SECOND PLACE WINNER: Kindred Canines in Motion (K.I.M.)
The K.I.M. Program is a non-profit 501c3 with a unique mission: Through mobile, in-home veterinary care, support will be provided to disabled Americans, homebound elderly, and American veterans who depend on an assistance animal to live active, productive lives. The K.I.M. Program’s objectives are prioritized to help these assistance animals stay active and “in motion" by providing wellness care and therapeutic techniques, prolonging their ability to serve the individuals who rely on them.
According to 2011 United States Labor Force data, the unemployment rate for persons with a disability was nearly double that of those with no disability. As a result, veterinarians often encounter disabled persons who cannot afford general wellness care.
Further, medical expenses generally increase as an animal advances in age and many assistance animals are likely to suffer from service-related injuries and marked degenerative diseases.
In partnership with several well-established assistance dog programs throughout the southeastern U.S., the K.I.M. Program will create the first mobile veterinary clinic designed to meet the specific service-related needs of assistance animals. Using regenerative therapeutic techniques, both young and aging assistance animals can be set on the path for a healthy, pain-free life in order to continue their important work.
Further, the K.I.M. Program seeks to employ a “Career Exploration" opportunity for disabled young adults. Many young adults with physical disabilities may find it challenging to secure work in this market. The program seeks to offer these special young adults their first "paid" job as they assist in providing the needs of the mobile K.I.M. unit while gaining invaluable experience serving others.