Information for Support WOrkers

Pets In The Park is a national community of local volunteer-delivered pop-up clinics, providing free essential veterinary care to the pets of people experiencing a form of homelessness. In order to access our free veterinary services, clients require a referral from a support worker confirming eligibility.


Is my client eligible for Pets In The Park?

Pets In The Park provides free services to people experiencing homelessness. A person is defined^ as experiencing homelessness if they are living in either non-conventional accommodation or 'sleeping rough'   - OR -   short-term / emergency accommodation due to a lack of other options. If your client meets the criteria described below, they are eligible for free veterinary treatment at a Pets In The Park clinic.

Non-conventional accommodation ("primary homeless") is defined as:

  • living on the streets
  • sleeping in parks
  • squatting
  • staying in cars or railway carriages
  • living in improvised dwellings
  • living in the long grass.

Short-term or emergency accommodation ("secondary homeless") includes:

  • refuges
  • crisis shelters
  • couch surfing or no tenure
  • living temporarily with friends and relatives
  • insecure accommodation on a short-term basis
  • emergency accommodation arranged by a specialist homelessness agency (for example, in hotels, motels and so forth).

^ These definitions are attributed to the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (AIHW).


Who can refer clients to Pets In The Park?

'Approved Sources' who may refer eligible clients to Pets In The Park:

  • Specialist Homelessness Service (SHS) providers
  • Any other registered, professional agency / support worker that can satisfactorily demonstrate to PITP through their credentials / registrations / accreditations that they are a lawful, reputable provider of services / care for clients experiencing homeless.

'Unrecognised Sources' from whom we cannot accept client referrals:

We cannot accept referrals from any person or entity whom we cannot satisfactorily deterimine as meeting the 'Approved Sources' criteria above. For the avoidance of doubt, we cannot recognise referrals from:

  • Members of the general public (e.g. family, friends, neighbours)
  • Commercial providers outside the 'homeless' sector (e.g. GP doctors, financial practitioners, veterinarians, psychologists)
  • Unregistered or non-professional practitioners withn the homeless space (e.g. not an incorporated entitiy, no professional infrastructure to carry on a business)

Pets In The Park reserves the right to refuse any client referral at its absolute discretion.


How can I refer my client to Pets In The Park?

If your client meets the eligibility criteria defined above, they are welcome to receive services at Pets In The Park.

We are a national community of local clinics. At this time the process of client referrals differs slightly between clinics, and therefore you will need to contact your nearest Pets In The Park clinic to discuss the process of referring a client with them. You can find a directory of all clinics (with email addresses) via the link below:

Clinic Directory

Pets In The Park is a registered charity with limited resources. Please do not provide referrals to clients who do not align with the eligibility criteria described above. A referral is valid for 6 months only. If the client wishes to continue receiving services, they will need to obtain a new referral from you.


"Thank you for this service. It was one of the few services I could suggest/offer our clients that did not have a cost attached. It is also one of the only positive activities I could offer vulnerable/disadvantaged people on my caseload."

Justine, Community Mental Health Worker
Melbourne, VIC