BirchBark Foundation celebrates 6th year, 300th saved pet

The BirchBark Foundation helped save Chicklet, their 300th saved pet, after she was attacked by another dog. — Contributed

As costs for pet care continue to rise, the BirchBark Foundation is celebrating its sixth year, aiming to support owners who have pets with a life-threatening, catastrophic medical crisis and can’t afford the emergency medical care required.

The foundation recently helped save its 300th pet, a dog named Chicklet, after two of their veterinarian partners, Animal Hospital of Salinas and Toro Park Animal Hospital, worked together to perform lifesaving surgery following a vicious attack by another dog. 

“After the attack on Chicklet, I began to pray and cry and ask God to show me how and what I had to do to get her fixed,” Anthoni Francyne Banda-Landavazo said. “The next day I found out about BirchBark and if it wasn’t for them, and all their beautiful donors, I wouldn’t have been able to save her.”

The Animal Hospital of Salinas was set to perform Chicklet’s surgery, but a broken water main left them unable to do the procedure. The Animal Hospital of Salinas worked with Toro Park Animal Hospital, and drove Chicklet to their headquarters to complete the procedure.

During times of economic uncertainty and limited income for seniors and veterans, an unexpected pet crisis is often something pet owners are not able to afford, BirchBark Foundation marketing director Julie Ann Lozano said. With costs of housing, healthcare, food and necessities increasing, the toll is often taken on the weakest members of society, and the ones with no voice: pets.

Lozano added that the “power of the partnerships” BirchBark Foundation has with veterinarians throughout the Central Coast has helped families, seniors and veterans get the emergency medical care their pets need.

“We are very excited to be able to continue to save the lives of these animals and keep families together with their pets,” said Merrianne Burtch, BirchBark Founder and Board President.

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