TVMF PALS Continues to Make a Difference for Homebound Community Members
Did you know that approximately 50% of Meals on Wheels (MOW) clients live alone? For many homebound clients, their pets are their primary companions, providing them with unconditional love and support. However, many MOW clients are unable to afford regular veterinary care for their pets. Through the TVMF PALS program, the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF) is partnering with MOW to provide veterinary care free of charge to these pets, like Pocket and Mojo, ensuring they will remain happy, healthy and in their homes for as long as possible.
Ms. Brown has been a Meals on Wheels Central Texas (MOWCTX) client since 2008. She has always loved animals of all kinds and has had a variety of pets in the past, including cats, hamsters and a guinea pig named Forrest Gump. Ms. Brown’s Papillons Mojo and Pocket are the light of her life. They started receiving MOWCT PALS (Pets Assisting the Lives of Seniors) services in 2010 when Ms. Brown adopted them. She receives a monthly supply of dog food for them, as well as annual veterinary care through the TVMF PALS program. In 2016, both Pocket and Mojo had much needed dental cleanings at North Austin Animal Hospital, the TVMF partner veterinary clinic that also provides their annual care. As you can see from the photo, they are a happy little family!
The TVMF PALS program is making a difference for community members like Ms. Brown, Pocket and Mojo. However, despite our efforts, many homebound community members are at risk of losing their beloved animal companions, and these animals are in danger of landing in local shelters. With your help, we can better serve our neighbors and their animal family members. Please consider lending your support today. Every gift has impact. Every gift is helping to change lives.
Thanks to all of our corporate and community partners who help make this program possible: Antech, IDEXX, Merial, Carl C. Anderson Sr. and Marie Jo Anderson Foundation, On Shore Foundation, Donald D. Hammill Foundation, Austin Community Foundation, James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation and the Dr. Scholl Foundation.
TVMF Trustee Spotlight: Tracy McAdoo, DVM
By: Leah Ann Tibbitts, TVMF Director
As the charitable partner of the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA), the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF) has been dedicated to caring for animals, educating community members and supporting veterinarian professionals throughout the state of Texas for 37 years through one or more of its mission-driven programs.
As a nonprofit organization, TVMF relies on the generosity of the veterinary profession and animal lovers. Throughout the history of the Foundation, the board of trustees also has been an integral part of building strong community-based partnerships and programs that benefit both animals and humans alike.
This month, TVMF is highlighting Board Trustee Tracy McAdoo, DVM, for her commitment, passion and unique contributions to forwarding the Foundation’s mission. She recently shared how and why she wanted to become part of the nearly 40-year strong TVMF legacy.
“Being involved with TVMF is incredibly rewarding since our Foundation provides much-needed support to veterinary students, practicing veterinarians, trusted clients and their fabulous pets,” Dr. McAdoo said. “It is truly a joy to be able to provide aid to individuals and pets when they are faced with difficult life challenges.”
Dr. McAdoo has been practicing small animal medicine in the Houston area since her graduation from the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1985. She is very invested in her profession, so she when she heard of the work TVMF was doing in her own backyard, she wanted to become part of it.
“I was active in my local VMA and then eventually was privileged to represent Harris County on the board of TVMA,” Dr. McAdoo said. “During my time on the TVMA board, I learned about TVMF. I knew veterinarians on the Foundation board but really had no idea what they did.”
Dr. McAdoo now enthusiastically advocates for the Foundation and its focus on improving opportunities for veterinary professionals as well as educating pet owners about the importance of regular medical care for their animals.
“I am so proud of my profession and the compassion and integrity it has stood for historically and continues to stand for,” Dr. McAdoo said. “In this time of social media, we need to be the guardians of our reputation as respected professionals. TVMF is in a unique position to showcase veterinarians doing what they do so well every day—caring for the pets and people in their community.”
One of the ways TVMF supports the relationship between veterinary professionals and pet owners is through the Rusk Veterinary Grant program. This program provides funds to supplement a veterinarian’s charitable care for animals of low-income families or for families that have an undue financial burden due to extenuating circumstances. A primary goal of the Rusk Veterinary Grant is to keep the human-animal bond intact by resolving medical issues that threaten the animal’s health.
“I love the fact that all parties are working together to restore the pet’s health and get him or her safely back home with the owner,” Dr. McAdoo said. “As a veterinarian, it is so frustrating to be faced with a sick, treasured pet and distraught owner who does not have the means to provide the recommended care.”
