By the time the Community Care Clinic was in full swing on a recent sparkling fall morning, a line of people and pets snaked through Four Mile Run Park in the Chirilagua neighborhood of Alexandria. Pet owners had lined up so their beloved animals could get free vaccinations for rabies, distemper and parvovirus from licensed veterinarians — and the humans could take advantage of COVID-19 vaccinations and bags of shelf-stable groceries, among other resources.
Ileana Ramos pulled a red wagon bearing a mother cat named Nala and three of Nala’s black and gray kittens. Ramos, her mother and her daughter all had made the trip from Stafford, Va., to make sure the felines got their vaccinations.
Becky Burnley brought her eight-year-old Maine Coon rescue cat, Jody, joining the line for both vaccinations and a trim of Jody’s claws. “She’s my faithful companion,” Burnley said. “She provides unconditional love.”
Tereza Son and her family were accompanied by Jackson, a six-year-old Jack Russell terrier mix they had rescued. “Jackson was due for his rabies vaccination, and it was really helpful that it was free,” Son said. “My husband and daughter enjoyed the playground that was nearby while Jackson saw the vet.”
The Community Care Clinic, which attracted hundreds of people, was a collaboration between the Animal Welfare Leagues of Alexandria and Arlington. The clinic followed the CDC’s “One Health” model, which recognizes and utilizes the interconnection among people, animals and the environment to better serve the community.
“Our goal …….