Let Me Introduce You To: Parachutes For Pets
Have you ever been in a tough financial situation and suddenly your pet gets sick or injured?
You start panicking like crazy. The last thing you need right now is a giant vet bill. Maybe you just got layed off or you're just getting back on your feet. Perhaps you're like most of us and simply in a nasty financial situation because, well, the economy sucks lately and it's rough out there. But....this is your pet. For a lot of us, our best friend and for some of us, our only family.
So you take your pet into the vet, hoping and praying that the vet tells you everything is fine and it's a simple fix. Not only because you don't want to see your pet in distress...but because you can't afford treatment or surgery. You cross your fingers and hope so badly they'll come out of the examination room with your beloved pet back to normal, and maybe even wave the examination fee because it was so insignificant and they barely needed to do anything to see that your pet is just fine.
But then the worst happens.
Your pet is diagnosed with an illness or has sustained an injury that requires surgery.
You're handed your vet bill that has an estimate of the cost of the procedure. There's no way in hell you can afford that. Tears start flowing and panic sets in. You can barely afford rent every month and have no savings set aside for something like this. No pet insurance.
"What if I can't afford this surgery?" you ask.
"Then you'll have to surrender your pet" they reply.
Your best friend. Your family member. Taken from your home and brought to a shelter.
As someone who is heavily involved in animal welfare, I can tell you that this happens far more often than people realize. It's some of the most heartbreaking stuff I've ever seen. It also has major negative consequences for everyone involved. The owner is obviously torn apart by having to surrender their pet, the pet suffers majorly from being removed from their home and will often develop behavioural issues or depression as a result, and animal shelters become overwhelmed with the huge amount of animals they now have to take care of and find new homes for.
That's where Parachutes For Pets steps in.
This organization was started by my friend Melissa earlier this year and since it began, she has worked tirelessly to keep low income Calgarians with their pets. I have personally seen Melissa go to extreme lengths and do whatever she can to ensure all kinds of Calgarians in all kinds of situations keep their pets with them. Anyone from senior citizens, homeless individuals, families that are struggling financially to the average person who have simply hit hard times and can't make ends meet. She performs miracles all the time and has the biggest heart I've ever seen, and she's looking for some assistance.
Keeping this organization going costs money and requires support. They've recently been overwhelmed with requests for help and desperately don't want to turn anyone away, but they can only do so much.
How can you help? By donating items or cash for their Christmas Pet Clinic! Here's what the clinic is all about:
"Volunteer veterinarians will be administering vaccines and physical examinations. Each pet will receive a Christmas stocking full of treats and toys, have their photo taken with Santa, and receive a basic grooming. Owners will receive a stocking with essential items and be treated to Christmas Cookies and Hot Cocoa. For many of the individuals in attendance this will be the only Christmas celebration they get with their pets as no community or women’s shelters in Calgary allow pets. We are also working with the Veterans Food Bank to ensure any veterans and their pets that are struggling financially will be in attendance."
Also, Bow Dog Canine Specialists and the 17th Avenue Thrift Store are hosting a donation drive for the month of November to collect items for this clinic. You can drop off donations of pet items at both of those locations or make a financial donation there as well!
I also wanted to show you the impact that your donations make on the lives of the people and pets that this organization helps, so I asked Melissa for some photos and stories:
"Hemi’s mom contacted us frantically when after he had been ill for a few days and could no longer had the strength to stand up on his own. She had been calling around frantically but could not get a vet to accept any payment plans. His mom suffers from a sever medical condition and lives on a fixed income. She was unable to afford the full amount for Hemi to be examined and treated. We were able to get Hemi veterinary care immediately and he recovered quickly! This is him dressed up for Halloween this year."
"Knuckles young owner had just received an organ transplant when Knuckles developed an abscess around his jaw. With the family being busy at the hospital it went undetected for a few days until his whole face was swollen. When a recovering child asks you to save his cat, you save his cat! We are happy to report Knuckles is happy and healthy today and so is his owner!"
"Sadie was rushed to the vet with multiple large bladder stones. Her owner who is physical impaired and only has Sadie for family was informed there were two options: emergency surgery or euthanasia. When we were contacted, the owner was so distraught, it was hard to understand her on the phone. Sadie was her only family. We are ecstatic to report Sadie was saved and is happy and healthy. She just celebrated Halloween as Peppa the Pig."
Thank you SO MUCH in advance for anything you can do to help this organization continue to help Calgary pets stay with their owners!