Help Paying Dog Vet Bills

$4,525 Raised for Pets in Medical Crisis by VCA Shoreline Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center & Waggle

When asked why Joanne Watkins, Hospital Director of VCA Shoreline Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center, signed her practice up for, she echoes what we’ve heard so often from practices across the country:

“It is heartbreaking for us to see a pet family in need, unable to afford the cost of this care.”

But, as a specialty practice dealing with emergency, specialty, and critical care, the team at VCA Shoreline see it all too often.

VCA’s not alone. An estimated 500,000 U.S. pets face what the industry has dubbed “economic euthanasia” each year, making the issue far too pervasive for any single practice to solve. “It’s just not financially feasible for these hospitals to do that much pro-bono work and keep the lights on,” notes Steve Mornelli, Founder of “And the cost to hospital morale is much greater than people realize.” After all, the vast majority of pet-health practitioners get into the field to save lives, not to give pet guardians the news that a cure may be available, but out of reach due to cost.

Giving hospitals and pet guardians another choice is what inspired and The Waggle Foundation. “When I explain it to hospitals, they just immediately 'get it.' Most even care more about how it will help their team’s morale than the financial benefits,” says Steve.

Joanne and VCA Shoreline were one of the earliest hospitals to sign up and they’ve been seeing the advantages ever since. “Being able to offer another option for our clients when mainstream options have been declined or failed, is a great benefit, not just for the patient and parents, but it makes our staff happy too!” In the three months since launch, the hospital has registered eight cases with Waggle and raised over $4,500 to help pets in medical crisis get care.

How? VCA Shoreline’s gotten the whole staff on board. “Our staff typically takes photos of our pets on arrival and in recovery, a way to let our pet families know how their pets are doing,” says Joanne.

“We have one internal staff member who looks after the social media campaign with our Waggle cases, and one external consultant who also contributes to promoting our Waggle cases. It is a team effort!”

The hospital encourages the whole team to share the campaigns they register with Waggle and makes sure the hospital’s social media channels share as well, helping add to the credibility when third parties like Waggle and the pet’s guardian share.

“I think one of the great values of working with Waggle is owner involvement,” says Joanne. “Our two most successful cases were ones where the owners were heavily involved in cross-posting and sharing their stories, and both were fully funded because of it.”

Kousa, a dog who was attacked while trying to save her “mom” from another dog, is a prime example. Joanne notes, “It was a great story of the dog remaining with her family and enjoying a full recovery, it could not have been a better outcome.”

VCA Shoreline is one of our many partners having wonderful success with crowdfunding care for pets in financial need. Their work has not only saved the lives of pets, but also released families from having to make heart-wrenching decisions about their beloved pets, and has also spared the practice staff from the emotional toll this takes.

Thank you so much to Joanne Watkins for taking the time to share her insights and experience with Waggle.

Through our partnerships with veterinary practices such as VCA, we at the Waggle Foundation and are able to give pets a second chance and and also give families more precious time with their beloved pets. Please consider donating to a pet in medical crisis today.

Have any questions on how Waggle can partner with your veterinary practice and get pets the treatment they need? Contact us here.