Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I admit it - I cried - I cried watching a cartoon + Senate news re: funding for rural veterinarians

I cried - can't help it - I cried. As someone who has done years of shelter volunteer and rescue work I know the severe need for people to see beyond the gray and the limp and into the eyes of the soul of the older dog and cat. They have so much to give if you will only find it in your ♥ to receive.

Patrick McDonnell has teamed up with award-winning master animator Paul Fierlinger to create a series of six animated Public Service Announcement spots which advocate the adoption of cats and dogs for The Shelter Pet Project. Pet Connection writer Christie Keith, who also does work for The Shelter Pet Project, says her favorite is the PSA called Shemp, which urges the adoption of "more mature" dogs.

In addition, I would like to share with you more great news for animals contained in a bill sponsored by Senator Al Franken:

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) applauds U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), for co-sponsoring the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act (S. 3621).

The bipartisan legislation will help the country address a critical shortage of veterinarians serving our rural areas by making the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) tax-exempt, thereby increasing the number of veterinarians who can participate in the program. The act would also apply to similar state programs that encourage veterinarians to practice in underserved communities.

“In Minnesota, there are 15 counties with more than 5,000 food animals that currently have no food animal veterinarian; six of those counties have more than 25,000 food animals,” says Sen. Franken. “Removing the federal taxes on the Veterinary Medical Loan Repayment Program lets more money go to the veterinarians who safeguard our food supply, ensure animal health and welfare and prevent disease.”

Rather than awarding the full funding for this program each year, the current form of the VMLRP requires that 39 percent of the money it receives be returned to the U.S. Treasury as a federal tax, unlike its counterpart program for human medicine, the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program.

“By making the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program tax-exempt, we will be sending more veterinarians into areas around the country that lack professionals possessing critical expertise in animal care, food safety and public health,” said Dr. Ron DeHaven, chief executive officer of the AVMA. “If the Johnson-Crapo bill passes, it will remove the program’s tax burden, allowing enough additional funds to provide one additional veterinarian for every three veterinarians currently scheduled to receive awards. These additional veterinarians in underserved areas would go a long way to further protect our nation’s food supply and public health.”

“Communities in rural America depend on the health of their livestock for their livelihood, but many have no practicing veterinarian,” Johnson said. “The demand is only expected to increase by double digits over the next six years alone. This bill will make it easier to bring more veterinarians to these underserved areas and meet this demand.”

“The shortage of veterinarians in the U.S. is acute,” Crapo said, “with 1,300 counties throughout the country with less than one food animal veterinarian per 25,000 farm animals. This matters to more than just livestock and agricultural producers. It limits disease surveillance and response as well as animal welfare, and affects the economy. In Idaho alone, nearly half of our counties are in designated shortage areas. This legislation will help alleviate the shortage of veterinarians and maximize the program through addressing the tax treatment of program assistance.”

Nationwide, there are 500 counties that have at least 5,000 farm animals but no veterinarians in the area to treat them. This shortage could have dire consequences on human and animal health, public safety, animal welfare, disease surveillance and economic development. The demand for veterinarians across the United States could increase by 14 percent by 2016.

Other U.S. Senators co-sponsoring the legislation are Sam Brownback, R-Kan.; Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.; Al Franken, D-Minn.; Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; Mike Johanns, R-Neb.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Jim Risch, R-Idaho; Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. (thanks, Debbie); and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.

The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act already has the support of 123 animal, agricultural and veterinary medicine organizations nationwide.
National Canine Cancer Foundation


JackDaddy said...

Patrick M is great. I love Mutts!!

Teddy Bear said...

That is a great video!!!

Teddy Bear

Martha and Bailey said...

That really is a great video - sweet but incredibly powerful - especially the 'I got picked' - we understand your tears.
Martha and Bailey xxx

♥MONA + MOMMY TOO♥ said...

Don't feel bad, Mommy cried too.


MAXMOM said...

Sweet video!

Catherine said...


Cocorue said...

mumster cried too and is still crying.....


^..^Corgidogmama said...

I write this with the biggest lump in my throat......

Maggie Mae said...

Tears are flowing at my house too...:)

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae

houndstooth said...

Oh, I love that video, too!

You know, it never occurred to me NOT to take Morgan, really. She's eighteen months old, so still a lot of puppy. Skipping that puppy stage is fine with me. Our lifestyle would make it hard to potty train a young puppy. It really doesn't matter, though. Morgan is beautiful and darned near perfect. We are thrilled with her and consider ourselves lucky that WE got HER!

Frankie Furter said...


Mrs. JP said...

Good Video......that should be played on every TV station.

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Great video - now it just needs to get some good exposure. It sure gets the message across. Mom teared up too.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Angus said...

"I got picked .. wow". Brilliant

Ms. ~K said...

Brilliant! Kudos to Patrick McDonnell.
Thanks for sharing!

♥I am Holly♥ said...

What a great video! I got all teared up also. Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

Turke the GSD said...

This was such a wonderful video especially meaningful since we just (3 weeks ago) adopted an older dog from a shelter! sniff, sniff.
Thanks for sharing!
Turke and his family.....

Maggie and Mitch said...

We are sniffling here too! Mom says there is nothing like a senior! I love my mom and she adores me!

Love ya lots,

Sam said...

Thanks so much for offering to look around for a bag of cat food! That's really kind and generous of you, and I appreciate it immensely. It actually seems like Layla is holding the new food down now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

It was so special!

Our SPCA has a special programme fur elder adoptions -

Thanks fur sharing this!


Tweedles -- that's me said...

We cannot see your video because of our dial up,,,, but we know, that this was mighty touching by reading the comments left by all our friends.

Sierra Rose said...

Oh my oh my!!!

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Ruby's Raiser said...

Another wonderful group supporting the care of senior dogs in shelter/rescue is the Grey Muzzle Organization: http://www.greymuzzle.org/

ocmist said...

Great video and thanks for the information!