2022 End of Year Recap
Stand For Animals Founder and Executive director reflects on the hardships and accomplishments of 2022.
- 3 mins.
- Posted by Stand For Animals Staff
With a receding pandemic, economic downturn and political uncertainty across the globe, 2022 was another roller coaster year. But with the ground seemingly shifting beneath us daily, what remained steadfast was our commitment to serve you with the highest quality, affordable spay-neuter and veterinary care.
Here are highlights from the past year:
Our greatest challenge continues to be the national shortage of veterinarians. There simply aren’t enough practitioners to meet the demand for services. Corporate buyouts of more than 80% of the private practices in the Charlotte region have also dramatically curtailed our ability to recruit new veterinarians. Although offering very competitive compensation, we cannot match $50,000 signing bonuses and other incentives being offered by for-profit, corporate competitors. To overcome this obstacle, we began building relationships with veterinary schools to create a long-term pipeline for recruiting newly-minted veterinarians.
Despite uncertainties in the region and beyond, we were not complacent about building our practice infrastructure to meet the needs of clients and patients.
At the 32nd Street clinic in Charlotte, we completed a six-month long renovation in January that created six new exam rooms, a dedicated bereavement room, new pharmacy and doctors’ offices. The 3,200-sq. ft. warehouse formerly used for storage became administrative space including additional staff offices, a new conference room and larger break room. In October, we dedicated the building to Olivia and Steven Cohen in honor of their long-term commitment to our organization.
Also in January, the Lake Norman clinic moved into its new, bigger home in a converted skating rink (we kept the mirrored disco ball!) to accommodate expansion into a full-service veterinary practice. The building features a large lobby space to better accommodate our clients, five exam rooms and a bereavement suite, as well as dedicated areas for surgeries, dental treatment and x-rays.
Our Medical Assistance Fund (MAF) distributed $64,000 in subsidies for veterinary care and spay neuter services for 1,770+ pet patients. While we don’t officially “rescue” animals, our work—supported by these funds—saves animal lives by making it possible for staff to say “yes” whenever a pet needs treatment that is beyond the owner’s financial reach. The MAF epitomizes how we are making a difference.
In October, we announced the creation of the Artemis Cares Fund, that will underwrite the cost of spaying/neutering and heartworm testing of 1,000 pit bulls annually for the next five years. Made possible by the generosity of local philanthropist Cindy Levine, this exciting new initiative is named for Artemis, an abused and traumatized pit bull that was languishing in a shelter until Mandy Levine, Cindy’s daughter, stepped in to foster her. The fund seeks to alleviate the suffering of pit bulls and change public misperceptions about the breed.
Finally, our board recently approved a new policy mandating that beginning in 2023, we will care only for dogs or cats that are fixed. Consistent with our mission, this courageous decision is centered on spay/neuter as a means to eliminate unnecessary euthanasia and protect the health and wellbeing of area animals and their owners. (There are some exceptions to the new rule, and we will work with anyone whose pet is not fixed and would like to continue using our practice.)
Who knows what 2023 will bring? Regardless, Stand For Animals will remain a dedicated provider of high quality, affordable vet care; non-profit innovator; and outspoken champion for animal welfare in this region. On behalf of our 50+ staff members, thank you for being our client and supporting us in this important work. We could not do this without you.
Cary Bernstein, Founder and Executive Director