When DeAnna brought her cat, Charlie, to Mission Animal Hospital for urinary issues, she didn’t expect to have the emotional experience that unfolded throughout the day. Charlie was able to be easily treated, but it was the community of pet-loving people and families DeAnna found in Mission was much more profound.
It was incredibly early on a Saturday morning this fall when DeAnna arrived at Mission, cat carrier in hand, and Charlie inside. She had heard that she would have to get there early to get on Mission’s Urgent Care list and get Charlie seen that day. In the early morning light, she joined the several others who had already lined up on the sidewalk, each worried about their own furry family member. Each pet there, she recognized, was an important part of someone’s family.
She took in the other pets in line. Ahead of her, a sweet pitbull was limping. The owner said he was worried the leg was broken. A kitty in a carrier was sneezing. A dog lay on the sidewalk next to a young woman, too weak to move. The woman said the beautiful yellow lab had been throwing up, and now wouldn’t eat. Behind her, DeAnna saw a young man, holding an older looking cat that was barely moving. DeAnna didn’t know what was wrong, but could tell from the man’s face that something wasn’t right with his best friend.
“It was heartbreaking,” said DeAnna. The majority of us voted to let them go in before us.”
When they got inside, the Urgent Care capacity filled quickly. The staff worked to prioritize the cases, seeing the most critical pets right away. DeAnna was grateful that Charlie was doing well, and he could be seen later in the day. And she was glad that the sick dogs and cats she’d met in line were getting the care they needed right away.
She and Charlie took a seat in the lobby for a front row view of many families coming and going through Mission that day. From there, she struck up conversation with the other pet owners, some they met in line in the morning, some who came in throughout the day. It was in those conversations that she began to understand the impact that Mission Animal Hospital has on families, many who arrive here with a sick or injured pet and have nowhere else to turn.
“It was a heartbreaking day in the waiting room. I literally cried for three hours straight when I found out that one man learned his cat wasn’t going to make it,” she said. “It broke my heart. He loved her so much and you could tell. He was showing us videos of her while we were all waiting. He brought her out for us to say goodbye to her. I just can’t imagine the pain of not being able to go home with your pet. I know Mission did everything they could for her.”
Though she was worried about her own cat while she waited in the lobby, what she saw there moved her deeply. She saw everyone come together to help those in need and care for those that were sick, and she was able to get the care that she needed for her pet as well.
“I would do anything for my pets,” DeAnna said” “They have done nothing but show me unconditional love (over and over again). I am their voice in this world — it is my responsibility to do everything I possibly can to give them the best life they deserve.”
Mission Animal Hospital was able to help DeAnna and Charlie, but DeAnna left with more than just a new treatment plan for her cat. She left with a new love for Mission Animal Hospital and its team of dedicated professionals working tirelessly to provide access to quality care for families who otherwise couldn’t afford it.
“There were so many special people there that day, it is true that sometimes things are just meant to happen. I met some really great people. Everyone, front desk staff, veterinary staff, and families and pets–revive my faith in humanity. Thank you so much for everyone’s kindness and the ability to be a human.”