The funding will be used to support its efforts to improve access to veterinary care
The San Francisco SPCA (SF SPCA) shared the news it has been awarded a $200,000 grant from PetSmart Charities’ Accelerator program which is committed to improving veterinary care access in North America. The funding from the grant will go toward SF SPCA’s Community Veterinary Clinic located in the Excelsior District.
"We are honored to receive this generous funding from PetSmart Charities," said Jennifer Scarlett, DVM, SF SPCA chief executive officer, in an organizational release.1 "We launched the Community Veterinary Clinic in the Excelsior District because we knew that is where accessible veterinary services are needed most in our city. PetSmart Charities' invaluable support will play a critical role in providing access to care for all companion animals and their families."
According to the release, the funding SF SPCA received from PetSmart Charities helped it expand the services offered at the Community Veterinary Clinic with a particular focus on veterinarian recruitment, providing care in English, Spanish, and Cantonese/Mandarin, and expanding outreach within the communities in the most need of these veterinary services. The grant will also help the clinic double its operating hours to be open 4 days a week. With the expansion of hours, the clinic expects to serve over 7,500 animals in 2024.
Clinics like Community Veterinary Clinic are a crucial resource to California to help alleviate the state's access to care crisis, which is due to a shortage of veterinarians available. A statewide survey completed by 111 professionals investigated shelter organizations in the state and if they were experiencing a lack of access to veterinary care. Out of the organizations that have full-time employment positions, there were 60.3% unfilled veterinary positions and 53.7% unfilled RVT positions.2 The findings of the survey also investigated where the positions were unfilled because of the inability to recruit qualified candidates and budgetary constraints.
"Our veterinary system is in crisis," said Kate Atema, director of community grants and initiatives at PetSmart Charities. "Rising costs are putting standard veterinary care out of reach for as much as 50% of pet-owning families. We need innovative solutions that make veterinary care affordable for the families in every community who want the best for their four-legged companions but struggle to meet the cost of vet care. We're inspired by the incredible work the SF SPCA is doing to create solutions that will build strong families and a healthy community."1