2 minute read

Rafael and Sadie’s Story


Without assistance, Sadie, a sweet golden retriever mix, might not be alive.  Or she might have lost her leg. 

This is a story of what happens when a community comes together to help people and animals in need.

The Language of Caring

After a large lump appeared on Sadie’s front leg, her human companion, Rafael R., called multiple veterinary clinics in Cleveland seeking help. 

Rafael speaks limited English. A bilingual receptionist working at Gateway Animal Clinic determined that Rafael needed assistance to pay for Sadie’s veterinary care. She pointed him to  One Health Organization. 

One Health Organization Program Coordinator Ira Reynolds and an interpreter walked Rafael through the process of applying for Veterinary Care Vouchers. After Rafael was approved, the Vouchers were sent directly to Gateway Animal Clinic to help pay for Sadie’s surgery.

“Rafael was unable to afford surgery himself. So one of our receptionists who works very closely with One Health Organization was able to get him assistance and basically save little Sadie’s life,” says Stacy Ozanich, Gateway’s hospital manager. “Without financial support from One Health Organization, she probably wouldn’t be walking, and may have lost her leg.”

Breaking Down Barriers

Language barriers and income should not be obstacles to receiving quality veterinary care. But too many families are encountering barriers that keep them from finding the help they need.

The economic downturn related to the COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on many families. Housing and food insecurity are on the rise. These circumstances can make it especially challenging for low-income pet parents. That’s why Veterinary Care Vouchers provided by One Health Organization are more important than ever — for helping families like Rafael’s.

Donate Today“Without help from One Health Organization and their generous donors, Veterinary Hospitals like us would be forced to turn away patients due to financial struggles,” says Stacy. Imagine being in Stacy’s shoes, wondering whether her hospital could operate on Sadie’s leg. Or like Rafael, worrying about whether Sadie could be saved. 

Increased Need

Northeast Ohio has thousands of households that are eligible for Vouchers that could help ease their financial burdens. But the need is greater than the supply of assistance. The waiting list has 50 households on it, and another 21 families are finishing up their application process. These numbers change all the time. Sometimes a large donation can help ease the entire waiting list, and soon the waiting list starts growing again.

It’s hard to think of beloved pets like Sadie waiting in line to receive critical care.

Donors Step Up

Thanks to the generosity of the donors who support One Health Organization, Rafael was able to find and receive help when Sadie needed it. Rafael wanted us to share his family’s story so people would understand why their assistance is so critical at this time.

Sometimes this support means the difference between life and death for a beloved pet. And it can mean the difference between happy and sad, depressed, and lonely for a person who loves that pet.

You can make all the difference with a donation today. Thank you for your kind consideration.

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