The needs-based program utilizes financial donations and volunteer services from WestVet specialists to save pets and/or restore them to good health.
Idaho ranks in the top ten states for pet ownership. In January 2013, the American Veterinary Medicine Association reported that 62% of Idaho families include a pet. The need for specialty veterinary care continues to grow as well. WestVet Animal Emergency and Specialty Center is pleased to announce a financial assistance program to enable more pet owners to utilize veterinary specialty care. WestVet is one of only a handful of private specialty/emergency veterinary hospitals in the United States that has developed a formalized plan for financial assistance.
The WestVet Care Plan is needs-based and encompasses two parts, financial donations from the Audrey Pet Foundation (APF), a 501(C)3 nonprofit, combined with donated medical services and time from WestVet specialists. Based on a sliding scale, according to household income, pet owners may be eligible to receive significant subsidies toward their veterinary expenses.
“The Audrey Pet Foundation and the WestVet Care Plan stem from our own heartbreak in knowing we could treat a family’s pet, yet owners had to opt for less ideal treatments or decline treatments altogether because of the financial strain,” said Dr. Jeff Brourman, WestVet’s founder and Chief of Staff.
“With continuous and tremendous advances in veterinary medicine, we can now treat a variety of conditions including heart defects, neurologic disorders, and severe bone and joint problems. However, those types of treatments can be costly—comparable to the costs for people. The WestVet Care Plan is our effort to help overcome that dilemma. While we realize that there will be some owners who can still not afford such services for their pet, we think this program will help allow many more animals to obtain care that they would not have otherwise received.”
To qualify for the WestVet Care Plan, owners must verify their financial status and show proof of income. In addition, their pet’s medical condition must be determined to be treatable with a good prognosis for recovery.
While Brourman himself created the Nigel Foundation, he designed the organization to operate independently and objectively when awarding client’s funding. An independent board reviews applications and bases decisions on the owner’s financial status and the pet’s medical prognosis.
Raider’s Story– Raider, a Labrador/blue heeler mix, was just a 14-week-old puppy when her owner, Samantha Lovan of Idaho City, rushed her some 70 miles to WestVet for emergency treatment for two broken legs. The family had been camping and when the dog followed Lovan to the car, she inadvertently drove over Raider’s back half.
The WestVet team determined that Raider needed major surgery to implant metal plates in her hind legs, an estimated cost of $3000 to $4,000, and an amount beyond the reach of Lovan, a self-employed single mother whose own mother, on Social Security, lives with the family. Lovan feared that she would have to euthanize Raider.
“We discussed how much I could afford, funding options from the Audrey Pet Foundation (APF), and Dr. Brourman and other specialists donating services,” Lovan recalled. “As an added blessing, a client standing in the lobby overheard us and generously offered to make a donation to the Nigel Foundation to help with Raider’s care. It was a stressful time, but WestVet made it work and I’m very thankful for their Care Plan.”
And Raider? Following surgery and recuperation, she’s “doing awesome,” Lovan said, and can run for miles without even a limp.
The WestVet Care Plan relies on funding from the Audrey Pet Foundation and, therefore, can only be available if sufficient funds are present within the foundation. Donations can be mailed to 5019 N. Sawyer Ave. Garden City, ID 83714.
For more information about the WestVet Care Plan, please call (208) 375-1600 or email HERE.
NOTE: This blog was updated with the name of the Audrey Pet Foundation. The nonprofit was formerly renamed in late 2014.