N.S. SPCA receives grant to improve accessible veterinary care

    (SPCA photo)

    DARTMOUTH: The N.S. SPCA is among the recipients of a grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada.

    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 the Nova Scotia SPCA in the amount of $100,000 will support the growth of the Nova Scotia SPCA Veterinary Hospital in Dartmouth.

    The support is two-fold: The grant will help the hospital grow in knowledge and capacity to increase the number of clients that can be seen while providing options to families who might have to delay their pet’s urgent medical treatment due to cost.

    “Delaying treatment can lead to pets being uncomfortable and even getting sicker,” says Elizabeth Murphy, CEO of the Nova Scotia SPCA. “For families, having an unhealthy animal is stressful enough, but add the anxiety about finances, and pet owners can feel helpless.

    “Thanks to this grant from PetSmart Charities of Canada, the Nova Scotia SPCA will be able to meet the needs of these families, getting pets back on their paws sooner.”

    Currently, six in ten Nova Scotians have a pet in their home; many say that the challenges they face as pet owners are costs and accessing veterinary care. This issue affects families in every community, and every socioeconomic bracket, in our province.

    The cost of medical care for prevention and illness treatment can place a strain on already tight budgets for some families or individuals.

    Murphy also appreciates that PetSmart Charities of Canada not only saw the need to support those with pets, but also the organizations on the ground doing the work.

    “The Nova Scotia SPCA is committed to saving lives and creating families, but as a charity with no government funding for animal care, we rely on the generosity of donors,” said Murphy. “This support for our hospital will give us time to increase the number of clients we have, so we stay available to pet owners, longer.”

    Overwhelmingly, people consider their pets important members of the family. Pets make a significant impact on 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 the Nova Scotia SPCA is doing to create solutions that will build strong families and a healthy community.”