Tank means everything to her family

Tank is an active, athletic 3-year-old American bully/old English bully cross who means everything to her loving family.

My son was born with only half a heart and has had three open heart surgeries and a stroke all before he was two and a half years old. Tank lets us know when he is off and helps keep him calm when his brain can’t handle his environment. Though she is not a registered therapy dog, she is my son’s therapy dog and his protector.

Julie, Tank’s loving guardian

When Tank injured her left leg, her owner Julie was told that she would need emergency knee surgery to fix the injury, costing $4,000; an amount she knew their struggling family could not afford.

My husband was laid off in August 2019 and due to COVID-19 he has only just gone back to work. I have also been out of work since February, as I teach first aid and have to be very careful with our high risk son. We have depleted our savings and that makes this $4000+ surgery an impossibility without some help. My boys are doing a bottle drive and I am drumming up some sales from my knitting and crochet hobby, but without help from organizations like yours we will be unable to get the surgery done for a long time, and she would be in pain without it.

That’s where our McVitie Fund comes in. It is only because of generous supporters like you, that we are able to help Julie and Tank.

We are determined to keep loving, loyal Tank with her family. Can you help Tank by contributing towards the cost of her surgery?


Help save Wybie’s life

Sweet little six-month-old Wybie needs our help. His loving guardian Krystal contacted us after noticing he had bowel complications, causing dehydration, constipation and exhaustion.  

I’ve been watching over him very closely, giving him lots of attention & TLC. After a bit of research it sounds like it could be megacolon, a congenital disorder that could possibly require x-rays and surgery.

Krystal, Wybie’s loving guardian

A single mother on disability, Krystal struggled to afford the fluid IV and laxative medication that he urgently needed after his first visit to the vet.

That’s when she reached out to VHS for help. Our veterinary care assistance program, the McVitie Fund, generously funded by our supporters, enables you to help animals like Wybie.

Any assistance or help would be lifesaving for him at this point and beyond incredible. He means the world to us and is like our child. Thank you so much for your consideration!

Could you donate today to pay for the veterinary care needed to help save Wybie’s life?


McVitie program aims to keep people and pets together

VHS is now working with Terri Gillis, program coordinator, to administer the McVitie veterinary assistance program. Terri’s background working with people who have mental health challenges makes her perfectly suited for this part-time role. When Terri is not working with VHS, she is in school or snuggling with her rescue pup Schnitzel. Here Terri shares her experiences regarding keeping people and pets together:

Terri Gillis is VHS’s program coordinator for the McVitie veterinary assistance program

There are many stereotypes about low-income individuals with pets. The general public often asks why vulnerable populations have animals when they may not have homes or money to pay for vet bills or food.

Every person I’ve met who is classified as low-income will do anything in order to keep their pet. And yet, when their animals get sick or need veterinary assistance, they are often told to surrender their animal. While this may make financial sense, it makes no sense on any other level.

Animals help keep their humans safe; they help keep them warm at night; they help them from becoming overwhelmed with the stress of their daily lives. In return, the animals receive unconditional love; food, no matter what; and unending affection.

The goal, moving forward, needs to be how we keep animals with their humans, rather than encouraging them to surrender them due to financial deficiencies.

The Vancouver Humane Society continues to seek out sources of funding so that we can keep pets with the people they are bonded with.


Odie’s his old self again

The McVitie Veterinary Assistance Program has been helping pets of low-income caregivers get assistance for many years, ensuring guardians are not forced to surrender the animals they love and are bonded with. During this time, other caring individuals have provided some of their own money towards the program to keep people and their pets together. Sandra Todd is one of those individuals, always working to assist those in need to ensure their pets have care. 

When Sandra was partially laid off due to COVID-19, she faced a difficult decision herself for the first time. Sandra cares for a few aging rescued animals, and her 17-year-old dog Odie was showing signs of sickness. Odie lived a rough early life, abused by his first owners and treated roughly by his second owners. He came into Sandra’s care with wounds on his neck and a broken leg. 

Since then, Sandra has worked to give him a good life. At the end of March, Odie started sleeping too much, he became too weak to walk and gastro problems were evident. Sandra knew the bill would be high for the veterinarian to diagnose the cause and hopefully heal Odie and that she would fall short with her own available funds. She reached out to the Vancouver Humane Society for help with covering the cost of a blood panel, fluids, and antibiotics to get 17-year-old Odie feeling well again. 

Please consider contributing a gift today to support the McVitie low-income veterinary assistance program.  


Help Brittney and Puggy

Brittney and Puggy’s story

“Puggy came to me through a friend a few years ago, I have another cat named Jasper and they are buddies. I have always had a strong connection to my animals and they mean so much to me. I would do anything to make sure my cats are happy and healthy.”

Brittney, Puggy’s loving guardian

Last year Puggy had some health complications and ended up needing a surgery which was a very scary time. Brittney would visit him everyday at the vet and he was so happy to see her while he was healing.

“I am grateful the vet was so kind and let me make financial installments on his treatment because it was so expensive. Since then he has had to go back for several check ups and recently Puggy developed what seemed to be a bladder infection, which meant he needed further x-rays, urine samples, bloodwork and treatment.”

