As we prepare to gather with friends and family during this special time of year, thoughts inevitably turn to those less fortunate. For animal lovers, the plight of marginalized animals in our community is never far from our minds, and many of us are seeking ways to help animals in need this holiday season.

Providing for less fortunate animals is a passion of ours at Town and Country Animal Hospital, and we want to empower our clients to help out in any way they can. Learn about our pet charity, The River Welker Fund, as well as other opportunities that you can be of service to needy pets in our community and beyond.

The River Welker Fund

The River Welker Fund began in 2012 as a way to help pet owners in need of financial assistance for their pets. Larry and Brenda Welker started this fund by generously donating money to assist pet owners in need of financial support for their pets. They only required pets to be loved and emotionally bonded to their owners. The fund was established in honor of River and later Cotton, their Labrador Retrievers, who were trained for search and rescue. These missions include lost persons (wilderness/air scent), cadaver location (land and water), and tracking individuals from homicides. Larry Welker, an active duty marine for twenty-one years, was one of the founding members of the National Search Dog Alliance.

In an effort to extend the reach of this valuable service, we have enrolled the River Welker Fund in the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) Veterinary Care Charitable Fund, an organization that supports veterinarians in offering services to clients in need.

Because of the participation in the AVMF Veterinary Care Charitable Fund, Town and Country is now able to offer assistance to a wide variety of underserved patients. If you would like to learn more about the River Welker Fund, or wish to donate, please give us a call!

Help Animals In Need All Year Long

There are nearly endless ways you and your family can help pets in need during the holiday season and throughout the year:

  • Funds – Monetary donations of any kind are arguably the greatest need for any animal shelter or rescue organization. Donations support critical needs such as food, vaccinations, spay/neuter, and medical expenses.
  • Supplies – Pet owners know just how many supplies it takes to care for a pet. You can help make a dent in a shelter’s expenses by providing food, bedding, toys, or other necessities.
  • Time – Your help can make a big difference to an organization operating on a shoestring budget (as so many do). Volunteering to help care for the pets or performing administrative tasks means the charity isn’t paying for someone to do those jobs, and can allocate that money to other uses.

The Gift Of Love

Getting your family or community involved in helping pets in need is a heartwarming experience that can bring you closer together:

  • Organize a supply drive at your school, church, or library.
  • Get the kids involved by encouraging them to donate part or all of their allowance to a rescue group, or to opt for one of their gifts to be a donation to an animal charity.
  • Education family, friends, and neighbors on the importance of adopting a shelter or rescue pet.
Are you helping pets in need this holiday season? Share your efforts on the Town and Country Animal Hospital Facebook page. We look forward to seeing how our readers are spreading joy this season!