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Posted on 12-19-2016

Animal Hospital of Lake Villa is proud to start a brand new tradition this holiday season. We have set up our now annual “Giving Tree” designed to help pets in need. Every year, you will be able to select an ornament from this tree and donate money towards the pet on that ornament. The ornaments include various pets looking for homes, rescue pets that needed large procedures or pets of people who had an extremely rough year. These donations are pure random acts of kindness and since you’re helping real people, they are not tax deductible. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated! Donations from as little as $1 to as much as $100 have already been submitted but there’s still plenty more animals whom need the help.

How did this tradition begin?

Last year, we had a generous and beautiful Christmas angel who wanted to help someone in need. While she wishes to remain anonymous, her generosity will not go unmentioned. She came in one day for some veterinary care for her pet and asked our Executive Director, Marilyn, if anyone needed her help. Marilyn started to write down various numbers for local animal shelters but our angel stopped her and said “No, WHO needs my help?” After the short term shock wore off, Marilyn began to tell her about one of our clients whom had had an extra hard time. Her husband had had a stroke that left him unable to continue work. The very same year, their dog got terminally ill and needed to be euthanized. While she had gotten a job to help pay their medical expenses, she wanted the ashes of her beloved dog still so we allowed for her to make monthly payments. After hearing the story, our Angel decided to pay off her entire account. It brought tears to all of our faces to see someone with such a great big heart, help someone else in need. Our Angel wanted nothing in return, didn’t even want to be mentioned. Of course, when we called the client to let her know her bill was paid in full, she also cried with joy. She had been wanting to rescue another dog but didn’t want to do so until her bill was paid off. However, her home didn’t feel right without a dog and so she was then able to start saving up to adopt a dog instead of having to pay off the bill. When we shared this whole story on our Facebook page, the phone began to ring with more people wanting to help. It truly gave us goosebumps to see so many wonderful people in our community wanting to help one another. When we thanked our original Angel, all she had to say was “Well, I’ve had an extremely good year and I feel I need to pay it forward. This way, I’m not the only one.” and tears swelled up yet again.

We’ve had other Angels in the past, too! One in particular, always donates money during every visit for us to set aside for a patient in critical care whom cannot afford their treatment. The money is usually used up very quickly on senior clients whom cannot afford the care for their pets that they need. We try to help out as much as we possibly can but unfortunately, medicine is not cheap after the diagnostics, procedures, and medications. Especially when we want to practice the best possible medicine for all of our patients instead of cutting corners due to cost. We want everyone to be able to afford proper medical care for their animal companions and this Giving Tree is just one more way to help!

From now on, every November will begin our new tradition of helping patients in need. All our wonderful and generous Angels this year have helped raise over $1000 in funds for local rescues and clients in need. We are astonished and beyond grateful for all the help! If you’d like to play a special part in helping others, give us a call at (847) 356-VETS to donate towards The Giving Tree.  

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