February 13th 2023— TORONTO, ON – Nearly 1 in 5 pet parents in Canada have wanted or needed preventive care for their pets, but have not been able to access it due to affordability or inability to get an appointment. Without regular veterinary care, minor pet health issues often become bigger, costlier problems; and preventable diseases can be passed on to people and other pets. 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 60% of households now including pets, this issue affects families in nearly every community.
PetSmart Charities of Canada has committed $18 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 grant made to Toronto Humane Society in the amount of $100,000 will support the expansion of its public veterinary service clinic. The anticipated impact on local pets and families includes being able to provide the care pets need and play a direct role in ensuring pets stay with the people who love them. This helps to keep pets out of the shelter system and preserve human-animal bonds.
“As the number of households with pets increases, we are not seeing strong enough growth in our service provision industries, specifically veterinary care, to keep up. Specifically, at our organization from 2016 through2020 we have seen that 30% of animal surrenders occur because of the medical health of the pets and the ability to access and provide care, primarily financial,” said Hannah Sotropa, Assistant Manager of Communications.
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.
“The veterinary system is in crisis,” said Kate Atema, director of community grants and initiatives at PetSmart Charities of Canada. “Rising costs are putting standard veterinary care out of reach for too many pet-owning families across Canada. 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 Toronto Humane Society is doing to create solutions that will build strong families and a healthy community.”
Solutions like helping a tan-and-white dog, Mila, who suffered from pyometra, a dangerous infection. One night, Mila’s guardians brought her to an emergency veterinarian and were quoted between $4,000 to $5,800 for treatment. They immediately started looking for a more affordable alternative. Fortunately, they found Toronto Humane Society’s Public Veterinary Services clinic, which is subsidized thanks to the support from PetSmart Charities of Canada. The clinic was able to squeeze Mila in for urgent surgery the following day to become healthy again and stay with the people who love her.
To improve the lives of animals.
Toronto Humane Society excels in all ways an animal shelter should: With industry leading shelter care, animal training and behaviour consultations, and veterinary services. Toronto Humane Society finds new homes for thousands of animals and helps keep families together.
Toronto Humane Society is more than an animal shelter. They are an educational resource and support system, a leading voice in animal welfare and accessible care. Toronto Humane Society is a center of excellence, a space where best practices and boundary-pushing knowledge exchange meet with unyielding optimism and a love for animals to create something special. Toronto Humane Society is like no other. For more information, visit www.torontohumanesociety.com.
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PetSmart Charities of Canada is committed to making the world a better place for pets and all who love them. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the country, PetSmart Charities of Canada helps thousands of pets connect with loving families each year. PetSmart Charities of Canada also provides grant funding to support organizations that advocate and care for the well-being of all pets and their families. Our grants and efforts connect pets with loving homes through adoption, improve access to affordable veterinary care and support families in times of crisis with access to food, shelter, and emergency relief. Each year, thousands of generous supporters help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities of Canada directly at PetSmartCharities.ca, while shopping at PetSmart.ca, and by using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities of Canada efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in Canada, granting more than $25 million since its inception in 1999. Independent from PetSmart LLC, PetSmart Charities of Canada is a registered Canadian charity. To learn more visit www.PetSmartCharities.ca.
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