Reflections on the Year
In one word: Resilience
At Mission, on a daily basis, we experience the highs of new puppy and kitten giddiness, and the lows of despair with pet loss, along with everything in between. We can’t help but be resilient; it comes with the territory of this job. With the pandemic and its last two years of turmoil, everyone has endured their own personal struggles and as essential service providers, our work at Mission never stops. Our jobs and this organization demand resilience along with perseverance for us to be our best for our clients and our community.
If 2020 brought the pandemic slamming into our lives with all its rapid fire changes to our routines and life as we know it, then 2021 felt like a strange new reality requiring us to be on guard at all times. At Mission in 2021, we battled COVID staff shortages, a week-long closure, unexpected staff departures, and a construction project tackled in the midst of it all. Yet, we also hired new amazing staff, relaunched our High Volume, High Quality spay/neuter service, expanded our Advanced Surgery Practice services, developed an entire new level of staff managers and moved into new offices. We navigated this strange pandemic world without a rudder yet we knew we needed to move forward every day, to welcome and help our patients and clients who need us.
Where I stand most proud of this amazing organization is that we have lifted and supported each other every step of the way and remained available for our clients when there were no other options. Our annual report below is a glimpse into our accomplishments this past year and tells the story of what our generous donors have helped make happen—from the number of pets and families we helped, to our social impact beyond the walls of Mission. But honestly, looking back on 2021, I’m most proud of what we can’t quantify in this report and what I can only feebly attempt to describe.
I was recently listening to a podcast on resilience that described a study examining predictors of human resilience—one characteristic identified was the ability to experience awe—that feeling when you see something really beautiful and you appreciate the wonder and amazement of its existence. I feel that way every day I walk into this hospital with our incredible staff working in this ground-breaking organization. How lucky am I? How lucky are we?! It’s truly awe-inspiring.
Dr. Susan Miller
Executive Director and Founder
Unique Pets Given Care
In 2021 Mission Animal Hospital donors helped cover over $1.5 million in care for pets in low-income families.
of patients were part of our Mission Program
pet surrenders prevented
rescue organization partners
of patients were cats
of patients were dogs
The most popular names
Bella & Luna
Our patients came from
2,106 donors gave $843,662
1,483 donors gave $25 or less
328 donors gave $25—$100
104 donors gave $100—$250
67 donors gave $250—$500
47 donors gave $500—$1,000
58 donors gave $1,000—$5,000
19 donors gave $5,000 or more
2 board certified veterinary surgeons
19 vet technicians
15 vet assistants
5 customer service staff
7 administrative staff
36 veterinary student externs
What affordable care means:
From our client survey
30% of families in our Mission Program experience housing insecurity.
7% of our Mission Program families have experienced homelessness in the last twelve months.
62% of our Mission Program families faced food insecurity.
39% of our Mission Program families faced pet food insecurity.
99% of our clients think of their pets as family.
Providing World Class Care
Wellness Care: Wellness care, offered seven days a week to be more accessible for pet-owners needing care, includes annual check-ups and vaccinations as well as less urgent issues.
In 2021, we cared for 9,676 pets for various wellness visits.
Walk-in Urgent Care: Open seven days a week, Mission’s Urgent Care program is an essential service working with sick and injured pets that require immediate care. Urgent Care is an alternative to expensive emergency hospitals and we see many cases referred from emergency clinics when the client has limited financial resources.
In 2021, we cared for 13,819 pets through urgent care services.
General Surgery: Our general surgery team provides dental cleanings, spay/neuter services, emergent life-saving procedures such as gastro-intestinal obstructions, and other common procedures.
In 2021, we cared for 1,667 patients through general surgery. This includes:
527 Dental cleanings and extractions
121 Gastrointestinal foreign bodies
405 Spays/398 Neuters
200 Blocked Cats (urinary obstruction)
Advanced Surgery Practice: Led by our boarded surgeon, this team provides complex orthopedic and soft tissue procedures in-house at reduced rates that are often not accessible to a low-income pet owner. Clients can utilize flexible payment plans if the cost is prohibitive to receiving care.
In 2021, we cared for 443 patients through advanced surgery procedures. This includes
120 Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy procedures (TPLOs)
High-Quality, High-Volume Spay/Neuter: Mission offers this service to over 198 rescue/shelter partners, creating a low-cost option to facilitate adoptions and keep our homeless pet population low.
In 2021, we provided this service to 186 pets
A Story of Support
"When they suffer, we suffer—
and we simply could not survive without Mission Animal Hospital as a trusted partner in caring for our animal family members."
by Karen Schneider, Mission donor and client
It is impossible to overstate the importance our dogs have in our family’s life: they are the center of our love and our wellness, the heartbeats through which our own hearts beat, each of us finding calm, courage, joy, playfulness, and purpose—individually and as a family—through our embrace of our gentle beasts.
For the past eight or so years, when two Bernese Mountain Dog puppies first became part of our family, the ability to leash up our boys and take long walks with them, or just wrap our arms around them and breath with them, has been transformative—for our kids as teenagers growing into young adults and for us as parents juggling the demands of jobs, family, and community.
No matter how hard a day was, our dogs made it better, restored us to calm, brought us laughter, unity, resilience, an unconditional love that is now the center of our family life. Their well-being is inextricably linked to our well-being. When they suffer, we suffer—and we simply could not survive without Mission Animal Hospital as a trusted partner in caring for our animal family members. We know the care we have gotten at Mission, from the staff who check us in to the vets and surgeons who treat our dogs for issues large and small, is first-class.
We believe this is specifically because Mission is a nonprofit hospital, meaning they are able to extend care to tens of thousands of animals each year. This matters to us for two reasons: first, because the high volume of animals Mission sees gives them invaluable experience and expertise that directly benefits our dogs’ care—including, recently, gently guiding us through the confusion, fear, and heart ache of terminal illness towards a compassionate end—and second, because we know the money we spend caring for our beloved animals helps other families care for their beloved animals.
There is simply no best life for us without our animals, and no best life for our animals without Mission. We feel privileged to know that we play a part in extending that best life to other families across Minnesota.
Mission donor and clients Karen Schneider and Peter Gleekel
and their Bernese Mountain Dogs Riggins and Herschel.
Presented below are Mission Animal Hospital's 2020 financial breakdowns, according to an independent audit. The organization's 2021 financials will undergo an independent audit and will be available later this year.
2021 Board of Directors
Jennifer Melin Miller
Susan Miller, DVM
Anne Pappe, PA
Dr. Rajiv Shah
Beth Rausch, DVM
Susan Miller, DVM, Executive Director
Kelsey Bertamus, DVM, Hospital Director
Christine Durand, Development Director
Kellie Lager, Human Resources Director
Mission Animal Hospital
10100 Viking Drive Suite 150
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
© 2022 Mission Animal Hospital
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