PetSmart Charities grant to help Humane Society improve vet care

Press Staff Writer

        Fifty million pets in the U.S. experience a lack of access to even basic veterinary care. Rising costs and other barriers mean these pets struggle to access services such as spay/neuter procedures, vaccinations and critical medical and preventative care. With as many as 70% of households now including pets, this issue affects families in nearly every community.
        PetSmart Charities has committed $100 million over the next five years toward improving access to veterinary care. The “Accelerator” low-cost veterinary care grant program is a key part of this effort. These grants support the expansion of low-cost veterinary care by funding growth and operations for up to four years for nonprofit clinics looking to expand their services, serve their communities better and inspire other veterinary providers by sharing their experiences.
        The $100,000 grant awarded to the Toledo Humane Society (THS) will support the expansion of veterinary services offered at the society’s Family Pet Clinic, as well as help to retain and recruit veterinary staff. The anticipated impact on local pets and families includes providing ultrasounds with a new ultrasound machine and orthopedic and dental continuing education for their veterinarians in order to ensure the best possible care for clients and their pets.
        “The high cost of veterinary care often leads to hundreds of animals either being surrendered to the Toledo Humane Society or seized by our cruelty officers, often due to medical neglect, each year,” said Dr. Deb Johnson at the THS. “However, when veterinary care is accessible and affordable to lower income communities, fewer animals suffer and are able to remain in their loving homes. For the East Toledo community we service, often transportation and income barriers keep families from being able to provide care for their pets. Our clinic has changed that and has helped fill the void in the community.”
        Overwhelmingly, people consider their pets important members of the family. Pets make a significant impact in the health and wellness of the people they love. This grant will enable more families to get the preventative and standard care that ensures their pets thrive at home and stay out of shelters.
        “Our veterinary system is in crisis,” said Kate Atema, director of community grants and initiatives at PetSmart Charities. “Rising costs are putting standard veterinary care out of reach for as much as 50% of pet-owning families. We need innovative solutions that make veterinary care affordable for the families in every community who want the best for their four-legged companions but struggle to meet the cost of vet care. We’re inspired by the incredible work the Toledo Humane Society is doing to create solutions that will build strong families and a healthy community.”


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