Nearly 50 million pets in the United States do not receive even the most basic veterinary care. Due to cost and other barriers, pets in disadvantaged communities often lack essential services such as preventive care, vaccinations, spay/neuter services, dental care and other medical care.
In the United States, 70% of homes include pets. As research continues to reveal the benefits of the human-animal bond, a movement is underway to connect pet parents to the healthcare their pets need to keep them and their families healthy. .
Team members from the Delaware Humane Association and the Delaware SPCA, two statewide animal welfare organizations with adoption centers in Rehoboth Beach, Wilmington and Stanton/Christiana, acknowledge the difficulties financial issues faced by many pet owners and guardians.
Organizations like the Delaware SPCA and DHA work to prevent animal surrender and overpopulation through services such as low-cost neutering and spaying, available to the public and those who adopt directly from organizations. Sussex County faces a critical need for increased and affordable veterinary care.
With an $188,000 grant from PetSmart Charities, the DHA and Delaware SPCA will support pets and pet owners in need of veterinary services by piloting a new program in partnership with the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement.
Over the next two years, DANA will support the newly merged organization, whose name is yet to be determined, in conducting research with local communities to identify service delivery methods with the greatest impact and help them connect with potential partners across the county.
Building on research support from DANA, the organization will pilot a new veterinary clinic in Sussex County offering free and low-cost veterinary services and care, including comprehensive exams, preventative care, vaccinations , diagnostics and sterilization surgery.
The Delaware Humane Association currently offers low-cost recurrent vaccination clinics in Sussex County. This project will build on that foundation, increasing access to veterinary care in the community by removing many of the financial barriers that prevent some pet owners from getting needed care for their pets.
Patrick Carroll, Executive Director of DHA and future CEO of the soon to be merged organization, said, “We are thrilled to launch this collaboration with PetSmart Charities and DANA to provide much needed pet care services to underserved communities across the county. of Sussex. From a veterinary care perspective, Sussex County suffers from a critical service deficit, including limited 24-hour care and limited appointment availability. And like in many low-income communities, the cost of services is also a significant barrier for many families.
According to the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute, companion animals have a significant impact on the health and well-being of the people they love. This grant will help more families in need receive the veterinary care that ensures pets live long, healthy lives.
“This support goes a long way toward helping pet parents access the care they need to keep their pets healthy and home,” said Kelly Balthazor, Senior Community Grants Manager at PetSmart Charities. “We are grateful for the important work these animal-serving organizations are doing together to meet these critical veterinary care needs. Ultimately, loving homes with healthy pets help build more thriving communities. »
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