Our heads are still spinning from what turned out to be the fastest and slowest year of all time.
Let’s start with our spay/neuter count. This is usually my favorite picture but being closed 12 weeks throughout the year resulted in a much lower volume of surgeries. Instead of being sad or mad about this, I am elated we accomplished 5577 surgeries. That is still more than 83,655 litters prevented and lives saved.
Our Underdog Express program took a hit as well. Obviously, travel to New York was halted for many weeks. Fosters that signed up to care for dogs for a few weeks had them for months meaning we couldn’t pull any new dogs. The bright side is 562 lives were saved anyway. To those 562 dogs, 2020 was a great year!
Outside of our incredible new building, my favorite part of the pandemic is that the value of pets increased a gazillion times over. Any google search regarding pets and pandemic will reveal that demand for pets and pet services (specifically veterinary) were out of this world. People were stuck at home with Fluffy and Bingo. They noticed ailments, illnesses, and concerns and sought veterinary care. Moreover, being stuck at home is challenging for most and pets made it bearable. Pet owners reported their pets helped them cope emotionally with the lockdowns and helped them stay fit and active. Win-Win!
The pandemic reinforced what we already know. Pets make our lives better. In our best or worst of times, pets bring us comfort, joy and companionship. Veterinary clinics on a national level are still overwhelmed with business resulting in long wait times for an appointment and at the clinic. Though this has certainly caused additional stress for veterinary care providers and pet owners, it is a reason to celebrate. Dogs and Cats are getting the love and care they deserve.
It hasn’t been all great for pets though. We have seen an increase in relinquishments of pets throughout the US because of financial hardships, sickness and deaths. This is where we come in. Even though tackling a massive new building project proved to be extra challenging because of pandemic related delays and problems, we got it done. Well, almost done. We are operational and loving it.
The need for our expanded services is absolutely overwhelming. At a time when pet owners are struggling more financially than they ever had, our grand re-opening couldn’t have been better timed. We have stories every single day that make each of us feel fulfilled and grateful.
Here is one of my very favorites that I hope lifts your spirits.
Pepper ran away from home when a neighbor shot a gun and was hit by a car on a major highway. Both of her hind legs were broken along with multiple pelvic fractures. Pepper needed a specialist to piece her back together but specialty care is not financially available to everyone. An alternative solution was proposed at a different clinic but it too proved out of reach. We offered a 3rd option giving Pepper the chance she needed and one her family could afford. We do not know the final outcome for Pepper yet. Her body has many weeks of healing left to do but we are thrilled to report that Pepper is thriving at home with her loving family and we maintain daily contact and weekly evals. Pepper was hospitalized for 5 days at our clinic and her family came to visit every day. They brought her special food and treats, hand-fed her, and gave her so much love.
Our mission is to prevent unwanted litters and keep pets in the homes that love them. Economic euthanasia is just as big of a problem for companion animals as euthanasia for space. Pepper isn’t a statistic. She is in a loving home that fought hard to find a way of saving her. This is PETS Clinic and the reason for nonprofit veterinary clinics.
As we close out 2020, we have so much to be grateful for. You are at the top of that list. It is your belief in us and our mission that makes everything we do possible. Our hope is that the value of pets continues to stay high. Our dream is a community where pets are not euthanized for space or economic reasons. We KNOW this dream is possible and with your continued support as clients, donors, and community ambassadors- we got this! If you haven’t come to see us at our new building, you are missing out! For all the things 2020 will be remembered for, to us it will be the year we got our forever home!
Happy New Year from all of us at PETS Clinic- the very first non-profit full-service veterinary clinic in our area!