When Zora, a beloved family pet, became ill, her owner tried everything to get her help, but he couldn't access veterinary care no matter how hard he tried. He couldn’t afford a veterinary appointment, and the local low-cost clinic wouldn't see her because she didn't fit their criteria of medical needs. In addition to facing the possible loss of his best friend, Zora’s owner also faced personal health issues that landed him in the hospital, and he had to rely on a friend to help Zora find medical care.
Fortunately, his friend discovered a clinic held by PetSmart Charities® grant recipient, Ruthless Kindness, who stepped in to help Zora receive the lifesaving care she needed.
A Journey Toward Healthcare for All
The barriers Zora and her family faced are far too common. More than 70 percent of homes in the United States now include pets, but 50 million pets in the U.S. don't have access to even basic veterinary care including preventative care, health exams and vaccinations. To combat this, PetSmart Charities is proud to announce a commitment of $100 million in the next five years to help break down the geographic, cultural, language and financial barriers that prevent pets from receiving the adequate veterinary care they need to thrive at home with their families.
“This grant provides the crucial missing link. We have veterinary professionals who want to save lives, people who want to save their own animals, and animals who don't want to suffer, but none of us have enough resources to get medicine to all who can't afford a traditional vet hospital,” says Sarah Reidenbach, DVM, CEO at Ruthless Kindness.
The Billion-Dollar Issue
PetSmart Charities estimates it would cost more than $20 billion annually to bridge the gap for pets in need of veterinary care. With this commitment, we’re leading the change for good—but we can’t do it alone.
When pets don’t receive the healthcare they need, they suffer, and their parents do, too. Pets are members of the family and deserve pathways to healthcare that treats them as such.
“By helping these animals, we ease the stress and strain on their human family members in the process. It's a huge sigh of relief to have a national organization like PetSmart Charities listening to and caring about often forgotten animals and people and stepping up to be a part of the solution,” explains Reidenbach.
We’re in it Together
Today, Zora is back to being a healthy and happy pug, enjoying life with the people who love her. But, there are millions more just like her who need our help.
“The challenges facing the veterinary care system are vast and varied and no single organization can solve them alone,” says Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities. “Through PetSmart Charities’ commitment, we will be able to partner with and empower existing programs, universities and community organizations while also funding forward-looking solutions such as low-cost vet clinics and veterinary student scholarships. Our best friends deserve access to adequate healthcare like any family member.”