When families cannot afford medical care or surgeries for their animals, this is where they turn
Sarah Brown’s voice trembles as she describes how PetAid Colorado twice saved the life of Foxy, her Pomeranian. “She would not be here if we hadn’t found PetAid,” she says. In 2016, when Foxy was 10, she was diagnosed with pyometra, an infection of the uterus that required a $2,000 surgery. If left untreated, it would have killed her. “My husband works, but I’m a stay-at-home mom for our two kids and we’re on a tight budget.”
Given Foxy’s age and their limited funds, Brown and her husband decided to have the dog put down. “She really wasn’t feeling well, so we decided it was the kindest thing to do. We made an appointment with our veterinarian and then spent hours hugging her and loving her. But just as we were getting ready to leave (for the euthanasia), she sparked up and we knew it wasn’t her time to go.”
A search for lower-cost surgical options led Brown to PetAid, Colorado’s healthcare safety net for animals, where the procedure cost a more affordable $400. Then, two weeks into her recovery, a Rottweiler broke into the Browns’ backyard and attacked Foxy, causing near-fatal injuries. “We didn’t think she’d make it,” Brown recalls. Complex bite wounds, a severe front leg fracture and a destroyed shoulder joint required four surgeries and the amputation of a leg, followed by twice-weekly visits to PetAid over five months. “Foxy is a real trouper, and she is doing awesome,” Brown says. “We love her to pieces. We are so grateful to PetAid.”
- PetAid Colorado is housed in the Harrison Center for Animals, the state’s largest not-for-profit veterinary hospital. In 2017, PetAid’s veterinary professionals cared for 13,360 sick or injured animals belonging to people on fixed incomes, an 18 percent increase over 2016.
How it works
- PetAid Colorado’s animal hospital provides discounts of 15 to 50 percent, based on a sliding income scale, and provides up to 100 percent discounts for those in the greatest financial need. PetAid Care Grants help pay for supplemental charitable care in rural areas, supporting a one-time medical intervention for a pet with a good prognosis. PetAid Community Outreach does physical exams and vaccinations for pet owners in subsidized senior housing, assisted living centers and transitional homeless shelters. About 90 percent of PetAid clients live below the poverty line and include seniors who cannot live independently, the disabled, out-of-work professionals and couples who have lost their entire savings because of an unexpected health issue. Some are terminally ill; others are homeless.
How you can help
- Volunteer at fundraisers, tag PetAid Colorado in social media posts or donate supplies such as disposable exam gloves, new or gently used towels, lint rollers, cotton balls, unscented, clumping kitty litter and fast-read digital thermometers. Get more info from Meghan Burke, 303.539.7638 or [email protected]
191 Yuma St.
- Mutts & Models: The Fundraiser for Underprivileged Pets
May 19, 6–10 p.m., at the EXDO Events Center, 1399 35th St.
- Puttin’ for PetAid
Aug. 27, 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., at Red Rocks Country Club, 16235 W. Belleview Ave., Morrison
Find tickets for both events at petaidcolorado.org.