Victoria Maciver’s first trip to the vet with her new rescue dog Otis was a shocking one: x-rays revealed BB pellets embedded into his back legs. But that wasn’t all. Vets told her that the young Labrador-Shepherd-cross also suffered from carpal valgus, a leg deformity that required special plaster casts, anti-inflammatory medication and pricey rehabilitation sessions.
Staring down thousands of dollars in medical bills she couldn’t afford, the pet parent turned to crowdfunding to help cover Otis’s growing vet costs. Victoria listed her dog’s story on PetFundr, a new crowdfunding website that harnesses the power of social media to fund animal welfare projects for individual pet owners and animal shelters.
The Power of PetFundr
PetFundr users create campaigns in a matter of minutes, and they can be shared easily with their networks through email, Facebook and Twitter. Its current campaigns include Portia and Pete, unwanted petting zoo pigs in need of a new enclosure at a Canadian sanctuary, and Jayke, a therapy dog requiring ACL surgery after being attacked by a bear.
Unlike other platforms that only allow users to collect money once their goal is met, PetFundr pays out every dollar raised, regardless of whether they reach their total.
With thousands of animals being surrendered to North American shelters every year because their owners can’t cover the vet bills, PetFundr founder Darcy Wintonyk says crowdfunding can open up new avenues to pay those bills. “If we can help even one person keep their animal I’ve done my job,” she tells The Pet Matchmaker.
Victoria, who raised more than $1,200 through PetFundr for Otis, is a believer in using crowd funding. “It worked great for me. The ease of sharing it on social media and through email was amazing and the key to the success I experienced,” she said, adding that Otis is rebounding by the day after his procedure. “His goofy personality shines brighter each day. He doesn’t even recognize he has a unique condition in his legs and loves to play with any other dog.”