Sunday is often a day of rest, but Sunday, Jan. 25 will be a day of volunteering for two local veterinary clinics – all to help animals in need. Burnaby Veterinary Hospital and Kennedy Heights Animal and Bird Hospital in Surrey will close their doors to their usual patients for Vets in Action – an initiative started by Burnaby Veterinary Hospital in August 2013. During Vets in Action day volunteers from both facilities and from across the Lower Mainland will help homeless animals from the BC SPCA in need of surgical care.
“Spays, neuters, lumps and dental surgeries – if we can do it, we will take care of it that day, at no cost to the SPCA,” says Burnaby veterinarian Dr. Claudia Richter, who notes the surgeries will be paid for through donations, sponsors, and the two hospitals. “Vets in Action day started with the idea of creating a day when the businesses and people in the veterinary industry could give back to their local communities. Every barrier we can knock down on an animal’s path to adoption helps.”
Last year, the Burnaby hospital’s staff and volunteers performed more than 25 surgical procedures in just one day, at no charge to the BC SPCA. Vets In Action also raised more than $1,500 for the BC SPCA.
“We can’t begin to express how grateful we are to Dr. Claudia Richter, Dr. Linda Schild and their teams at Burnaby Veterinary Hospital and Kennedy Heights Animal Hospital for organizing Vets in Action day, and to everyone who is volunteering to help,” says BC SPCA Burnaby Branch manager Ryan Voutilainen. “We rely entirely upon community support to carry out our services and programs, so this kind of event allows us to help even more animals.”
Both businesses will have different activities happening in their reception area throughout the day. At Burnaby Vet Hospital, Ashleigh Wells from Sit Stay Studio will be offering pet portraits – photo sessions for furry friends by donation. Vancouver artist Stephanie Cowan will make pet portrait drawings at Kennedy Heights Hospital, also by donation.
“We’re really encouraging the public to come on out and support the initiative, or to make a donation online to help the province’s most vulnerable animals,” Voutilainen says.
Financial donations to the BC SPCA as well as donations of pet toys, blankets and kennels will be gratefully accepted at the event; donations can also be made online, at www.gofundme.com/vetsinaction. For more information about Vets In Action, visit www.facebook.com/vetsinaction.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.