Brittney contacted VHS last week as she was struggling to pay for Puggy’s veterinary care.

“I do not qualify for CERB (Canadian Emergency Response Benefits) and I’m a former youth in care living off of very little funding and school bursaries. I also have a disability which prevents me from being able to work and I can’t work during this time due to covid. Any assistance would be much appreciated as I can not afford a huge vet bill and have no other resources or people that can help pay.”

“Puggy is honestly the sweetest and most loving cat ever and he is very attuned to my emotions. We both love and support each other when we are in pain, and he loves to cuddle and is very social. I take him on walks in the garden and we sit in the sun together. I couldn’t imagine life without him.”

Could you help Brittney and Puggy by making a donation to our McVitie Fund today?

“Having help from the McVitie fund is a blessing especially during COVID-19. Animals are so special and because of programs like this one people can have support in making sure their animals are healthy and safe. No one should have to choose between their animal and paying for rent or groceries. Thank you from Puggy and I both, we are so grateful for the support!!”


Help Brutus in his time of need

When thirteen-year-old Brutus developed a persistent cough and began bringing up fluid, his worried owner Carol made several trips to their vet.

After two unsuccessful rounds of antibiotics, Brutus’ vet advised that he would need x-rays in order to diagnose the issue and prescribe Brutus with the medication he needed.

Carol is currently unable to work due to her own medical conditions, and is not yet receiving EI because of delays due to COVID-19.

“It is breaking my heart to think I may have to put him down because I do not have the funds to pay for his further tests and medication. Brutus is such an affectionate dog, sometimes I think he is human! We cannot imagine him not being part of our family. He could still have a few more years with us.”

Carol, Brutus’ loving guardian

Please consider making a donation today towards our veterinary care assistance program, the McVitie Fund, to help us cover the cost of Brutus’ x-ray. Thank you!


Help Bubba

Exuberant English Bulldog, Bubba, injured his leg while playing at the park.

When he began limping and showing signs of pain, his owner Holly took him to the vet, who confirmed he would need an x-ray, most likely followed by surgery for a suspected torn or broken ligament.

Holly, a single parent on disability, reached out to VHS for help.

Could you make a donation today to help us cover the cost of Bubba’s x-ray?


Rocco’s story

Rocco’s owner, Fay, adopted Rocco when he was 2-years-old. On a limited pension from the government, Fay was nervous when Rocco started limping. He needed an ACL surgery, but on her limited funds she was going to have to choose between buying groceries and giving up her best friend.

Luckily, Fay found the Vancouver Humane Society and we were able to assist her in covering the costs of Rocco’s much needed surgery. 

For his 10th birthday, days before his surgery, Fay showered Rocco in treats, happy to celebrate their close bond. Rocco’s surgery went well and he is now on the mend!


Donate to help cover the cost of Rocco’s surgery

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Emergency plans must include animals

VHS letter calls for legislation to require local authorities to include animals in emergency plans

VHS has submitted a letter to a provincial government consultation on modernizing B.C.’s Emergency Program Act (EPA), calling for the Act to ensure animals are not forgotten in emergency planning.

Current legislation does not require local officials to include domestic animals as part of their plans, which we believe puts not only animals at risk but also their guardians.

Our letter also points out that animals held in establishments such as zoos, aquariums, kennels, sanctuaries and breeding facilities are also at risk during emergencies. The letter states: “The EPA should ensure local authorities include these facilities in their emergency plans and provide them with guidance and support in implementing them.”

The consultation ends January 31st, but there is still time to submit your views.


Help us reach our Matching Grant to help animals like Loki!

Last month little Loki, a small Chihuahua Jack Russel mix was found abandoned, wondering the streets of Duncan alone.

He was underweight, cold, and very scared of people, particularly men.  
The woman that found him noticed that his back leg and tail looked wonky, as if he had been hit by a car or perhaps abused in his former home. He also needed urgent medical treatment, including vaccinations, dental work and neutering.
Luckily for Loki, this kind passerby decided to take him home and Loki quickly made himself comfortable in a warm and cozy house. However, as she had another dog of her own already and as it was just before Christmas time, she knew she would struggle with the expensive costs of the veterinary treatment that Loki would need.

That’s when she reached out to VHS for help. Loki’s medical bills were estimated at over $1,000, an amount that not many of us can imagine having to pay out of the blue.
Loki’s new guardian told us he ‘quickly found his way into our hearts even only after such a short time, we initially had started to look for a home for him because we can’t afford the initial veterinary bills, but if we can have some help he just may have found his forever home.’

Thanks to our McVitie Fund, generously funded by our supporters, we are able to help injured Loki and his new guardian.

We need to raise $25,000 by April 30th to receive a matching grant from one of our generous anonymous donors. This would mean we’d have $50,000 to help animals throughout 2020!

We still have more than $9,000 to raise in three months. You can help us reach our goal by making a donation today.

We receive several phone calls every week from worried animal guardians on low incomes, needing help with veterinary bills. 

A small gift today would help animals like Loki. Thank you so much for your support!