Another TVMF program near and dear to Dr. McAdoo’s heart is the TVMF PALS (Pets Assisting the Lives of Seniors) program, which currently provides veterinary assistance to pets of low-income, homebound community members in six Texas counties: Blanco, Bastrop, Brazos, Dallas, Travis and Williamson.
“The TVMF PALS program embodies all that I love about TVMF,” Dr. McAdoo said. “Working with Meals on Wheels in several Texas communities, TVMF and participating veterinarians provide medical care free of charge to the furry companions of homebound individuals. The love and comfort these pets provide to their owners is immense. To be able to provide convenient quality health care to these important companions is priceless.”
Although TVMF is reaching approximately 200 homebound pet owners and more than 300 pets, some with little or no history of veterinary care, each year, more than 200 companion animals are still on the waiting list. TVMF anticipates the number of clients served to increase substantially thanks to the program’s recent expansion into Dallas County and plans for growth into San Antonio and Houston.
When others ask, Dr. McAdoo happily shares her enthusiasm for the Foundation’s mission and encourages others to become a part of the positive impact that TVMF programs are having throughout the great state we call home.
“I would encourage any interested individuals to consider sharing their time and talents with the Foundation,” Dr. McAdoo said. “You will be truly blessed by the opportunities to uplift the profession while offering needed relief to the community. Your gifts help us fund scholarships for students, provide financial support for a veterinarian or veterinary student recovering from an illness or natural disaster and provide aid for pets in need and comfort for their owners.
“I am so proud to be a part of this caring thoughtful group of individuals,” she continued. “We sincerely appreciate any contributions from the community so we can continue to serve our profession and community and pursue our shared goals.”
TVMF thanks Dr. McAdoo for her continued commitment and passion for the Foundation’s mission. It is thanks to the generosity and support of community members like her that TVMF is able to better serve animals, pet owners and veterinary professionals across Texas.
To learn more about TVMF’s mission and programs, please visit www.tvmf.org or contact TVMF Director Leah Ann Tibbitts by phone at 512/452-4224 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THANK YOU to everyone that donated to TVMF for Amplify Austin, liked our posts, or shared information on social media!
Through your generosity we were able to exceed our goal and raise $3,706.93! We are so thankful and excited to serve even more pets through the TVMF PALS program. We couldn’t do it without you!
Help make a big impact with the simple click of your mouse or touch of your phone!
The Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation’s Annual Silent Auction is right around the corner and your online and mobile participation could make a difference for pets across Texas.
Our mission-driven programs build owner awareness, support veterinary student scholarships and provide emergency financial assistance, continuing education, and enable special projects such as the TVMF PALS program (which gives veterinary care to pets belonging to low-income clients of Meals on Wheels in Austin, Bryan/College Station and Dallas, TX).
Supporting the Foundation’s mission has never been easier and more fun
Here is how this year’s auction will work:
- Register online at www.501auctions.com/tvmf
- Enter your name, contact information, and payment method
- Browse the Silent Auction and choose from the many great items you would like to bid on – bidding will begin on Saturday, March 4th at 6:30PM sharp!
- Place your bid on a selected item with an option of setting a maximum bid.
- You will be notified on your smartphone if you have been outbid.
Registering online is the quickest, easiest way to place bids in the auction, so we encourage you to sign up soon.
Simply register by clicking here and entering your name, contact information, and payment method. Registering online will also help us provide you with a speedy check in and checkout at the event. Should you have any questions about registering online or the bidding process, please feel free to contact TVMF Director, Leah Ann Tibbitts, via phone at (512) 452-4224 or by email at email@example.com.
Thank you and good luck, bidders!
Mini Impact Report from TVMF
Thank you for your continued support of the Foundation’s mission to care for animals, advance the veterinary profession and serve pet owners across Texas. We want to take a moment to share the impact the Foundation’s programs are having through our home state—and this is thanks to you and your generosity!
2016 has proven to be a successful and productive year! The Foundation has several milestones, of which we are very proud and which we are honored to share with you. Since the beginning of the year:
– 2 emergency assistance grants have been awarded to veterinary students, helping them to further their education;
– 203 pets have received wellness exams, vaccinations and a year supply of flea and heartworm preventative – all at no cost to the homebound owner;
– 9 companion animals of homebound community members are eating pain-free thanks to recently completed dentals;
– $16,500 was generously contributed through the TVMF auction at the TVMA annual conference in March; and
– $40,000 has been raised to support the TVMF PALS program.
The total grant dollars raised for the TVMF PALS program is an incredible achievement and a testament to the need for this important program. TVMF has strived to increase funding to accommodate the growing need of low-income, elderly homebound community members with companion animals, which are desperately in need of routine veterinary care. You may remember TVMF expanded into the Bryan/College Station area during the last fiscal year in partnership with the Brazos Valley Community Action Agency Meals and the Texas A&M Small Animal Hospital and Veterinary School.
