Things haven't been going well lately for Michael and the cat Kiki, who is his whole world. First, he lost his apartment and then had to quickly vacate ...
Options Veterinary Care: Helping Pets in Need
Things haven't been going well lately for Michael and the cat Kiki, who is his whole world. First, he lost his apartment and then had to quickly vacate the tent they'd moved to along the Truckee River. He wants to get into the new men's shelter on, but Kiki must have vaccinations. Options Veterinary Care was able to provide those in late May – for free – along with flea treatment and cat food.
"It's so great that you’re here for people in need," Michael said. "Kiki and I are so grateful for all your help, it means so much to us.”
Kiki is just one of more than 3,000 pets Options has seen since opening in December. It’s the only nonprofit veterinary clinic in Northern Nevada. It started from the idea that no pet should suffer for financial reasons, and its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable treatment even when there are financial barriers.
Data from Options’ first five months in operation shows that 45% of clients are senior citizens seeking help for their pets. About 25% are people working low-wage jobs, 20% are disabled, and the remaining 10% include local animal rescue groups and caregivers for community (aka feral) cats. 
About 30% of clients who come to Options can’t afford to pay anything and don’t qualify for credit programs while an additional 30% can pay something but need to be set up on a payment plan. 
Another recent client was Gold Star mom Debbie. After her son was killed a few years ago in the line of duty while serving overseas, Debbie began to see her own health decline. She’s on disability, and her little Bichon Frise named KC Renegade Thomson developed cataracts and extremely painful eye ulcers, causing him to need to wear shaded glasses. The ailment became so severe that double enucleation – removal of both eyes – was required. With her own mounting medical bills, she couldn't afford the necessary eye treatment for the dog she loves so dearly, until she contacted Options. Thanks to supporters in the community, we raised the $752 needed for KC’s surgery. He’s back home now and pain-free.
The organization Feeding Pets of the Homeless contacted Options about Steve the dog, who had an infection of the uterus causing it to fill with fluid. Without treatment, Steve would die. Yet Steve’s person Patrick could not afford the surgery and was living in a tent on the Truckee River. Options provided the lifesaving procedure as well as the overnight care Steve needed post-surgery, allowing Patrick time to secure better housing for Steve during her recovery.
The high cost of treatment can force pet owners to make painful choices for the animals they love such as surrendering a pet to a shelter, leaving them without necessary treatment, or even euthanizing them as a humane alternative to prolonged suffering. Options works with clients to make sure pets get the care they need and relies entirely on donors to help clients who cannot afford any care.
To learn more and to support its mission to help pets in need, visit