Underserved Native American Pet Owners to Benefit from the Banfield Foundation

April 13, 2016 • New Mexico

Banfield Foundation is proud to announce a $45,000 grant to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to fund a pilot program benefiting underserved Native American pet owners in New Mexico through an effort called Reaching UP. In addition to the grant provided by the Banfield Foundation, Banfield Pet Hospital associates will participate in the program as volunteers alongside other AVMA veterinarians.

“The Banfield Foundation is proud to partner with the AVMA to support the 2016 Reaching UP New Mexico program,” said Lilisa Hall, Executive Director of the Banfield Foundation. “As an organization dedicated to animal welfare, education and elevating the pet-human bond, we believe that efforts to improve access to veterinary care in underserved areas are incredibly important to pets, pet owners and local communities.”

“Working through Reaching UP, AVMA member veterinarians make multiple trips to the same area at strategic times, ensuring that we spay and neuter a sufficient number of animals to achieve population management goals while preserving a high standard of care,” explained Dr. Kendall Houlihan, AVMA Assistant Director, Animal Welfare Division.

By talking with the pet owners about their animals’ health and the importance of preventive care, the veterinary volunteers also provide community education about the importance of pet wellness care, as well as the connections between animal health and human health.
“The program serves as a reminder of what drives so many veterinarians to enter the profession: the opportunity to improve the health and welfare of animals and people,” said Dr. Joseph Kinnarney, AVMA president. “While volunteerism is at the heart of the program, it is only truly possible through the generous donation of the Banfield Foundation.”

AVMA’s Pilot Grant Program accepts support from a variety of funders including corporate, private and public foundations. One hundred percent of the funds are directed to support the research, development, implementation and measurement of AVMA identified initiatives.