Vet bills force animal rescue to close

Many animals needing major surgeries has pushed vet bills up for Vada’s Angels. Photos: Kat Thompson.

The lives of animal are at risk while a Tauranga animal rescue is forced into a temporary closure due to soaring vet bills.

Vada’s Angels – a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation – has made the difficult decision to close its doors to incoming animals as it tries to improve its financial situation.

“It is with heavy hearts that we share this message,” says founder Kat Thompson.

Asked if temporary closure was the only option, Kat says: “Sadly, right now it is.

"If we keep going, the bills keep getting higher, and sadly most vets have been burnt in the past with people not paying, so they have a limit, which we completely understand”.

But Kat says every day the rescue’s doors are shut “it means there’s an animal that we have to say ‘No’ to and that means they may sadly lose their life.

"People are not aware that would be the case.”

Kat says the rescue uses multiple vets across Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, including veterinary clinics in Tauranga, Mount Maunganui, Pāpāmoa, South Waikato and Rotorua.

Of the dogs in their care, 95 per cent are pound dogs which means they haven’t had the best starts, says Kat.

“We generally only step in if there are medical reasons such as broken limbs, mange, parvo or they are just unwell, or if the dogs are older, if the puppies are very young, or just because they have been in the pound months with no interest.”

Vada’s Angels works closely with three pounds.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s pound is the main focus.

“They’ve been a huge support to us as a rescue and we love working with them...All three pounds run awesome adoption programmes, but with fewer homes we are stepping in a lot more often as after six-eight weeks in pounds, it’s too much for dogs.

“Since December, we’ve welcomed 76 puppies/dogs, 50 kittens, and five horses into our care.”

However, Kat says the reality of rescue work is it comes with significant financial responsibilities.

“Our vet bills have grown to a point where we’re unable to bring in any more animals until these expenses are settled.”

Vet bills have built up due to many animals needing major surgeries.

Kat says they’ve rescued puppies and kittens with badly broken legs that need amputating.

Kittens and puppies often come to Vada’s Angels with tails or ears cut off.

“We have abandoned kittens/puppies needing vaccination, desexing, worming, de-fleaing, and in some cases milk powder supplement.

"Worm burdens can lead to infections.”

“All our pups are vet-checked, vaccinated, microchipped [to] council regulation, and desexed while in care.

"With the increase in cost, it’s getting a lot harder on rescue teams.”

Kat says the rescue relies 100 per cent on donations.

“We’re actively working on fundraising efforts and seeking support to clear these bills so we can reopen our doors to more animals in need...We will keep everyone updated on our progress.”

To help clear Vada’s Angels Animal Rescue Tauranga’s vet bill, donate to the trust at 38-9022-0041883-00.

Reference vet, if you need a GST receipt, and message the page with the name paid by and email address.

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