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RAPS Receives $75,000 Grant from PetSmart Charities to Improve Accessible Veterinary Care

For Immediate Release


JANUARY 31, 2023— RICHMOND, B.C. – Fifty million pets in the U.S. experience a lack of access to even basic veterinary care. Rising costs and other barriers mean these pets struggle to access services such as spay/neuter procedures, vaccinations and critical medical and preventative care. With as many as 70% of households now including pets, this issue affects families in nearly every community.

PetSmart Charities has committed $100 million over the next five years toward improving access to veterinary care. The “Accelerator” low-cost veterinary care grant program is a key part of this effort.  These grants support the expansion of low-cost veterinary care by funding growth and operations for up to four years for nonprofit clinics looking to expand their services, serve their communities better and inspire other veterinary providers by sharing their experiences.

The grant made to the Regional Animal Protection Society (RAPS) in the amount of $75,000 will allow the RAPS Animal Hospital to hire and retain veterinarians and support staff.

“This vital support will empower RAPS to deliver more services to companion animals of people facing financial challenges,” says Eyal Lichtmann, CEO of the Regional Animal Protection Society. “This includes seniors and people with disabilities, those facing homelessness or living in supportive housing, and average families living in one of the world’s most expensive metro areas to manage unexpected vet expenses. Since opening in 2018, the RAPS Animal Hospital has provided more than $4.5 million in fully or partially subsidized care to animals in British Columbia.

Overwhelmingly, people consider their pets important members of the family. Pets make a significant impact in the health and wellness of the people they love. This grant will enable more families to get the preventative and standard care that ensures their pets thrive at home and stay out of shelters.

“Our veterinary system is in crisis,” said Kate Atema, director of community grants and initiatives at PetSmart Charities.  “Rising costs are putting standard veterinary care out of reach for as much as 50% of pet-owning families. We need innovative solutions that make veterinary care affordable for the families in every community who want the best for their four-legged companions but struggle to meet the cost of vet care. We’re inspired by the incredible work RAPS is doing to create solutions that will build strong families and a healthy community.”


About RAPS

The Regional Animal Protection Society, based in Richmond and serving all of British Columbia, is a no-kill animal-serving agency. RAPS operates Canada’s largest cat sanctuary, an adoption and education centre, social enterprise thrift stores, a fostering network, an advocacy arm, and an education outreach department. Five years ago, the community-owned, not-for-profit RAPS Animal Hospital opened and, in addition to serving the general public, has provided more than $4.5 million in partially or fully subsidized care to households with low incomes or facing other challenges.

Follow RAPS on Instagram: @RAPSSociety

Follow RAPS on Twitter: @RAPSSociety
Find RAPS on Facebook: Facebook.com/RegionalAnimalProtectionSociety
See RAPS on YouTube: YouTube.com/@regionalanimalprotectionso2689

About PetSmart Charities®

PetSmart Charities is committed to making the world a better place for pets and all who love them. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps up to 600,000 pets connect with loving families each year. PetSmart Charities also provides grant funding to support organizations that advocate and care for the well-being of all pets and their families. Our grants and efforts connect pets with loving homes through adoption, improve access to affordable veterinary care and support families in times of crisis with access to food, shelter and emergency relief. Each year, millions of generous supporters help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities directly at PetSmartCharities.org, while shopping at PetSmart.com, and by using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart® stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting more than $500 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart LLC, PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator for the past 18 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of rated charities. To learn more visit www.petsmartcharities.org.

Follow PetSmart Charities on Instagram: @PetSmartCharities

Follow PetSmart Charities on Twitter: @PetSmartChariTs
Find PetSmart Charities on Facebook: Facebook.com/PetSmartCharities
See PetSmart Charities on YouTube: YouTube.com/PetSmartCharitiesInc



Media Contact:
Regional Animal Protection Society                                                        24-Hour PetSmart Charities
Pat Johnson, Communications Manager                                                 Media Line:  623-587-2177


Download the release here: https://www.rapsbc.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/RAPS_Release_PetsmartCharities-0223.pdf