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History of the Mercer Clinic Holiday Pet Baskets - page 2 / 3

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The ability to provide the Mercer Vet Clinic Holiday pet baskets relies entirely on the generosity of donations from animal lovers who wish to help these needy pets, and pet supply companies who are kind enough to donate as well. This year appeared to an especially difficult year for donations due to hard economic times nationwide. However, we were fortunate enough to get donations from most companies and due to word traveling throughout the VMTH. Our terrific VMTH staff, in addition to others pet lovers outside of the VMTH who heard about our need, responded immediately with their kind donations of money and pet items for our cause. The staff of VMTH is known for their love of animals, reflected on a daily basis by their dedication to help and heal the animals that come to the VMTH. Once again, they demonstrated their commitment to caring for animals, by helping the pets of the homeless this year.

One of the rewards of participating in the Holiday Pet Basket distribution include wonderful experiences like the year we met “Beethoven” and his loving owner, Ruby. Ruby referred to the fluffy, playful lab-mixed breed dog as her “son” who would always follow her closely. We got to see him prancing and dancing due to all of the excitement of the pet basket distribution awaiting his goodies and treats. Ruby explained how much Beethoven meant to her, that he was family to her since his enthusiastic companionship provided her with a smile everyday. He also helped to keep her warm in the cold evenings, as well as protected her and guarded her from other dangers. She went on to tell of Beethoven’s heroic act when he awakened her one night after her sleeve caught fire while she slept too near a fire, saving her from serious injury or worse. She had always been grateful to him for this and other protective acts that he has performed since he was a pup, only a few years ago. He, too, was clearly grateful to her for saving him from drowning when he was thrown into the Sacramento River by someone in a gunnysack. Seeing these two very special companions together, Ruby’s smiling face and Beethoven’s wagging tail, while she opened up his gifts from Santa was heartwarming to all of us. You can see for yourself in the photo we took of them and why experiences like this help keep us motivated to reach out to contributors, who we count on, to help us make this event happen annually.

As one might imagine, in order to produce 130 baskets filled with gifts, it takes many people helping and contributing to make it a success. Thanks to all the above participants and listed donors, we had the ingredients to produce the biggest and best holiday pet basket event ever. However, we wish to remind everyone that every year we rely on the kindness of others to help these very special pets, who are more than a pet. Instead, they are the constant companions and family members to the less fortunate. Please help keep this wonderful tradition alive by contributing any time of year to the Mercer Clinic Holiday Pet Baskets.

To have a tour of photos to see what Mercer Vet Clinic for the Pets of the Homeless and the Holiday Pet Basket Programs are about please see our Mercer Clinic “Photo Gallery” at: http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/clubs/mercer/photo_gallery.cfm.

To donate items or to make a financial donation (which is tax deductible) for the Holiday Pet Baskets and the Mercer Vet Clinic for the Pets of the Homeless we accept contributions all year round. For items to be donated please e-mail Eileen Samitz at emsamitz@ucdavis.edu or call (530) 756-5165. Monetary donations help us the most in order to purchase the many items that we need for the baskets and to supply the clinic with needed medications, supplies, diagnostic services and surgical medical care for the patients.

To make a financial donation to the Mercer Clinic and the Holiday Pet Baskets please make your check to: UC Regents - Mercer Veterinary Clinic Holiday Pet Baskets and send it to: UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Office of the Dean, P.O. Box 1167, Davis, CA 95617-

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