In 2023, Lawrence Humane hosted 14 low-cost pet vaccine/microchip clinics. We served 657 animals from 381 households. One of those animals was Reggie.
Lawrence Humane hosts these low-cost vaccine clinics so that pet owners who are struggling to afford or access private veterinary care are still able to provide life-saving, preventative care for their pets. And thanks to our Crisis Pet Retention (CPR) program, we are able to partly or fully subsidize the entire cost of vaccines/microchips for those owners for whom even the low-cost prices present a financial hardship.
We met Reggie and his owner at one of these clinics. Reggie’s mom had recently learned of our CPR program and signed up for the next available clinic. She brought Reggie, a middle-aged Shih Tzu, and immediately upon checking in, Reggie’s mom anxiously asked when she would be getting his rabies tag and medical history and was assured she would leave with those items in hand. When it was Reggie’s turn for vaccinations, we understood her urgency.
Reggie was very, very severely matted. Shih Tzus require grooming every 4-8 weeks and Reggie had not been groomed in several months. He had mats stemming from every part of his body and limbs. Yet despite the pain he was experiencing, he was nothing but sweet. In speaking with his owner, we learned that she was a single mom who had lost her job earlier in the year. She hadn’t been able to afford Reggie’s vaccines and without those up-to-date vaccines, Reggie couldn’t go to a groomer. As his matting grew worse, she became more concerned for her beloved pup. But until she heard of Lawrence Humane’s CPR program, she didn’t know there was help to be had.
In addition to vaccinating Reggie and fully subsidizing the cost, we offered to groom Reggie as well. Due to the severity of his mats, Reggie would need a medical shave under anesthesia – more intensive than a regular grooming. Moreover, while his mom had recently secured employment, we knew that it would take some time to fully get back on her feet, so we offered to subsidize the cost of the shave as well. Our clinic manager spent several hours shaving Reggie – all while he was under anesthesia and not feeling a single painful hair pull. In total, Reggie lost approximately one-half of a pound of fur – a significant amount for a little dog! He received a bath to soothe his skin, dressed in a sweater to keep him warm, and placed back in his mom’s loving arms!
The whole goal of the CPR program is to help pets and pet owners like Reggie and his mom stay together in the face of hardship. Reggie’s mom clearly loved him, but unfortunate circumstances stymied her ability to care for him the way that she wanted. It was our pleasure to help her provide necessary care for Reggie, offer her some financial – and emotional – relief, and help her get back on her feet. And we can’t do any of that without our community’s support! The CPR program is 100% donation based and every dollar donated goes to help people and pets stay together despite crisis or adversity. It’s how we make sure that Douglas County has a healthy pet population, beloved pets don’t have to be unnecessarily surrendered, and shelter kennels are utilized for those animals who truly don’t have any other options!