Pets are important. These furry family members provide unconditional love and help people through troubled times. There’s a reason why so many folks adopted animals during the pandemic.
But some pets have rough lives, and there’s nothing sadder than a beloved pet having to go to a shelter because their parents couldn’t afford to feed and care for them.
That’s why One Health Organization is committed to helping all pets and their parents live happy, healthy lives.
What can animal lovers do to save Ohio pets?
1. Understand the Problem
In Northeast Ohio, many pet parents are struggling to make ends meet. The cost of gas and housing is going up, and so is pet food. This puts low-income pet parents in difficult situations. No one should have to go hungry in order to feed their pet — or put off important veterinary care because of the expense.
Since 2014, One Health Organization has provided more than 1,334 households with economic relief. But not everyone who needs help is getting it. We need to get the word out and expand the reach of programs like this so more pet parents can get relief. More than 112,000 households in Northeast Ohio are living on incomes low enough to qualify them for Veterinary Care Vouchers.
When we connect pet parents with essential organizations and resources they need to care for their pets, fewer pets go into shelters or face euthanasia if they’re too sick or if they’re not adoptable due to aggressive behavior issues.
Helping pet parents is not just an abstract idea. It’s a reality. That’s why we like to share the stories of families who got the assistance they were looking for.
2. Share the Stories
We love sharing the stories of pet parents who have used Vouchers to pay for vet care and who have told us how important it was for their family. Animal lovers can help amplify these stories by following One Health Organization on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We love it when people share our posts and resources like the One Health Organization newsletter Healthy Pet Gazette and the People and Pets Blog.
Here are just a few of the success stories we have published on our website:
Pepper is a spunky stray kitten who was rescued from the engine compartment of a truck. He had an upper respiratory infection and fleas. His family had just lost a cat and was worried about paying the bills. As Pepper’s grandma puts it, “Everybody wants to love a pet. But not everyone can afford it.”
Robert and Shadow are lifelong companions, and it took the work of several dedicated organizations to match these two. Robert is a retired Marine Corps captain living in Strongsville, Ohio. He was devastated after losing his wife and dog. Shadow was a stray who was dropped off at a shelter in Texas. She was trained as a service dog, and she now helps Robert manage symptoms of PTSD. Robert lives on a fixed income and is grateful for Vouchers that covered Shadow’s essential care.
Yukon is the star of a children’s book called Pretty Kitty, written by his mom, Heather. The “dog who thinks he’s a cat” helps struggling readers by visiting local, national, and worldwide schools with Heather. When Heather had costly healthcare problems of her own, Vouchers helped her afford vet care for her beloved dog Yukon.
Volunteers make a positive difference in the lives of people and pets. All the people we talk to for our success stories talk about the kindness they experience at the organization and the participating clinics. At One Health Organization, we are always looking for volunteers with non-professional and professional backgrounds to help with fundraising, marketing/writing, event planning and coordination, and networking.
Local humane organizations, shelters, rescues, and spay and neuter organizations are also great places for animal lovers to volunteer. If you are curious or wondering whether an organization is legitimate, search GuideStar, which lists legitimate nonprofit organizations. Many are charitable 501(c)(3) organizations, like One Health Organization.
For some people, donating to an organization that helps pets and pet parents is the best way to get involved. Helping low-income families keep their pets takes a whole ecosystem of organizations, including: