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Old December 9th, 2002, 03:46 PM
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Street Pets Get Veterinary Care in Montreal

Street Pets Get Veterinary Care in Montreal

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Three-year program by University of Montreal veterinarians, l'organisme le bon dieu Dans la rue and Pfizer Animal Health serves as model for other Canadian cities
MONTREAL, QC, Nov. 18 - "Animals for Young Street People" is celebrating its third year with accolades from the Quebec Ministry of Education and the University of Montreal veterinary faculty. Through this project, volunteer veterinarians and students care for young street people's sick animals by organizing monthly evening clinics at Dans la rue's day centre.

A One-Of-A-Kind Project in Canada

The "Animals for Young Street People" project was launched in November 2000 by Father Johns, who noticed that the animals of young people coming to Dans la rue's day centre had health problems. The centre is a place where young people and their companions can have a meal, take courses or participate
in different integration activities. Father Johns quickly realized that the presence of animals was a positive determining factor in young people's participation in centre activities. He then contacted the faculty of veterinary medicine at the University of Montreal in the hope of finding veterinary help.

According to Diane Blais, the faculty's vice-dean of student affairs and communications, '"Animals for Young Street People" came into being through the goodwill of the faculty, and because our major partner was Pfizer Animal Health, which believed in the project immediately. They contributed $20,000 a year in vaccines and the anti-parasitic product Revolution to prevent and
treat animal ailments, as well as basic medications for the treatment of health problems."

Jacques Côté, project director and sales manager at Pfizer, says the partnership with the faculty of veterinary medicine and l'organisme le bon dieu Dans la rue is one-of-a-kind. "This is a unique project in Canada, and Pfizer Animal Health is proud to be associated with it for the third year in a row."

The project owes its great popularity to the participation of third-year students at the faculty and students in animal health techniques at Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe. "The goal of the project is to give our students front-line clinical experience under veterinary supervision," says Diane Blais, "so that they will learn to work as a team and establish a relationship with people who are about the same age as they are, but whose lives are very different."

Students taking part in the "Animals for Young Street People" project have won two prestigious awards this year: the Quebec Ministry of Education's Future of Health category, and the Anibon prize of the Académie de Médecine Vétérinaire du Québec (Improving Animal Welfare category).

Pfizer Animal Health is supporting other community projects in Canada such as the MIRA Foundation and the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Pfizer Inc. discovers, develops and manufactures leading prescription medicines for humans and animals, as well as many of the world's
best-known consumer products. With an annual R&D investment of $5 billion U.S., Pfizer is the world's largest privately-funded research organization and is the leading R&D pharmaceutical company in Canada. Pfizer Canada employs more than 2,300 people across the country and is headquartered in Montreal,
Quebec.

Source: Canada NewsWire
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