Caring for Georgetown’s injured pets
Dr. Lynne Randoll has fond memories of the Georgetown woman who walked into Northwest Pet Hospital with her two cats, Karen and Tyler. “She was one of those immaculate owners who cared for her cats as if they were her children,” Dr. says Randoll, a practicing veterinarian since 1999.
One day the woman took Dr. Randoll aside. She had overheard that another client could not afford to have her animals treated and wondered aloud if the situation were common.
“I told her, ‘It is, actually. People do what they can, but oftentimes it’s not gold-standard, grade-A treatment,’” Dr. Randoll recalls.
The woman was shocked. She quickly jumped into action, asking Dr. Randoll if she could set up a fund for injured pets of monetarily disadvantaged clients.
And so, the Angel Fund was born.
“At that point, we were actually calling it the Karen and Tyler fund,” Dr. Randoll says, “because she’d regularly come in and put money into the account.”
The fund was never publicized; but occasionally, people would request that their bills be rounded up, letting the clinic “keep the change.” Other times, people would contribute small donations when they adopted a pet from Northwest Pet Hospital. Every time a client would donate money, the proceeds would go to the Karen and Tyler account. After a period of time, Karen, Tyler and their benevolent owner moved away from Georgetown, and the fund was renamed the Angel Fund.
Since it was first created in 1999, the Angel Fund has largely been kept a secret, and funds are dispensed with much discretion. The Northwest Pet Hospital allocates Angel Fund money only to longstanding clients who take good care of their pets but cannot pay for their pet’s procedure in full.
Another criterion for drawing on the fund is that the pet must have “a survivable problem,” Dr. Randoll explains, “meaning that we might treat a pet that’s been run over by a car, but we won’t [use the fund to] treat a pet with cancer or heart disease.”
Dr. Randoll estimates that the Angel Fund has helped hundreds of animals since its inception. Last summer alone, the Angel Fund was able to provide burn creams, bandages, and food to treat animals that were victims of the 2011 Bastrop wildfires.
“It’s all about helping people do the right thing,” says Dr. Randoll, who remembers treating a dog that had been hit by a car and was found lying on the side of the road. “A client of ours brought him in. It wasn’t her dog, and she didn’t have money to take care of him, but she wanted to help.”
After the dog was treated, it bounced around to a couple of foster homes and was eventually adopted. In the end, the story was a success all around: The dog healed and found a home; the client was able to help without being out of pocket; and a deserving family gained a new pet.
“We know these pets and we know these people,” Dr. Randoll says. “This is our way of contributing to the community.”
By Rachel Brownlow
Photos by Rudy Ximenez