Many animal lovers find gratification in supporting programs that help pets and pet owners in need, and several Colorado State programs achieve those goals through donor contributions.
The Pets Forever program, housed in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, is a community service program seeking philanthropic support to become self-sustaining. Donations may be made through the program’s funding page.
The charitable program provides day-to-day care for the pets of low-income elderly people and people with disabilities in Larimer County. This pet care – including feeding, walking, grooming, clean-up and pet-related errands – helps homebound people keep cherished dogs and cats. Pets Forever clients benefit from the ongoing companionship and the health benefits derived from the human-animal bond.
Seniors, people with disabilities benefit
Without help with pet care, some low-income older and disabled people could be faced with relinquishing their pets.
“I have a hard time getting out and around, so it’s nice to have someone take Minnie on walks and groom her when she needs it,” said Lori Beldo, a client who relied on Pets Forever to help with her Chinese crested dog.
Pets Forever serves about 150 seniors and people with disabilities at any given time.
The program relies on volunteers, mainly students, who work with clients and their pets. Its annual budget is about $125,000, which covers a full-time salary, variable hourly wages, some veterinary care for pets, and program and office supplies.
The college has covered costs of the charitable program; Pets Forever, which began in 2009, is now seeking philanthropic support to ensure sustainability for many years to come.
Other programs supporting vet care
The college is home to five other programs that support veterinary care for shelter animals and the pets of low-income families. All of these charitable programs rely on donations. The programs are:
- Companion Care, providing financial assistance to low-income community members who need help paying for lifesaving or emergency procedures at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
- Ella’s Fund, providing lifesaving care for animals at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. In return, pet owners pay it forward by volunteering at local animal welfare organizations.
- Friends of Nan Bush and Palomino, providing limited assistance to families who have exhausted all other resources to pay for cancer treatments for their pets.
- Jessy’s Leash of Love, providing grants of up to $1,000 to canine and feline cancer patients whose owners demonstrate a financial need.
- Naniboujou’s Legacy for Saving Animals in Shelters through Teaching (SAST), providing funding for the medical care of shelter animals so they may be successfully adopted.