Recently, a veterinarian and owner of Dr. Sue’s Animal Clinic shared a story of an amazing family that was enduring hard times. “They recently had to euthanize one of their older animals. Their other dog, Maggie, had been "off" since the loss of her best friend. At first, her family assumed she was just mourning. However, they started noticing increasing weight loss, decreased appetite, extreme lethargy, etc. When she failed to improve, they brought her in.”
Located in Bellbrook, OH, the practice has seen an uptick in the need for charitable care. This is yet another family (of many they have seen) that was unable to afford proper care for their beloved pet due to job loss related to COVID, and financial hardship.
In this case, euthanasia seemed like the only option when they realized that their dog really was sick. “I offered to cover the costs of lab work and diagnostics, medications, and radiographs in the hopes that we could find a treatable cause for the signs seen, and that this would not end up in a possibly unnecessary euthanasia.”
Dr. Rancurello and her team are still working with this family. Maggie is being treated for cholecystitis/hepatitis and is starting to improve – even showing a robust appetite with weight gain! They plan to continue to cover costs associated with this dog's care as they go forward.
“This is just one more example (sadly, of many) of how the loss of jobs due to COVID has resulted in an inordinate amount of stress not only on families but on their pets as well. Families that would otherwise provide whatever their pets needed now find themselves in the very difficult position of opting for euthanasia because they cannot afford veterinary care. It is agonizing to see families going through this, especially knowing that the animal has a chance with appropriate care. This family, as with ALL the other families that I have chosen to cover medical expenses for, never asked for any kind of help.
Families are racked by guilt over their inability to do more for their pets but are too proud to ask for help. There are just times when it seems like the right thing to do to offer services without charge -- just because. I am a big believer in paying it forward. I have been fortunate in my life in many ways and feel that I need to take opportunities to help others when I am able to do so. This is just one instance where I have provided services at my own expense. I am not submitting all of them, as I have no doubt that there are many other vets, like myself, that have opted to do this in these extraordinary times.”
National Veterinary Charitable Care Grant Program
Dr. Rancurello received an AVMF grant to help cover the expenses incurred for charitable work. The National Veterinary Charitable Care Grant Program provides AVMA member veterinarians who provide low or no-cost veterinary services to animals with funding for treatment of illness or conditions requiring immediate care for owners experiencing financial hardship due to Covid-19 or domestic violence.
This program is made possible by the contributions of donors like you. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of animals and those who care for them.