Despite having to cancel its planned fundraising event last month, Lakeland Veterinary Clinic has surpassed its $2,000 goal to raise money for its critical care fund.
Clinic management and staff had initially planned a Family Fun Fair for late August, but were forced to cancel last-minute when COVID-19 restrictions were put into place in the Interior Health Region.
So the fundraiser was shifted to a raffle, with several items donated by local businesses and residents, and the response has been “incredible,” co-owner Krystal Dickinson said.
“Everyone has been so giving, the fact that we’re over our fundraising goal already,” Dickinson said, noting one contributor donated $2,000 to the cause.
Money raised will go towards the clinic’s critical care fund, which helps provide care for surrendered and abandoned animals.
“When something extreme happens, like an animal is hit by a car, it can cost anywhere from $400 to $2,000 to fix, and sometimes people just don’t have the money,” Dickinson said, adding that some pet owners opt for euthanasia over a hefty vet bill.
“When it’s something fixable, we don’t want to put them down. If we can save an animal, we will.”
In those cases, a pet owner will surrender the animal to the clinic and pay the euthanasia cost.
READ MORE: Fun fair cancelled due to COVID-19
The clinic will then treat the animal using money from the critical care fund. Although doctors and staff will often volunteer their time, the cost of drugs, food, sutures and other supplies are covered by the fund.
The clinic will then adopt the animals out, although Dickinson noted the animals often don’t get too far.
“The staff keeps bringing them home,” she laughed. “We get quite attached to them when they’re in the clinic for a couple weeks or sometimes a month.”
Though surrendered and abandoned animals are something the clinic has always dealt with, Dickinson said the staff suspects this past year has seen an uptick in animals needing care.
“Who knows why that is. People are moving more, and maybe with COVID there’s not as much money to go around,” she said. “We don’t have any numbers but we do get the sense that there has been more this year.”
Dickinson said the clinic will plan for more fundraising efforts in the months to come, and that donations to the critical care fund can be made directly at the clinic anytime.
“Even when someone just says, ‘keep the change’ and we have an extra $2 for the fund, we are happy to put it towards something important like this,” she said.