The downfall in the economy has hit us very hard, as it has most non profits. The past two years have seen us have to make heroic efforts to continue our mission, but we are doing it and maintaining our goals of providing BETTER care. All economic sacrifices have been absorbed by the staff, NOT by the pets we serve.
However, we have been determined to keep our service fees as they have been, and have done so for the last 5 years, despite the extreme increases in all our costs. We have, as a not for profit veterinary hospital, done our honest best to provide the finest care and individual attention to each patient without increasing fees for the pet’s caretaker. It has, unfortunately, come to the point that even our best personal sacrifices are not enough in the face of rising fuel costs, skyrocketting pharmaceutical costs, increasing licensing and permit fees in each community of county or city which we serve, and we are having to increase our fees a bit in order to continue our mission.
In better times, many of our kindest and most appreciative clients would donate what they could to help the cause; many would simply let us “keep the change” when they paid us. So many would say, “It’s not much and I wish I could do more,” but if all our clients donated a few dollars when they used our services, it would add up to make a big difference at the end of the day, week, and month. Unfortunately, that has become a rare occurrence. Everyone has personal priorities. We understand being frugal and we understand that costs have gone up for everyone. We ask everyone’s patience and understanding now that we can no longer continue to refuse to raise fees while our costs outstrip our income. Our staff is based largely on volunteer hours and “sweat equity.” We rely heavily on our cherished volunteers, monetary and inventory donations, and two full time hospital professionals to provide the best care possible regardless of fees, but the time for increase has unfortunately arrived, and is a better alternative than not being able to provide services at all.
As we have not raised our fees in 5 years, this increase is regrettably overdue. Fuel alone is an astronomical expense for us, as is the payment each month on the mobile hospital itself, and pharmaceutical and equipment costs do not take a vacation any time of the year.
While everyone likes to complain about what they perceive to be the “ridiculous” cost of veterinary medicine, we want to remind everyone that veterinarians also have “ridiculously” high overhead to continue to provide even the most basic of safe and up to date medicine. Physicians (human doctors”) may have corporate hospitals and insurance that help disguise the cost to the patient, but both physicians and veterinarians attend respective medical schools and may have to work many years to pay off their extensive education. Additionally, they must pass stringent licensing boards, pay may license fees and continue education credits throughout their careers, and carry malpractice insurance. Veterinarians must maintain all hospital staff, equipment, insurance, utilities, taxes, pharmaceuticals, and the entire cost of running a hospital safely, ethically, and legally. This cost is tremendous, and without collecting fees to cover all this (prior to making any salary,) no veterinarian can stay in business. Veterinary medicine is still a great “deal” and we make it very individualized because WE CARE, so please understand and bear with us with our modest fee increases…we are working very hard to make lives better and healthier for the pets we serve.
Please check our “SERVICES” section to acquaint yourselves with our fee structure; this will answer most questions about what we charge and what is recommended individually for each pet. It will also explain what is the best health plan for your pet and for what your situation allows.
THANK YOU FOR CARING ABOUT YOUR PET AND YOUR COMMUNITY!