12 Sep President’s Letter to CVMA Members
September 12, 2018
Dear CVMA Members,
For more than 20 years, PetAid Animal Hospital (formerly Harrison Memorial Animal Hospital) has provided veterinary care to underserved pets in the Denver metro community. You may know that in 2007, visionary CVMA leaders saw the value of providing veterinary care to pets of owners in financial distress. At that time, the Colorado Veterinary Medical Foundation (CVMF) was created as the charitable arm of CVMA to take over the operation of Harrison Memorial Hospital and provide donor-supported veterinary care to income-qualified pet owners. In 2012, the hospital became PetAid Colorado and it has demonstrated the value to the community of providing access to care for pets and people in need. In its time, PetAid has provided donor-subsidized care for tens of thousands of pets – nearly 14,000 in 2017 alone.
Over the past several years, the demand for PetAid’s income-qualified services has increased dramatically, a trend we expect to continue. We estimate that there are 240,000 pets in the Denver metro area alone that are owned by those who cannot afford even basic veterinary care for their dogs and cats, let alone emergency or critical care. As the need grows, so does the demand for services — an ever-escalating scale of time, money, effort, and resources. When CVMF was founded over a decade ago, no one could have foreseen the tremendous impact it would have on the community. And as proud as we are of the incredible strides we have made, we now find that the demand is far surpassing the ability of PetAid Colorado’s donor-subsidized, income-qualified model to meet it.
With a desire to ensure all the need is met, now and into the future, CVMA has an exciting announcement to make to our members…
Together, the Dumb Friends League and PetAid Colorado are sharing the news that in October 2018, PetAid Colorado will become the Dumb Friends League Solutions – Veterinary Hospital. DFL-SVH will continue PetAid’s charitable mission to offer care to underserved populations with the most critical need. Both the Dumb Friends League and PetAid Colorado believe that the League’s organizational strengths, coupled with its longstanding commitment to alleviating animal suffering, make it an excellent organizational home to meet the urgent need of continuing to provide access to veterinary care for pets of owners in financial distress in our community.
The following goals will guide this work:
- Alleviate suffering of animals in our community
- Prevent animal suffering, relinquishment, and euthanasia
- Enhance the dignity of those we serve
- Maximize impact
- Work collaboratively with the veterinary community
The Dumb Friends League promotes the value of veterinary care and will continue the effective care model that PetAid has pioneered to prevent suffering and relinquishment. Both CVMA and DFL know that pets live longer, healthier lives when they receive veterinary care, and that they are more likely to stay in their homes and not be released into the community or shelters. The health and welfare of pets and their people without financial resources is important to all of us.
During the transition, the Dumb Friends League and PetAid Colorado will work together to maintain operations and continue to serve the growing numbers of pets and people that need help the most. Therefore:
- If you are a referring DVM, please continue to follow the current referral process to the hospital to ensure your patients’ needs are met.
- If you make use of PetAid Care Grants, please continue to submit your requests to CVMA, and contact the office at 303.318.0447 if you have questions on the status of this program.
We are excited to continue this life-transforming work. Be on the lookout for more updates in the coming weeks.
C. Diane Matt
Colorado Veterinary Medical Association, CEO
PetAid Colorado, CEO