Then in October of this year, TVMF kicked off yet another expansion into Dallas County with the assistance of VNA (Visiting Nurse Association) Texas, which is an organization that provides Meals On Wheels services to the homebound and elderly in the Dallas area. Dr. Jennifer Lukowski of Metro Paws Animal Hospital, LLC, kindly volunteered her time and services to care for the first Dallas County pet to be seen through the TVMF PALS Program. Look for more details about our program expansion in the next TVMA newsletter along with details about how our Dallas-area TVMA members can become involved with this new service area.
TexVetPets.org is another TVMF/TVMA collaboration that continues to grow and provide positive impact for pet owners across Texas. This online portal is an initiative intentionally designed to support our TVMA members and the association’s mission to educate the general pet-owning public about the importance of regular veterinary care.
The collaborative efforts of TVMF and TVMA continue to yield meaningful impact for communities throughout Texas. We are humbled by your continued faith in the Foundation’s mission and humbly share these successes with our TVMA supporters. We look forward sharing more important milestones with you.
For the full report click here.
TVMF Trustee Spotlight: Susan Stallones, Student Representative
While TVMF was established as the philanthropic partner of the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, the Foundation proudly spearheads several of its own programs dedicated to the health and welfare of animals in Texas. Each program is an integral part of the Foundation’s mission to help care for animals, educate community members and support veterinarian professionals throughout the state of Texas.
These initiatives are provided in partnership with other community collaborations, including the support and commitment of TVMF’s Board of Trustees. Throughout the 37-year history of the Foundation, the Board of Trustees has remained committed to building strong community-based partnerships and programs that benefit both animals and humans alike.
One area in which TVMF remains passionate is through the support of veterinary students, so much so that the Foundation requested that two student representatives from the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine join the Board of Trustees. Student representative Susan Stallones recently shared how she became involved in the Foundation’s mission-driven work and why she thinks TVMF is making a difference in communities through Texas.
“When I first started veterinary school, I was nervous, excited and couldn’t wait to start working toward my future career,” Stallones said. “I received the gift of a stethoscope from TVMF during the orientation to vet school (something TVMF does for every class), and I immediately became intrigued about the organization. I soon learned about the Foundation and decided I wanted to become involved with this organization because of the activities they participate in, the support they give the veterinary community and the assistance they provide the public.”
According to Stallones, programs that include TVMF’s pet owner education events and TexVetPets.org are making a significant impact for pet owners and veterinary professionals across the state of Texas. She believes the inclusiveness that TVMF programs foster really makes a difference between the pet, pet owner and veterinary professional.
“The thing that excites me the most about TVMF’s mission is that they are encompassing veterinarians, clients and pets in their efforts to improve care and education,” Stallones said. “They are supporting the cause of effectively caring for pets by not only supporting the animal and the client through accurate information but also by providing support to veterinarians and veterinary students. As a student, I am directly impacted by the support from TVMF, and it encourages me and other students to become more involved.”
Stallones’ response to TVMF’s mission and programs is exactly why the Foundation continues to convey the importance of reaching out to veterinary students and helping instill within them a sense of belonging within their community while underscoring that every veterinary student has something to give back. TVMF strives to encourage these young professionals to continue developing their philanthropic spirits beyond school and to take that sense of community with them as they move into new geographic regions to begin their professional careers.
“During my time as a TVMF representative, I have learned the importance of giving back to the community and supporting those who cannot afford access to veterinary services,” Stallones said. “Connecting the community to the field of veterinary medicine has been one of the most enlightening aspects of my experience. In three years, when I am a veterinarian, I think I will be a much more well-rounded doctor as a result of this position, and I hope to continue the good provided by TVMF.”
When others ask Stallones about her involvement with TVMF, she happily shares her excitement about the Foundation’s mission and impact and encourages her peers to become more involved.
“I tell my classmates to support TVMF because they are here to support our future careers and our field of veterinary medicine,” Stallones said. “They are a current and future source of information, tips and assistance for veterinarians and students.
“I have really enjoyed witnessing the effect TVMF has had on Texas,” Stallones continued. “From honoring pets to providing veterinary care to the pets of the elderly to providing support to veterinary students, I am proud to be a member of the Board of Trustees.”
To learn more about TVMF’s mission and programs, please visit www.tvmf.org or contact TVMF Director Leah Ann Tibbitts at 512/452-4224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.