The holidays are a time of giving for people in our community. There are programs in place in our community for families and children, but there is also an incredible local organization helping provide medical care for family pets in need in our community as well. BirchBark Foundation is an organization helping to fill this need for over six years to residence of Monterey and Santa Cruz County. Thanks to their fundraising efforts they have saved over 330 pets during medical emergencies when their owners are unable to fully afford the necessary treatment.
Chicklet- a chihuahua residing in Salinas was fortunate enough to benefit from BirchBark’s program. Chicklet was viciously attacked in her yard by a larger dog and received life threatening bite wounds over her neck and head. Through the help of two veterinary partners of BirchBark- Toro Park Animal Hospital and Animal Hospital of Salinas – Chicklet received life saving surgery and wound care. Without the assistance of BirchBark Foundation Chicklet’s owner would not have been able to afford Chicklet’s extensive medical care.
As a veterinary hospital there is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing expenses become a determining factor in the ability to save a patient. Medical expenses add up quickly and for many families on fixed incomes, seniors and veterans in our community this can be an unexpected expense that was not planned for. BirchBark has recognized a local need and has been able to create a program to help serve those in need and be able to keep family pets alive and with their families. Veterinarians on the Central Coast appreciate this program which aids in providing happy endings to our patients and clients.
During this season of giving please remember those less fortunate in our community, including the needs of our pets. Hug your own four legged members of the family extra close this season and pay it forward to those less fortunate in our area. Merrianne Burtch, DVM, DACVIM BirchBark Founder and Board President, states, “We are very excited to be able to continue to save the lives of these animals and keep families together with their pets. We are so thankful to our donors, veterinarian partners, community and corporate supporters without whose help none of this would be possible. We are looking forward to saving the next 300 pets!”