EAST BROOKFIELD — Fifty million pets in the U.S. experience a lack of access to even basic veterinary care. Rising costs and other barriers mean these pets struggle to access services such as spay/neuter procedures, vaccinations, and critical medical and preventive care. With as many as 70% of households now including pets, this issue affects families in nearly every community.
PetSmart Charities has committed $100 million over the next five years toward improving access to veterinary care. The Accelerator, a low-cost veterinary-care grant program, is a key part of this effort. These grants support the expansion of low-cost veterinary care by funding growth and operations for up to four years for nonprofit clinics looking to expand their services, serve their communities better, and inspire other veterinary providers by sharing their experiences.
The grant made to Second Chance Animal Services in the amount of $200,000 will support the expansion of the nonprofit’s surgical center that provides lifesaving surgeries for animals. The anticipated impact on local pets and families includes saving the lives of more pets in need of urgent or emergency care who have nowhere else to turn.
“We are so grateful to PetSmart Charities for their continued support of our work to keep pets in their homes with the people they love,” said Sheryl Blancato, Second Chance founder and CEO. “Second Chance is a place that many turn to for lifesaving surgery to save their pet and to keep the pets with the families that love them.”
Second Chance offers a two-tiered system of subsidized rates for pet owners at its four community veterinary hospitals in North Brookfield, Southbridge, Springfield, and Worcester. Pet owners who are at or below 150% of the poverty level receive a subsidized rate lower than Second Chance’s standard rates. Those that do not fit in this category pay the standard low-cost rate. This helps to ensure access to care for all pets. Second Chance was able to help more than 44,000 pets in 2022.