CLEVELAND – Pets are an integral part of many people’s lives, but sometimes they can be a bigger expense than you expected.
Neighborhood Pets in Cleveland has been helping customers for the past five years and is set to expand to help even more.
When you walk into Neighborhood Pets, you are greeted with a lot of color and kindness. Both were very important to General Manager Becca Britton.
Britton started the nonprofit five years ago after seeing firsthand the needs of low-income neighborhood residents.
“Our logo is literally ‘take care of each other’, and we experience that every day,” said Britton.
She worked for another nonprofit that helped dogs control animals. Around this time, she witnessed the number of dogs that end up in animal control every day.
“Over 75 dogs a week,” said Britton.
It was then that she knew she had to do something.
“This is where Neighborhood Pets was born,” said Britton. “We need something permanent in the city of Cleveland that is affordable and accessible.”
She is proud of the family she has built and says clients are more than friends.
They have become a family.
“Everything here is based on love,” said Britton. “Love for each other and love for our pets.”
At present, customers can go to the pet food bank, purchase toys, leashes, collars and other pet items on a sliding scale. They can also get basic veterinary care. They always plan to spread and the pandemic has only accelerated those plans.
“Now we are building our new wellness center,” said Britton.
The expansion offers space with beautiful murals, a waiting room and private veterinary rooms.
“We will be able to expand our services,” said Britton. “So we will do preventive wellness care such as vaccinations, basic infections of the ears, skin and eyes, but we can also do fecal exams and do heartworm tests.”
Neighborhood Pets lives by its mission statement of taking care of one another.
For Britton, this is the most important thing.
“What I see is a lot of poor people are treated less well,” said Britton. “Or if they get something cheaper or free, then they’re treated worse. Our entire program is based on fairness and equitable access to care, respect, kindness and acceptance of who they are.