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Federal Grant Helps Guide Future of RAPS Animal Hospital

An Investment Readiness Program grant from the Government of Canada will allow RAPS to consult the public about how the RAPS Animal Hospital can serve more animals and their people. A public engagement process, feasibility study and business plan are in the works – possibly leading to Richmond’s first 24/7 animal hospital.

 The RAPS Animal Hospital could see significant expansion of services thanks to a federal program grant. Having already expanded dramatically since opening just three years ago, the full service, not-for-profit veterinary facility could become Richmond’s only 24/7 animal hospital. The federal government’s support will help RAPS engage with the public to determine the direction of hospital in years to come.

 The Regional Animal Protection Society is excited to have been selected as a recipient of the highly competitive Investment Readiness Program (IRP) grant to perform market research, a feasibility study and the creation of a business plan to make the 100% not-for-profit RAPS Animal Hospital a 24/7 service for the public.

“Since opening the hospital in 2018, we have provided approximately $2.5 million in subsidized care to the public, but we know we can do even more,” explains RAPS CEO Eyal Lichtmann. “People don’t just need veterinary care for their pets during regular business hours, and we estimate that by bringing not-for-profit care to pets at all times of the day, we can save the public more than $10 million per year.”

“Funded by the Government of Canada, the Investment Readiness Program (IRP) supports social purpose organizations as they contribute to solving pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges across Canada,” according to the Community Foundations of Canada website. Locally administered by the Vancouver Foundation, this grant is highly competitive, with fewer than 20% of applicants receiving funding over the two rounds of adjudications, based on data available from the Community Foundations of Canada.

“We are incredibly honoured to have been selected as a recipient for this funding,” says RAPS Business Development Director Jonathan Lerner. “This will kickstart the process of expanding our not-for-profit hospital operations. Over the next few months, our development team will be engaging with our clients, the public and stakeholders to better understand how we can help more animals and more people. We very much look forward to sharing the results with the community, and using this data to secure more funding. We are incredibly grateful to the Government of Canada, the Community Foundations of Canada, and the Vancouver Foundation for this opportunity.”

RAPS believes this is only the beginning of what they can accomplish in the years to come. “This is going to mean big things for Richmond and the Metro Vancouver area,” says Lichtmann. “During these COVID times, the demand for our hospital services has never been greater and we are here for the community. As we expand our team, hours and services, the sky is the limit.”

The RAPS Animal Hospital is also expanding its services beyond dogs and cats to care for “exotics” – including rabbits.