HSVMA announces Access to Veterinary Care Coalition

September 7, 2016

Group aims to provide veterinary access for economically at-risk pets.

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA) has announced the formation of the Access to Veterinary Care Coalition. According to a release from the association, the coalition, a group that aims to reduce barriers to veterinary care access and promote communication among stakeholders, will bring together veterinary, animal welfare and social services professionals. This will also include representatives of for-profit and nonprofit veterinary service providers.

Families at or below the national poverty line have an estimated 23 million pets that live with them, and millions more pets live in financially struggling middle-class households that cannot afford veterinary care, according to the HSVMA. For these pet owners, there are limited options for treatment of more serious injuries or illnesses that will often result in pets being left in pain and suffering or given economic euthanasia, the release states.

“As caring and compassionate veterinarians, I believe it is our duty to both better understand the reasons behind the immense numbers of pets currently not receiving adequate veterinary care and to then endeavor to find solutions to the problem,” says Ted Cohn, DVM, a member of the coalition, former president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), in the release.

The coalition plans to study how effective programs operate to ensure sustainable access to veterinary care. In addition to exploring how humane care may be provided under circumstances of economic hardship, members will also study target populations and the type of services provided. The findings are scheduled to be reported by July 1, 2018.