Sitting snug between Alyssa’s feet, Maya patiently awaits the unknown. The Pitbull-mix puppy, donning a spring-colored collar adorned with a light pink flower, doesn't know she's in line for her first veterinary visit. At only five months old, with a demeanor as breezy as her style, it's clear that Maya finds solace beside Alyssa under any circumstance. And, for Alyssa, a first-time dog mom, the feeling is mutual.
Alyssa and Maya are new patients at Emancipet, a Houston non-profit veterinary clinic. They’re visiting the clinic for routine puppy care, including vaccinations and a standard wellness checkup—essential services that aren't within reach for nearly 50 million family pets due to the accessible or affordable veterinary resources across the country.
As a recent college graduate living on her own for the first time, Alyssa knew having a pup in her life would lend the companionship she craved and also improve her mental health.
"I suffer through depression and anxiety, so it's helpful to have that stable joy to come home to and to have that confidence that someone loves you," says Alyssa.
When she began looking for veterinary services in her community, she noticed a lack of affordable and convenient options. Fortunately, Alyssa came across PetSmart Charities’® longtime, trusted, partner Emancipet. She found that their services fit her budget and made her feel comfortable knowing she had a trusted partner in keeping Maya healthy.
Emancipet is a respected nonprofit provider of low-cost veterinary clinics. They provide preventative and standard of care services pet parents like Alyssa need to ensure long and healthy lives for their beloved pets. With support from PetSmart Charities, together, we deliver on our promise to make the world a better place for pets, and the people who love them.
She gives me a reason to wake up in the morning, I know it sounds selfish, but it's important to keep her happy and healthy so I can be happy and healthy.
For Alyssa, Maya is more than a loyal companion; she's her support system. "One of the main reasons I got Maya was for security and mental health. But I also suffer from seizures. I'm having her trained as a service animal,” adds Alyssa.
With nearly five million pets in need of loving homes, removing barriers to veterinary care can save pets' lives while also helping to create bonds that improve the well-being of the people who love them. Because of people like you who support PetSmart Charities’ mission, pet parents like Alyssa have better chances of enjoying the comfort of their pets for a long time to come.
"Pets are the family you get to choose. We may not be part of the same bloodline, but my heart beats for her just the same," smiles Alyssa.