2016 was a banner year for us at Jarrettsville Vet. It was really the first year we started to both think and act way outside of the traditional veterinary clinic box.
We were always a little different. Something I embraced a long time ago. I wasn't cut from the cloth of everyone else and I have learned the very hard and painful way that I could be exactly who I felt compelled to be without fear of castigation and shame as long as I stayed true to who I had always dreamt I wanted to be. At some point you grow out of the ability to force yourself into a mold you foolishly think others believe you should fit into. It is a combination of maturity meets exhaustion when you just cannot be at peace with yourself any longer. Last year was the year I really gave up trying to do anything else except help animals. Last year was a banner year because of this. All of that sweating the small stuff of being responsible for payroll, bills, and overhead gets, well,,, old. It inhibits your freedom to be creative, to live beyond possessions and when you are a dreamer at heart it is a parasite on your vision.
In 2016 we helped rescue, tame, care for, vaccinate, spay/neuter and find amazing homes for over 60 cats. We also helped about a dozen dogs. It was a sincere pleasure and delight to see emaciated, frightened parasite and disease ridden skeletons blossom into jubilant healthy joyful love bugs, and then head off into a life of their own. It happened over, and over, and over. So much so that many of us actually didn't recognize them when they returned to be spayed and neutered.
We also opened the kennel up to any pet who needed shelter on the hottest, or, coldest days of the year. We helped feral cats in snow storms, homeless pets from freezing in cars, and even a chicken who forgot to shed feathers in the Spring versus the Fall. Did the pragmatic vet in me whisper about fear of staff being bitten by unknown pets? Yes. Did I worry about giving up paid tenant space to a poor homeless kid? Yes. Did I secretly fear that some random uncared for pet might cause a disease outbreak? Sure I did. But at the end of the day, and at the closure of 2016, I know that my heart, and the hearts of the staff who work so hard to help every pet we take care of, believe the purpose of JVC is to "always be kind." We live it.
This year also marked the beginning of our JVC Food Pantry. The simple extension of providing vet care and shelter without cost to those who need it, also now extends to feeding those who do not have the means to buy food.
We also had a work shop day to make outdoor cat shelters. Thanks to the incredible generosity of our friends at Gemmill Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning we made a dozen cat houses (that got snatched up in less than 24 hours) for the cats who do not have a warm inside bed to share with their humans. The shelters were offered to anyone who needed them for the suggested donation cost of $7.00. We provided them for free if this was not affordable. (PS please visit the Gemmill's and send a big Thank You!). It was such a resounding success that we are doing it again this Thursday.
Did I ever imagine that every single pet need would be covered by our community pitching in to help? Well, it far surpassed my wildest dreams! I thought I would just end up doing a whole lot of pro bono work to fulfill the presumed endless need, but, it turned out the outpouring of support far outnumbered the need.
So what is new for us in 2017? Well there is a lot!
We are going to be offering Pet Savings Plans to help spread out the yearly costs of pet care. We are going to provide options to preventatives. You can choose the "Easy Preventative Plan" the "Most Affordable Preventative Plan" or, the "Preferred Preventative Plan". We will even send you reminders for them, AND, we will show you what the online pharmacy charge for the same preventative is. (Look out Progressive Insurance,, Move over Flo!)
We are offering new services, new client options for goods and services and we are going to do it with credibility and integrity. The heart and soul are complimentary and always included.
Accessibility has been a key factor in our ability to help our clients. If you need us you can find us anytime via a Facebook message, a question on Pawbly.com (free!), or, coming in late Spring via our app. I also widely publish my email address for all clients. If you don't have it call me and ask for it. It is on every receipt and end of examination Pet Report Card.
What else is there to do? Well, I am going to move mountains, break ceilings, and shatter myths about veterinary medicine. If there is one veterinary demon left to slay it is that I am not going to stop until every pet has a home, every creature has a warm bed, a full belly and a loving hand to share their life with. How can I do this? I am going to keep finding ways to end the ridiculous practice of economic euthanasia. What is economic euthanasia? It is the veterinary profession's way of saying "the only option for you is to euthanize your pet because we can't offer you more affordable options." It is the sequela of abandonment of where this profession came from and legal sheltering of pets still only being considered as "property". We can do better. I am going to challenge the profession to see the shame and the betrayal in this term.
For anyone who might not be confident in the ability to have faith that the new year won't bring positive changes I invite you to stick close, find us, and watch what can happen when you don't care about anything else except building positive change. Is it possible? Yes, if you believe and you dare to be different. Here's to 2017!
Price Guide 2016
What is Pawbly?
Pet Savings Plan, JVC Plan For Clients with Financial Constraints
Jarrettsville Vet Pet Food Pantry
Borrowing Battery Juice
Wellness Plans and Savings Plans, and Surprises
What do you think? Is change in veterinary care possible? Is it something you think needs to happen? If you have a voice for better pet care please share it.
If you can help a pet in need please find us at Pawbly.com. It is a free open online community dedicated to helping pets and their people.
I am also on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and at the clinic helping every wet nose and furry friend.