Healthy Pets, Healthy Lives is an initiative created by Humane Pennsylvania to help animals and their families lead better, healthier and overall happier lives together. Health and wellness are the driving forces behind everything we do – without our health, what do we have? Not much, because without good health we wouldn’t be able to run, play, work or enjoy the things in life we love most, and the same rings true for the pets in our lives! A healthy pet is a happy pet.
To get Healthy Pets, Healthy Lives in motion, Humane Pennsylvania will give pre-existing programs and services a boost and implement new ways to inspire a healthier community – humans and furry friends alike – throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and beyond.
Many of you know about the awesome ways Humane Pennsylvania is already helping the region’s animals live healthy and happy lives. Our Humane Veterinary Hospitals last year alone provided over $700,000 in charitable veterinary services to homeless and stray pets, and between our two shelters, we helped 3,250 animals get adopted into forever homes. We know how important good health is for shelter animals because we were able to get 100% of healthy animals in our shelters adopted! Unfortunately, not all pets come to us this way. Hundreds of animals come to us with illnesses, injuries and behavioral problems which require treatment and we aren’t able to save them all. Many of these health problems could have been prevented and kept these pets at home instead of entering our shelters.
Maintaining an animal’s health before they come to us is the key to saving lives. That’s why we’re improving and expanding our current programs and implementing new projects with the help of individual and corporate donors.
In 2017, thanks to the extreme generosity from our friends at the Giorgi Family Foundation and Quaker Maid Meats, Humane Pennsylvania will be able to provide a variety of additional and new services in Reading and Berks County, such as an increase of financial emergency assistance for veterinary care to impoverished clients; vaccination and microchip clinics in the city targeting at-risk communities; and a Trap-Neuter-Return program to help control the feline population. And, we look forward to producing additional programs in Lancaster County to assist even more people and pets!
You’re probably wondering, where do humans fit into this initiative? Well, those who own a pet already know that spending quality time with your dog, cat or critter has amazing health and wellness benefits! For one, building a deep personal connection with your pet can have a positive impact on your mental health, relieving stress and giving you a sense of belonging. Animals help build a human’s physical strength, too! Dog owners walk more and have lower blood pressure than those who don’t (proven), and trying to place a cat in its carrier counts as cardio (in theory).
Let us be frank… A healthy pet stays healthy because the owner is able to care for it. There are many good pet owners who fall on hard times, whether the reason is financial or health-related. Our programs like Ani-Meals and Safe Haven give these people a chance to do right by their pets, rather than having to decide whether to feed their pet or feed themselves, surrender it to one of our shelters, or worse. And if an owner does make the decision to surrender their pet, they can rest assure knowing the healthier that pet is upon entering the shelter, the more likely that pet will be adopted in a shorter amount of time than an unhealthy pet – so even though they’re facing temporary homelessness, it’s a safe bet they’ll find a new forever home sooner rather than later!
As we continue to look at our communities and their need for pet health services, it is clear that safety plays a big factor in our programming – especially when it comes to sterilization. Studies show that unsterilized dogs make up a disproportionate number of biting dogs, and – unfortunately – children make up a disproportionate number of bite victims. Most biting, unsterilized dogs have received little or no vet care, so it’s of the utmost importance for us to make veterinary services as accessible and affordable as possible for pet owners! Healthy pets with access to veterinary care mean safer communities for everyone. Health and wellness comes full circle between man and man’s best friend!
There are many ways to contribute to Healthy Pets, Healthy Lives, and we encourage you to get involved! Run around with your dog at the dog park. Choose Humane Veterinary Hospitals Reading & Lancaster to be the vets for your pets! Have your pet vaccinated during our next clinic (TBA). Become a volunteer. Host a fun and health-focused event, or become a sponsor for one. Join us at this year’s Walk for the Animals! Donate supplies to your local shelter, or give a monetary donation. Adopt. All of these suggestions and more will help us lead our pets and their families toward a path of better health and wellness! Ask us what you can do to get involved – reach out to Brian Pinto, Chief Advancement Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-750-6100 x299 for more information.