Each year, as a small non-profit with both limited staff and resources, we take stock of our programs and work to make sure that they are working to provide the most efficient and effective services possible. By one pet at a time, we’re working to make sure that more pets aren’t surrendered because of preventable causes. Our community is fortunate to have a variety of resources to receive low-cost veterinary care. Unfortunately, still the number one reason that pets are surrendered to Bloomington Animal Care and Control is cost. In 2015 and thanks to the attendees at Tails on the Town, MCHA worked to mitigate this need by re-introducing a mobile vaccine clinic into the community. By taking these services into the heart of the communities that need them most and offering subsidized costs, we were able to provide on-site education and resources to families that otherwise wouldn’t have sought them out.
However, we were also met with so many more unmet needs. At the same time, the demand for emergency assistance vouchers more than doubled over the year. By summer, we had to restrict both the number of vouchers we could allow and set parameters for receiving a voucher even tighter. We couldn’t allow vouchers for upper respiratory infections or allergies any longer. Vouchers had to be limited to severe injuries or conditions only, leaving many pets untreated or being surrendered.
To reach these animals, and so many others like them, MCHA has expanded our services to include treating minor medical conditions such as upper respiratory infections, allergies, and low-scale infections.
While we hope to serve many families in our community with these services, we realize that this is still only one facet of the problem facing animals and families in our community. MCHA will continue to offer emergency assistance vouchers for those injuries and conditions that we can’t treat, and in some cases, offer more towards the care and diagnostics of animals in severe need.
Since launching the Minor Medical Clinic in March of 2016, we have seen so much more than just success. The veterinary team has been able to treat minor injuries and illnesses on animals that belong to owners that were not seeking care anywhere else. It's also allowed us to start being part of the solution to problems that are facing animals in our community. Even though we're still so early into the puppy and kitten season, we have already seen four animals succumb to the parvo virus. Parvo Virus is entirely preventable with a vaccine. To encourage owners of new puppies to get this vaccine, we're offering a free rabies vaccine when owners bring in their 3-6month old puppy for a Distemper/Parvo vaccine. We can offer these unique opportunities thanks to volunteers, and our donors that believe in these causes.
At this year's Tails on the Town, we were able to raise $10,000 towards this initiative. This amount will allow us to purchase other outstanding medical equipment that we haven’t been able to afford as of yet, stock more medications, reserve funding for scholarships for clients who can’t afford the full price of their services and additional funding for advanced veterinary care such as surgeries or amputations. However, $10,000 is only 1/2 of what it costs to operate this clinic and allow for all of the subsidized care.
We believe the pets are part of the families in our community, and deserve to live free from pain and suffering. By continuing to work together, we are creating a healthier and safer community as a whole. Thank you for helping and supporting our work to create more opportunities where animals can receive life-saving care rather than facing unnecessary surrender or euthanasia.
You can help support this clinic now, and throughout the year by designating your donation for the Medical Fund.