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    Idaho Humane Society In The News.......

    Recently the shelter has received many calls, emails and visits from supporters concerned about the recent news reports about area veterinarians seeking to limit the services the Idaho Humane Society Veterinary Medical Center can provide. Below we have put together answers to some of the common concerns and questions we have received.

    We have been here a long time and we’re committed to this community.

    The Idaho Humane Society has cared for and sheltered the neglected, abused and abandoned pets since 1941. For nearly 30 years, the veterinarians of the Idaho Humane Society have had the honor of caring for ill and injured pets owned by members of our community.

    Safety net: Keeping pets in their homes.

    Over the years, our goals have shifted from simply an effort to find homeless pets adoptive families to also include extensive efforts to keep owned pets in their original homes. The Idaho Humane Society Veterinary Medical Center has become an essential safety net to keeping pets with their owners by providing them with needed veterinarian services.

    Vet services beyond spay/neuter are necessary to save homeless pets.

    As the capabilities of the IHS Veterinary Medical Center have grown, the additional technology and services has allowed the Idaho Humane Society shelter to save even more homeless pets’ lives. At many animal shelters in the state of the Idaho, a simple fractured bone, abscess, or skin condition can mean a death sentence for a homeless pet without access to full-service, in-shelter veterinary care. Today, the homeless pets at the Idaho Humane Society, many that come from other shelters in the state, are treated for a wide range of injuries and illness to prepare them for finding new homes.

    Full-pay clients support services to low-income clients and shelter pets.

    Just like non-profit human hospitals, the Idaho Humane Society Veterinary Medical Center provides full-cost services to non-low income clients in addition to providing life-saving services to shelter animals and reduced-fee and payment plan options to low income households. Just like other non-profits, fees that these clients pay for services make the mission to provide excellent veterinary care for homeless pets and pets of struggling families possible. Whether it is to support our mission, because of a fondness for a particular veterinarian, or because they’re in search of reduced-fee services due to personal financial hardship—we are grateful to each of our clients that entrusts their pets to our care.

    Affordable spay/neuter is essential to saving lives.

    Just since 2000, the Idaho Humane Society Veterinary Medical Center has provided over 100,000 spay and neuter surgeries. An integral part of the IHS efforts is to reduce the number of unwanted litters born in our community each year. This directly affects the number of unwanted animals coming through our doors needing new homes. IHS spays/neuters all shelter animals before they leave for their adoptive homes. We consider it essential to reducing unwanted litters that affordable spaying and neutering is available to every pet owner in our community. Limiting pet owners that qualify for affordable spay and neuter could set our community back a decade or more in the number of animals who lose their lives simply because the number of pets needing homes so greatly exceeds the number of homes available.

    Pets adopted from the shelter are providing business for valley veterinarians.

    Thanks to our fantastic pet-loving, adoption-friendly community, we place thousands of new pets into adoptive homes in the Treasure Valley community every single year. Very few of our adopted pets return to our medical center for continuing care, so we know that thousands of these pets, often brought back to health in our care, are receiving continuing care with other valley veterinarians. We highly encourage all our adopters to form a relationship with a veterinarian so that when their new pet has a health concern, they have a trusted source of care and support.

    Restricting services the IHS Veterinarian can perform will not decrease the need.
    Those fighting against the Idaho Humane Society’s ability to provide veterinary services point to the fact that some clients are not able to receive services from us and are forced to visit other veterinarian when their pet needs care. We do everything possible to see any low-income clients that do not have other options for veterinary care and the daytime emergencies that come through our doors. The reality is that our veterinarians are only able to see a certain number of clients each day in addition to caring for our shelter animals. We can’t add more hours to the day, but our vision for our medical center’s future does include more exam rooms, procedure areas, and surgery tables that allow for us to see clients in a more timely fashion.

    Thank you.
    We are very grateful for the overwhelmingly supportive response we’ve received from the public in the last few days. We have heard from adopters, volunteers, pet owners, veterinarians, current and past clients of our veterinary medical center. Thank you all.

    The question we have been asked over and over is, "What can I do to help?” Here is what we can suggest.

    • You are represented by several representatives in the Idaho House and one Senator. You can look up these representatives here: http://legislature.idaho.gov/who'smylegislator.htm  Elected representatives really do pay attention to constituents who contact them with positive, constructive messages.
    • Network with your friends and relatives. Share with them your experience and understanding of this issue.
    • Supportive, informative letters to the editor is an effort that can help spread awareness and increase support for our shelter and mission.
    • If you have a relationship with a veterinarian in our community, let them know that you appreciate the care your pet receives at their hospital and at the very same time support the Idaho Humane Society Veterinary Medical Center’s efforts.
    • Share your stories with us.  If you have used the services at the Idaho Humane Society veterinary medical center and are willing to let us use your story as testimony to our mission, please send us your pet’s story toOutreach@idahohumanesociety.org.

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