A veterinarian from Ontario is visiting the west coast of Newfoundland in a mobile clinic, servicing small communities with limited access to vets.

John Earle, originally from Newfoundland and Labrador, visited the province in 2012, providing services to the southern Labrador region, and again in St. Anthony.

This year, he's in Rocky Harbour to make appointments for family pets in need of surgeries, such as spaying or neutering.


This is the trailer that John Earle has been providing mobile pet services from. (Bernice Hillier/CBC)

Earle said many people without access to a vet availed of his services last year.

"We were busy. We did 65 surgeries in five days," Earle said.

Paul Bennett, a pet owner in Rocky Harbour, is happy he doesn't have to travel to Corner Brook for vet services.

"It's more convenient for me," Bennett said. "I would have to drive to Corner Brook, which would cost me extra amount of dollars, and being right here, I mean, I can be here in the morning and have her back by noon tomorrow."

Bennett said having veterinarian services visit more remote areas of the province would help cut down on the number of stray animals.

"I think it's good for animal control, anyway, because we have a lot of pets in this area," he said.

Earle said some of the animals who come in for a check up have never seen a vet before.

"[The owners] come in and we'll ask if they've had shots and some will say no, they're indoors, they never go outside, but they still are at risk," Earle said. 

Earle added that it is still important to spay or neuter an indoor pet.

"We had a lady in [yesterday] who had three sets of kittens from a cat that stays indoors, but she says the toms in her neighborhood were just at her door all the time."

Earle said knowing the need for vet services in rural areas in Newfoundland and Labrador will keep him coming back.

"For someone like me, it's a business and it can be a good business. It can keep me busy and can allow me to come back," Earle said. 

"I like the fact that I can do that, I can be home in Newfoundland, and I also am doing a favour to the pet populations in this area, in areas that are underserviced."