People who do not have vehicles – or who for any reason can’t leave their home – face hurdles getting their pets to a veterinarian. Even if they have a vehicle, medical care for their pet is often too expensive.
Metro Vancouver will soon have an Urgent Transport Unit ready to pick up and drop off pets, ensuring that one more barrier to access for veterinary care is eliminated, says the head of a B.C. animal agency. There are also options available to address the high cost of vet care.
The Regional Animal Protection Society is in the process of retrofitting a vehicle to transport pets to the veterinarian — specifically to the RAPS Animal Hospital in Richmond.
“This innovation is almost unknown in the animal care sector,” says Eyal Lichtmann, CEO of the Regional Animal Protection Society, which operates the nonprofit RAPS Animal Hospital. “Our mission is to help animals and their people – and this is another way we are addressing the real-life challenges faced by B.C. families in accessing timely, affordable veterinary care.”
Lichtmann praised Applewood Auto Group as an exemplar of corporate social responsibility. Applewood donated the van that will serve as the Urgent Transport Unit and they are equipping it to make it accessible and safe for animals.
“Far more than this, Applewood donates the 6,000-square-foot space where the RAPS Animal Hospital is located, in the Richmond Auto Mall,” Lichtmann says. “In the past few years, RAPS has grown from a small, volunteer-driven animal operation to one of Canada’s largest and most innovative animal-serving organizations. So much of what RAPS has achieved is due to the absolutely incredible support of Applewood.”
Applewood’s latest act of animal allyship is the donation of a brand new Nissan Rogue Platinum. One lucky RAPS supporter is going to win this vehicle. Deadline to donate and enter for a chance to win ends on March 5, 2024.
“Applewood is honoured to help RAPS save and improve the lives of animals,” says Christine Wishart, Director of Events & Special Projects at Applewood Auto Group. “Half of Canadian families include pets – so it is the right thing to do for our clients. More importantly, helping animals is simply the right thing to do, period.”
Funds raised from the contest to win this Nissan Rogue Platinum will help RAPS provide more care to animals and their people.
Once the animals have been transported safely to the RAPS Animal Hospital, Lichtmann says, there is still the issue of affordability.
“Surveys indicate that a vast number of Canadian households are only a paycheck away from insolvency,” Lichtmann says. “Saving the lives of animals means helping their humans in their time of need.”
Since opening in 2018, the nonprofit RAPS Animal Hospital has provided more than $5.5 million in partially and fully subsidized care to animals in households with low incomes or facing other challenges.
“We also offer B.C.’s only no-interest veterinary payment plans,” he says. “By spreading out payments over time, we can reduce the pressure on families at a moment of deep anxiety. We are open to making it work for people because we have the same goal – getting pets healthy, happy and back to the warmth of their family.
“Someone is going to win this stunning new vehicle, which comes complete with a ‘Pet Package’ to make it comfortable for the entire family,” Lichtmann says. “Even if you don’t win, you’ll know that you have helped RAPS save and improve the lives of animals and eliminate barriers to access for veterinary care. It’s a genuine win-win!”