MIAMI – The growing popularity of pet ownership in the past year is shining a light on a pitfall many new owners don’t expect: the cost of care.
More than ever, a decades old organization, ‘The Animal Welfare Society of South Florida,’ is in high demand.
Tiffany Acevedo turned to AWSFL when her 6 year old pit bull ‘Thor’ developed health issues in March 2021.
“He’s my baby, he’s part of the family,” she said.
But when a visit to the vet came back with a diagnosis that would require thousands of dollars for surgery, the pregnant wife and mom felt hopeless.
“It wasn’t an option,” she said of the family’s ability to cover the cost.
On the very day the family was about to give up hope of saving Thor, Acevedo found the Animal Welfare Society of South Florida’s webpage.
“Back in 1972 AWS was founded by a group of philanthropists as a spay and neuter clinic and as the years progressed the need for affordable veterinary care became more and more of a need here in Miami so we grew along with those needs,” said Renee Bleemer, President of the AWSFL Board of Directors.
Every year, AWSFL treats thousands of animals in the tri-county area who suffer from a variety of illnesses and injuries.
The focus is on keeping pets and owners together through their ‘pet retention’ and ‘compassionate care’ programs.
“I’ve been involved with animal welfare for over 30 years. I started on as a client so I know that sense of relief when we tell people it’s not going to be astronomical when taking care of their pet,” Bleemer said.
Thanks to AWSFL, Thor was able to get the necessary surgery at a cost Acevedo and her husband could affords.
“They literally saved his life, and my heart, at the same time,” she said through tears.
To help the community the Animal Welfare Society of South Florida needs help itself.
The organizations relies solely on grants and donations to provide affordable care.