Kathy lives in a small home in Cleveland, Ohio, with Moxie, a short-haired tortoiseshell, and Kiki, a black, short-haired kitty.
Moxie and Kiki are Kathy’s best friends, roommates, and family.
That’s why she wants to make sure her 10-year-old cats live long, healthy lives.
Moxie and Kiki are rescue cats that Kathy adopted from Cleveland’s Animal Protection League (APL). Moxie is a “lap kitty,” says Kathy. They love to play hide-and-seek, and Kathy likes to buy them toys.
They are relatively healthy, although Moxie has some allergies that make her itchy. She requires some extra attention and medicine.
But Kathy is retired and lives on a fixed income. She faces some health problems of her own, and has limited financial resources.
The recent spike in inflation doesn’t help. “It gets harder every year,” says Kathy.
Vouchers to the Rescue
In 2017, a friend recommended that Kathy apply for the One Health Organization Veterinary Care Voucher program. She has received Vouchers—for up to $250 with participating veterinarians—every year since then.
The program provides an important financial bridge for people like Kathy who love their animals and rely on them for mental wellness and companionship.
Since 2014, the Voucher program has covered 1,958 vet visits, covering $281,529.
More than 30 veterinary partners participate by accepting Vouchers as payment for services.
Kathy is not alone in her situation. Many people are seeking assistance to cover rising costs.
There are approximately 112,000 households in northeast Ohio that would qualify for Vouchers. And that was before the pandemic. That means they might not be getting the quality housing, food, and medical care they need for themselves and for their pets.
Easing the Burden
Kathy takes her cats to Roberts & Wendt Animal Hospital in Lakewood, Ohio. She says she is grateful that they accept Vouchers, and wishes more veterinarians would accept them.
“It’s been great to get quality vet care,” she says, “But one vet wouldn’t take new pet patients. I did have to change [vets]. There are not enough vets accepting Vouchers.”
We’re working to increase the number of veterinary clinics that accept Vouchers. But it’s getting tougher since corporately owned clinics are less likely to accept Vouchers, and more practice owners sell their practices to them when they retire.
Kathy brings the cats in annually for their checkups, vaccinations, and any other veterinary care they might need.
Vouchers help Kathy cope with these costs, which she appreciates. “It’s one less expense to worry about.”
This year, Vouchers covered the cost of the shots, nail trims, and medication for Moxie.
And the assistance also provides emotional relief to Kathy, who would sacrifice anything to continue living with her beloved pets and wants to keep them happy and healthy.
Keeping Pets Happy and Healthy
“My pets mean EVERYTHING to me,” says Kathy. “I never had kids, so they are my children. I’m retired and live alone.”
“It’s so helpful to get these funds, as I am a low-income senior. I feel comforted getting my cats vet care and medicine,” she says.
Kathy expresses her gratitude to One Health Organization donors, who support this critical program. “I’m so happy there are wonderful people who care about pets AND the pet parents! Thank you.”