NBSPCA Happy Tails Fund provides access to veterinary care for low-income families


June 242024

Fredericton, N.B. – The New Brunswick SPCA (NBSPCA) has launched a dedicated fund called Happy Tails to support low-income pet families with improved access to veterinary care.

Funded by the generous support of the estate of the late June Hooper and a contribution from the Government of New Brunswick, the program aims to reduce the number of unwanted pets by providing access to basic veterinary care for families who are otherwise unable to afford the costs. The NBSPCA has established several veterinary partnerships to provide spay and neuter procedures

Lesley Rogers, executive director of the NBSPCA, said the fund was created in response to the mounting financial pressures on New Brunswick pet families and the increased demand on the animal welfare sector provincewide.

While the NBSPCA is known for enforcing animal protection laws and delivering public awareness and education campaigns, we also have a mandate to prevent animal cruelty,” Rogers said. The Happy Tails Fund is an opportunity for us to intervene early by providing targeted financial support to help keep pet families together and keep animals out of shelters.”

Since piloting Happy Tails in 2023 with Stoneybrook Veterinary Services in St. Martins and the Oromocto SPCA, the program has expanded to include the Saint John Veterinary Walk-in & Urgent Care, Moncton Veterinary Walk-In and Urgent Care and the Woodstock Veterinary Clinic. So far, more than 84 cats have been spayed or neutered through the program.

Dr. Sara Pridham of Stoneybrook Veterinary Services said she has observed a significant increase in out-of-control pet populations — especially cats — since the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a steep rise in pet care costs. She said there is a serious need in New Brunswick for low-cost spay and neuter clinics. 

When we learned the NBSPCA was looking for veterinarians to help with the Happy Tails Fund, we jumped at the chance,” Pridham said. We have been able to spay or neuter nearly 60 cats at our clinic through the program already this year and the feedback we’ve received has been unanimously positive. We look forward to continuing to work with the NBSPCA as they expand this program.”

Rogers said the NBSPCA is eager to partner with more veterinarians who are willing to provide a low-cost spay and neuter clinic in their communities. She noted that this is the first phase of the Happy Tails Fund, with plans for expansion in the future.

We hope to continue to develop the program so we can help keep low-income pet families together when faced with an emergency or unexpected veterinary costs,” she said. We’re grateful for the support of our veterinary partners and funders for making Happy Tails possible. Thanks to the help of these supporters, we have already started to see positive results.”

Rogers said the NBSPCA is grateful for the financial support it has received from the estate of June Hooper, a lifelong animal lover who passed away unexpectedly in 2022, and for the contribution provided by the Government of New Brunswick.

More information about the Happy Tails Fund is available online. Veterinarians interested in participating and low-income pet families seeking assistance can email happytails@​nbspca.​ca for more details.

About New Brunswick SPCA

Founded in 1881, New Brunswick SPCA (NBSCPA) is the only provincewide organization mandated to enforce animal protection laws. A dedicated team of 15 Animal Protection Officers is vested with the authority under the SPCA Act of New Brunswick to investigate and, if necessary, lay charges, seize animals, or recommend court orders to persons suspected of abuse and cruelty to animals. 

The NBSPCA is a registered charity that exists to provide provincewide leadership in the humane treatment of animals. We enforce relevant legislation, ensure shelter for neglected or abused domesticated animals and agricultural animals, and provide public education and advocacy to empower New Brunswickers to help animals live long and healthy lives. 

To learn more, visit www​.nbsp​ca​.ca.

Media Contact: Alex Davis, alex@​ccgoodwin.​ca, 5062594081

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