First Coast No More Homeless Pets aims to increase low-cost vet care with $1.1M grant from PetSmart

Local furry friends and their owners in need are set to receive $1.1 million worth of veterinary relief.

First Coast No More Homeless Pets is receiving the more than a million dollar grant from PetSmart Charities over the next three years.

The hope is that the money will make veterinary help more accessible to those who do not currently have it — which is half of all pet owners.

“Our veterinary system is in crisis,” said Kate Atema, director of community grants and initiatives at PetSmart Charities. “Rising costs are putting standard veterinary care out of reach for as much as 50% of pet-owning families.”

With the money from the grant, FCNMHP hopes to better meet increasing demand for veterinarians by creating a teaching hospital, implementing telemedicine services and hiring a full-time veterinary social worker.

Seventy percent of all US households have pets, meaning this initiative could help many in the Jacksonville area, says Jennifer Barker, CEO of FCNMHP.

“So many in our region are faced with barriers that inhibit veterinary care for their beloved pets: and the number of pet owners in our community needing our accessible, affordable services continues to grow,” she said.

FCNMHP is paired with 18 shelters and rescues to better life for local pets. With 74,000 pets helped, they want the money received from this grant to help that number grow.

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