In 2005, Dr. Cynthia Benbow opened her first full-service veterinary clinic.
It was on the heels of New Orleans being devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and Dr. Benbow enduring flat tires driving through debris to reach clients who were still in the area. She was determined to continue to care for her clients' family pets and help them regain some normalcy. That was the same year Dr. Benbow signed up to participate in the Veterinary Care Charitable Fund® (VCCF).
The fund was created by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) to provide veterinarians with a simple and effective way to offer charitable veterinary services to clients facing personal hardships, as well as a means to support animals rescued from abuse and neglect. In short, Dr. Benbow saw this as an opportunity to continue to provide quality care to pets whose owners may not always be able to afford it.
To be clear, this is not "low cost" veterinary services. The Benbow Vet Services account with the VCCF allows the doctors at BVS to treat pets on the same par they do with all pets brought to the clinic - without having to compromise the quality of the care or treatment, no matter what it may be.
So Why Take This On?
To begin with, BVS is 1 of only 11 veterinary clinics in all southeastern Louisiana, and 1 of only 6 clinics on the Northshore, Southshore, Westbank, and Eastbank that provides this service. Care may be provided to those in need such as:
- Disabled veterans requiring a service dog
- Low-Income senior citizens
- Good Samaritans who rescue domesticated animals
- Victims of domestic violence
- Those in tough times who need assistance with medical care, or emergency treatment for their pets.
Dr. Benbow and her team have a first-hand understanding of the value a pet brings to an individual or a family, and if they can help people keep their pet(s) healthy (and in general) during times of hardship, they know that provides some emotional relief and comfort to the families and the pets.
In addition, BVS provides the service as part of its mission and commitment to the community. It also goes hand-in-hand with BVS's motto, "We Care" and doctors and staff's belief to put action to those words.
What Can You Do?
The fund is part of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, which means it's a 501(c)3 and is supported by donations. Individuals, families, businesses are all welcome (and encouraged!) to donate directly so BVS can continue to provide this valuable assistance throughout the greater New Orleans area.