The benefits of making pet ownership possible for people with mental illness and disability, both for the individual and society.

From The Record

KITCHENER — Allowing animal hospitals that operate as a nonprofit to register as a charity is “the right thing to do,” Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife says.

Fife spoke about the issue at Queen’s Park on Thursday, pointing to the East Village Animal Hospital in Kitchener that serves pet owners with low incomes and animal rescue groups.

“They provide an essential service in my community,” Fife told her colleagues.

While the Kitchener clinic operates under nonprofit principles, it cannot become a registered charity due to provincial regulations that govern businesses and veterinarians. Fife urged her fellow MPPs to reconsider those limitations.

“This is a solution that will not financially impact the province. It’s just the right thing to do,” Fife said.

The benefits of making pet ownership possible for people with mental illness and disability and for seniors on a limited income are profound, both for the individual and society.

“Pet ownership has been shown to reduce strain on the health-care system by reducing physician visits and reducing the prevalence of mental illness,” Fife said.

The Kitchener clinic opened on Weber Street in summer 2017, helping more than 5,000 pets in its first year. On average, it gets 50 calls a day.

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