PVMA Keystone Veterinarian Winter 2020 - 18

It's Money That SAVES LIVES!
And It's Just Waiting
for YOU to Use It!
By Bryan Langlois, DVM

Animal Care PA Board Member

A dog with a horrendous tumor that was facing
euthanasia if not for an emergency amputation.
A horse that was found in such a state of neglect
on the backside from a fractured fetlock that
only a several thousand-dollar fusion surgery
gave him a chance at life. A young dog hit by
a car and needing a hip surgery that saved his
life and prevented the possibility of a horrible
Christmas holiday for his family. A group of
horses left at auction in horrible condition with
the lip tattoos burned off to avoid identification.
A cat severely beaten and left for dead in a trash
bag only to defy the odds with a lot of care and
support to still be a loving companion.
All the above stories have something in common. They all
of course tug at the heart strings. They all make us realize
the good our profession can do for those most in need. They
all could have had very different endings, and they ALL were
cases that could not have had happy endings without money
given to the various vets who helped via The Last Chance (TLC)
Program of Animal Care PA (formerly known as the Pennsylvania
Veterinary Foundation).
I personally have been the recipient of these funds to help
animals in need at the Pet Pantry of Lancaster County (both
owned and stray). I can tell you that I could not have saved
these lives without these funds. I can tell you the look on these
peoples' faces when I tell them they do not have to worry
about finding the money they don't have (for a lot of legitimate
reasons) is something no one will forget. I can tell you the look
on these animals' faces when they are finally healed of their
pain is one that only a few in life get to appreciate. I can also
tell you that fundraising efforts have helped us put a fair amount
of money into the TLC account. Finally, I can tell you that
18 | Keystone Veterinarian

despite us at PVMA trying to think of and provide
every means of advertising this program to our
members, I am still kind of shocked when I hear
so many have not heard of the program and even
that some hospitals don't seem to want to take
part in the program.
How many times in a day do we run across clients
that we know have true economic hardship (not
the ones that just gripe about the price of things
that we know can pay and just don't want to)?
You can tell the difference when you talk to these
owners. You can see the look in their eye when
they know they may have to make the most
painful decision ever in their lives regarding the
one being that may be the only stable thing in their life at that
point. How many times do we make the sacrifice ourselves to
cut costs and provide price breaks on things to save those lives?
How many times have we, even despite everything we could
offer, had to carry out that euthanasia task wishing there was
just some way we could have helped more in finding funds?
If this is YOU and you haven't taken advantage of even asking to
see if your practice can get TLC Program grant funds for these
cases, all I have to ask is WHY NOT?
Years ago, the TLC Program was created to help veterinarians
recoup costs they undertook to save sick and injured stray
animals that were brought into their clinics by Good Samaritans.
As time went on there was a realization that there were special
case circumstances of owned animals whose owners needed
financial help to treat their pets, and so the program was slowly
expanded to deal with these cases as well. Our initial focus
with these funds had been on senior citizen owners and those
of lower permanent income to help with all facets of care for



PVMA Keystone Veterinarian Winter 2020

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