Providing Veterinary Care for Low-Income Communities: New Solutions

Room: St Laurent 8

Amanda Landis-Hanna, DVM, Fear Free Certified I & II, Human-Animal Bond Certified, Resident Veterinarian,PetSmart Charities

Pet owners in low-income communities often face significant difficulties when seeking even basic veterinary care for their beloved pet(s).  Geographic, economic and cultural barriers make it hard, if not impossible, to access the kinds of services that facilitate and cultivate the human-animal bond.  New evidence demonstrates that there is interest in and (in most cases) the ability to pay for this kind of care in all communities, but the veterinary practices simply aren't available.

Recently, several new practice models have been developed throughout North America that allow veterinary care to be provided at costs bearable by all pet owners.  These are often very different than traditional practice models, but all provide quality medicine at a reasonable cost. Mobile clinic options, limited offerings and high use of paraprofessional staff have all been used in combination or singly to successful outcomes.

These are market-based solutions, but philanthropy has a strong role to play. Understanding and communicating in communities without a strong history of veterinary care, hedging the risks of starting a business in a low-income community and helping to educate governments on the need and benefits of veterinary care in low-income communities can all be valuable activities for a charity in this space. 


  1. Understand the extent of the need and the scale of the problem/opportunity.
  2. Learn several business models that have been shown to be successful under different circumstances.
  3. Understand the role that philanthropy can play in making these business models successful and thereby contribute to the human-animal bond.

Amanda Landis-Hanna, DVM is Senior Manager of Veterinary Outreach for PetSmart Charities. She has practiced small animal and exotic medicine, shelter medicine, relief medicine, and worked in both private practice and corporate practice over the last 16 years. She has worked in research and industry, helping develop and test biometric monitoring devices in telemedicine. She has presented at ACVIM, AVMA Convention and ACVC, and has completed the Human-Animal Bond Certification and Fear Free Level 2 Certification. She was a member of AVMA Future Leaders, and enjoys working with others to implement positive change.  Amanda is a frequent contributor to veterinary publications, in addition to sitting on several editorial boards. Her passions include access to veterinary care, working with veterinary students, the Human-Animal Bond, and mental health in the veterinary industry.   She is also an equestrienne and Zumba instructor, and lives in Phoenix Arizona.