About the VetHeart of Georgia
In 1992 the GVMA Foundation was chartered by the GVMA Board of Directors to serve as a support arm of the GVMA. During the past decade, the foundation has developed animal welfare programs, supported various other existing programs that contribute to the well-being of animals and enhance the human-animal bond, and helped to provide scholarships and awards to Georgia’s students.
In 2013 the GVMA Foundation was re-named VetHeart of Georgia. VetHeart of Georgia is the charitable arm of the GVMA, showcasing the veterinarian’s unique role in supporting the health and well-being of animals in Georgia and beyond. VetHeart evolved as a result of hard work by a diverse new board of directors whose interests range from general and specialized small animal and food animal medicine to veterinary industry, public health, and wildlife conservation. This means that VetHeart represents the work done by ALL veterinarians in Georgia.
VetHeart’s mission is to promote the stewardship of animals and their environments, to support public education and awareness of veterinary care, and to provide assistance programs for underserved animals. To that end, our programs will range from the global - emergency preparedness, disaster relief, and public education about what veterinarians do for animals (also known as One Health) - to the individual – medical care for abandoned animals, those owned by the elderly, and animals who serve the public health.
Some of our most active projects include:
1. The VetHeart Fund for Companion Animals has been created to enable GVMA veterinarians to apply for funding to support cases that meet specific client, patient and treatment criteria for financial hardship and non-routine care. This Fund is an active way for members to see their Foundation contributions working in a very compassionate manner at the local level. Download an application.
2. The Canine Service Animal Assistance Program (CSAAP) has been expanded to now serve people with a variety of disabilities recognizing that animals have been trained to assist people in gaining independence in spite of disabilities. The CSAAP provides up to $350 per year in reimbursed veterinary services fees for the service animal, be that a guide dog, hearing dog, seizure detecting animal, etc. If you know of someone who utilizes a service animal to gain independence, please download the form for them and take it to their veterinarian. GVMA Member veterinarians must recommend the individuals for these grants. Download an application.
3. Pre-packaged memorial cards, imprinted with a message stating a contribution has been made to the Foundation are now being sold by VetHeart in support of its many projects. Many doctors agree, death is one of the most difficult aspects of being a veterinarian. Now, the GVMA has made this tough task a little bit easier. Pet Memorial Cards are a quick and easy means of showing your clients you care. Plus, with each card sent, a contribution is made to the GVMA Foundation. These are you will only need to sign and address the card to the designated client. An accompanying brochure will tell the recipient about the GVMA Foundation. A pack of 10 cards for $100 can honor 10 deceased pets. Download an application.
4. Disaster Relief - VetHeart was the largest contributor to hurricane disaster relief in Florida in 2004 for veterinary and animal related assistance. Because of Foundation Day donations, we were able to respond immediately when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Money and medical supplies were sent for aid in treating and caring for displaced animals from affected areas. The GVMA Foundation is the administrator for the Georgia Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps, formed to assist in animal disasters in Georgia.
5. Atlanta Dog Jog - sponsored by VetHeart, the Atlanta Dog Jog is an annual 1 mile or 5k race for dogs and their people. All net proceeds go to an organization supporting the animal/human bond. For more information, please visit http://www.atlantadogjog.org
Donating to the GVMA is a win/win situation. You can make a difference in the lives of the people we serve and through your giving others will benefit.