Source: Santa Barbara Humane
PetSmart Charities recognizes that access to high quality veterinary care is out of reach for some. Through their “Improving Access to Care” grants, they award thousands to animal shelter clinics throughout North America. This year Santa Barbara Humane was selected to receive $25,000 toward the public clinic for pets in need. One of the most common reasons pets are surrendered to local shelters is the lack of affordable care. Due to cost and other barriers, pets in under-resourced communities often do not have access to basic veterinary care such as spay/neuter services, vaccinations, dental care and other medical and preventative care.
The $25,000 grant from PetSmart Charities, has helped Santa Barbara Humane address these issues by subsidizing veterinary care to pets in Santa Barbara County. To date, the grant has already provided veterinary care for more than 200 animals at Santa Barbara Humane’s veterinary clinics in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara.
For a dog named Chiquis, the grant from PetSmart Charities made all the difference in the world. When Chiquis’ owners brought her to Santa Barbara Humane’s veterinary clinic in December 2020, it was apparent that she was not well. The timid four-year-old Pit Bull had a mass on her rear end that was sensitive to touch. Frightened and in pain, Chiquis was reluctant to allow medical staff to get close enough to examine her.
The veterinary team determined that the best course of action would be to remove the mass from Chiquis’ back. Her parents cared deeply for her, but were concerned about the cost of the surgery she required. Their worry turned to hope when they learned that some of the expenses could be covered by the $25,000 grant from PetSmart Charities. The surgery was a success, and Chiquis is now living a happy and comfortable life with her loving family. Chiquis’ story is not unique. Financial insecurities caused by the pandemic have led to an influx of families in need of financial assistance for their pets’ veterinary care.
“The PetSmart Charities grant allows us to provide care for families that might not be able to afford veterinary care,” said Dr. Katie Marrie, the Chief Veterinary Officer at Santa Barbara Humane. “Because of this grant families can avoid difficult decisions that could be a last resort, such as relinquishing their pet, foregoing necessary care, or even euthanasia.”
Since 1994, through its partnership with nearly 4,000 humane societies, SPCAs and pet rescues across North America, PetSmart Charities has helped more than 9 million pets to find loving homes via its in-store adoption program in over 1,650 PetSmart® stores. The leading funder of animal welfare has also donated nearly $400 million, to positively impact communities, to connect people and pets, to help preserve families and to improve access to veterinary care through initiatives like this with Santa Barbara Humane.
Those interested can learn more about the veterinary clinic at Santa Barbara Humane on their website, www.sbhumane.org