Your dog has been your best friend for years. During the pandemic they have been your greatest comfort that got you through the darkest moments. They lift you up and is there for you when others are not. The connection you have forged is mutual and you depend upon each other. You just realized that you must give them up. How are you feeling?
Sounds like a horrible scenario doesn’t it? Unfortunately, there are people that face this reality often. They lose their job, their home, are facing serious health issues, a variety of real-life issues bring people to this place. Which is exactly why Second Chance created its Living Better Together Program, keeping pets and people together.
The most significant barriers in maintaining lifetime care for pets, particularly for families that are struggling financially, is access to veterinary care. The cost of veterinary care for many families is beyond reach, and for some families in our region it is physically out of reach, requiring a two to three hour round trip. As a result, many pets are not receiving basic medical care or are being relinquished or abandoned.
An estimated 29 million dogs and cats live in families that need financial assistance. However, there are also middle-class families that live paycheck to paycheck, with limited funds for veterinary care, especially when the need involves high-cost care.
We know the human-animal bond supports mental, emotional, and physical health and well being, including increases in self-esteem and self-worth. Pets bring joy, support, protection, comfort to their families and a connection to the community. All people, regardless of income, deserve to enjoy the abundance of benefits that accompany these relationships.
When families encounter barriers to veterinary care, it sometimes results in their pets experiencing extended illness or premature death, causing emotional distress for the family. In many instances, these pets are relinquished to the animal welfare system, thus breaking up the family and adding to the burden of the animal welfare system.
Instead, Second Chance Humane Society wants to ensure families have access to needed services via their Low-Cost Community Medical Program. Through this income-based program pets receive a free medical exam and full menu of low-cost services such as spay/neuter, vaccinations, dental care, micro-chipping, blood work, diagnostics, medical treatments and even end of life care.
Due to high demand Second Chance recently expanded these low-cost services, now available up to three days per week at the Second Chance medical clinic in Ridgway. Second Chance also brings a mobile clinic directly to the underserved communities of western Montrose County.
Living Better Together was initiated last year and, despite varying restrictions and other pandemic-related challenges, treated 386 pets in need, many who had never seen a veterinarian before. You can learn more about these appointment-based services on the Second Chance website listed below.
My name is Bandit, and I am a healthy year-plus Shepherd Mix awaiting my forever home. I have a lot of energy so I am in a foster home learning to direct it through hiking, jeeping and hanging out with my new horse friends. I am doing great in the house and with other dogs and feel very ready for my forever family. Looking for an adventurous BFF?
Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been servicing San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose counties for 27 years. Call 970-626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about our Emergency Response, Community Medical, Spay/Neuter, Volunteer or other services. View our shelter pets and services online at adoptmountainpets.org.