“We’re now branching into some youth services as well… we’ll expand from four to about six clinics.”

He says pets are critical for the well-being of people who are homeless or at high risk.

“Pets are a key factor in their ability to cope and get through some of those hardships. The pets of these people are more often than not cared for. There will be times when the person will go without food to feed their pet.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey firefighters battle a house fire near the 70A Avenue and 126A Street intersection early Sunday morning. According to a witness, it appears that the occupants were able to get out without injury. (Shane MacKichan photos)
PHOTOS: Fire causes extensive damage to Surrey home

Occupants able to escape without injury: witness

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

BC Liberal Surrey South candidate Stephanie Cadieux and supporters rally in Grandview Corners in the lead-up to the election. (Contributed photo)
BC Liberal Stephanie Cadieux on track to reclaim Surrey South seat

Final results won’t be known until after mail-in ballots are tallied

Surrey-White Rock front-runner Trevor Halford, who is represented by the BC Liberal Party, watches the election results come in Saturday evening. According to The Canadian Press, Halford is expected to be the MLA for the riding. (Contributed photo)
BC Liberal Trevor Halford expected to take Surrey-White Rock seat

Halford says he’s ‘absolutely thrilled’ with preliminary results

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

file
One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Most Read