Roanoke Valley Family Magazine January 2021

Page 20

In the community

by Sandra Pratt

Roanoke Valley SPCA It is hard to resist the cuteness of a doggie or a kitty in need of a home and The Roanoke Valley SPCA specializes in finding forever homes for all the furbabies who find themselves without one. Their mission is to create a community where there are no homeless cats or dogs through the power of adoption, prevention, and intervention. A main initiative over the past year has been reducing the number of animals in shelters and RVSPCA has achieved this by developing preventative programs to keep pets and families together. So many families have struggled with economic challenges which has made it difficult to care for their pet whether it be trying to feed them properly or provide veterinary services. The staff never wants a family to be faced with the decision to relinquish a beloved family pet until all other avenues have been exhausted. One program recently created is Dot’s Drive-Thru (a generous gift left to the organization by long-time friend Dorothy Hannaford) a monthly drivethrough food pantry in the shelter parking lot where cat and dog food is provided to anyone who needs it with no paperwork required and no questions asked. The P.E.T. (Pets Eat Too) Community Outreach Program provides pet food to about 500 senior and low-income clients through


Family • January 2021

local food pantries, Meals on Wheels, and hospice programs across our community. No one should ever have to choose between feeding themselves or feeding their pets. Through the generous support of individual, businesses, and foundations (thank you Banfield Charitable Trust!) the Companion Animal Relief Fund (C.A.Re) was set up to help families that may experience extraordinary veterinary expenses and may have to choose to relinquish or euthanize their pet. The C.A.Re Fund exists for unexpected veterinary expenses not for spay/neuter services (check out their sister organization Mountain View Humane Clinic for free or low cost spay/neuter services), routine wellness care, or maintenance. Anyone can experience life-changing situations that might make it difficult to keep their pet in the home with them; whatever that situation may be, the staff at RVSPCA will work to provide a transitional foster home for the pet until folks can get back on their feet. Pets will need to be seen

by their veterinarian and approved for this program. It is one less worry for families who might be putting the pieces back together after a flood, a fire or an illness that does not allow them to care for their pet. Keeping animals out of the shelter and in a safe, caring environment until they can be reunited with their family is the goal! Other alternatives to giving up your pet include admissions counseling, behavior assistance, information on pet-friendly housing (and they can even assist with pet deposits!) and discussion on how to re-home your pet as a last option. All these crisis intervention services are crucial to keeping pets and families together and keeping the shelters as empty as possible. Through the safety net of these programs, the staff at RVSPCA are educating our community about the responsibilities of pet ownership – it should never be a financial burden to be a pet family as the joy it brings everyone is priceless!!!alley SPCA

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