An animal and male clinic

An unprecedented medical approach is being set up in a Quebec clinic reserved for vulnerable and marginalized people. Le Spot offers, starting with the spring of 2021, des soins vétérinaires gratuits with the idea of ​​treating animals, it is also possible to soigner les maîtres. Proof that the idea is bearing fruit: it has already saved lives.

It is a happy capharnaum that welcomes The Duty behind the Spot Clinic threshold. Between the simmering coffee, the bursts of voices, and the warm murmur, a barking sounded here and there. It’s a day of veterinary care in downtown Quebec City, and as soon as the doors open, the reception room is full of little patients with legs.

Jane brought her two cats, Mr. Mustache and Snookie. For this energetic 41-year-old woman, mother of three small children, animals that are not only brought to the company. They provide, first, a balance that has often been lacking in his turbulent life.

“I’m an emotional addict,” Jane said. They just needed to tell me you’re beautiful, you’re fine, and I was gone. His charming princes have never been so long. His stories of “love”, made of abuse and denigration, have always touched his heart. Whenever affection and self-esteem eroded, it was drugs that replaced them.

For the past three years, Snookie and Mr. Mustache have been giving Jane what her ex has never been able to offer her, ” [la] deal with all names ”.

“These cats bring a lot of love to me,” she says. They kept me from freezing on my own, in the evening, to fill my emotional need. »

Head for good care

While the vets in the consulting room listen to the bobos of the two cats, Jane, in the waiting room, discusses hers with her caring peer, a woman. A former spouse has recently resurfaced. A new source of anxiety that is still able to calm down today. “I’m fine now,” she said. I am stable with my housing and my cats. »

The peer listens and listens. If these are bad, he directed Jane to the care provided by the Spot clinic. Doctors, nurses, dentists, nutritionists: for the past eight years, a whole team of caregivers, supported by students from Université Laval, have been helping to alleviate, often voluntarily, the ills of those who cross the threshold.

“People who come to Spot have faced significant challenges in their lives,” said general coordinator Marie-Pier Landry. Addiction, roaming, poverty or violence: the clinic relieves the distress of those who “go through the cracks of the system.” More than 1,000 of them benefited from Spot’s services last year.

Relieve the masters

Din March 2021, clinic also cares for animals, at the rate of one day per month. Since then, the phone has not stopped ringing, so much so that peer caregivers have to spend, on average, about ten hours a week filtering calls.

Florence Bergia and Marie-Ève ​​Fortin, two professional veterinarians, accessed the service at Spot. Unbeknownst to them, the two colleagues were giving birth to a model that had never been seen before in Quebec. “We only found one clinic like this, and it’s in California,” said Dre Bergia. There is no such clinic, which integrates veterinary care and general care for vulnerable people. »

It is with the aim of relieving the masters that the Dnothing Bergia and Fortin treat the animals at the clinic. “It allows you to connect with people who have pets,” said Florence Bergia. We return to their intimate sphere by talking about their animal. It is a facilitator to get in touch with them. »

The animal is usually an obstacle for a person on the street to get care since one must resign oneself to abandoning it before walking through the door of a health facility. “People who are homeless often do not want to go to the hospital because they have nowhere to leave their pet,” says the Dre Fortin. At the Spot Clinic, the dog or cat no longer becomes a brake, but rather a way to get treatment.

“These are people who will not necessarily go to see for themselves,” continues Marie-Ève ​​Fortin. When they come here for their pet, a bond of trust is built, and it’s easier to help them. They almost always start talking about their own health by talking about that of their animal. »

Daniel and Angie

As soon as it was set up, the Spot Clinic’s veterinary care department was already helping to save at least two lives. Daniel and his adorable pug were last year among the first to benefit. With two cancers, little Angie seemed doomed. Master son too.

“I made three attempts,” says Daniel. The fourth, I swore it would be the last. »

A long-time bachelor, the blue-eyed, 62-year-old man who appears to be short lived his loneliness badly. In 2021, he was in such a bad mood that he could not move without his social worker. “He was extremely, extremely fragile,” the Dres Bergia and Fortin. Daniel’s life, as he walks through the door of the Spot for the first time, is naked only to the little bitch he was hugging. “If she left,” he says, “I would leave too.” »

A year and a half later, Angie is doing wonderfully – as is her teacher, who has since volunteered for the clinic. “That’s where I found my doctor.” And my encounters with my social worker, Daniel concludes proudly, are becoming more and more spaced out. »

Still single, but less alone, Daniel feels at home in the clinic. He socializes, discusses, welcomes with obvious pleasure those who, like him a year and a half ago, walk through the door with a badly pointed animal in their arms. “They are angels here.” They save lives.

See in the video

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