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Farley Foundation [2019]

By Fundraising

Farley Foundation [2019]

If you have pets, you already know the joy and love they bring to your life. Now science is confirming just how good they really are for you – both mentally and physically. Pets are apparently great oxytocin boosters!

Recent studies (here, here and here) have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners. They can increase opportunities to exercise, get outside, and socialize. Pets can help manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship.

However, there may come a time when some people face an awful truth. Their much-loved pet needs a critical procedure or treatment and they lack the means to pay for treatment.

This places the pet owner in a distressing predicament that has only two possible outcomes – neither of them good. The choice is stark – decline non-elective treatment, or possibly euthanize.

Not only is the health of a beloved pet at risk, so is the potential health of the owner.

Thankfully, there’s a third option.
When donating online, please leave us a note on the form to let us know where to direct your raffle entry.

What is the Farley Foundation?

The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) established the Farley Foundation – a registered charity – in 2002 because they (and we) believe there needs be a potential third option – to get financial help for those who need it. The goal is to help pet owners who aren’t able to afford necessary or emergency veterinary care for their beloved pets.

The funds distributed by the Farley Foundation are a direct result of OVMA-member veterinarians fundraising efforts, big-hearted donations from the public and sponsors. 

The Cabbagetown Pet Clinic has been actively involved with this growing initiative since 2012 and has raised thousands of dollars through bottle drives, garage and bake sales and raffles. This success could not have been accomplished without incredible support from Cabbagetown residents, veterinary partners and the local business community. In turn, these civic-minded Cabbagetown citizens and businesses have helped support many local pet lovers in need.

Who is Farley ?

The Farley Foundation name pays homage to one of Canada’s most renowned pets – Farley, the Old English sheep dog – from Lynn Johnston’s internationally acclaimed comic strip “For Better or For Worse”. Her comic strip chronicles the life of the Patterson family, and has appeared in more than 2,000 newspapers worldwide.

In 2001, Lynn Johnston generously allowed one of her most beloved characters – Farley – to be the face of the Foundation to help promote it’s philanthropic efforts. Famously, the treasured Farley character dies after saving a family member who had fallen into a raging river.

Farley’s image helps to promote awareness of the Foundation, making it possible for thousands of low-income pet owners to continue the relationship with their pets who mean the world to them.

Who we help.

The Farley Foundation assists those who are struggling financially to pay for veterinary care for their pets. Pet owners who cannot afford medical care for their sick or injured pet are encouraged to talk with their veterinarian about the availability of Farley Foundation funding, if they fall into one of the categories below:

  • Seniors receiving the Federal Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
  • Disabled individuals receiving the Ontario Disability Support Payment (ODSP) or the Canada Pension Plan Disability Payment (CPP Disability).
  • Individuals receiving assistance through the Ontario Works Program.
  • Persons with an annual income of less than $25,000.
  • Supportive housing for seniors, retirement homes or long-term care facilities with live-in pets.
  • Women at risk of abuse who are entering a registered Ontario women’s shelter and who are participating in OVMA’s SafePet Program.

If the above requirements are met, funding is available to subsidize the treatment of any animal whose primary purpose is companionship, without restriction on the species of animal. If the pet owner doesn’t meet these criteria, they’re not eligible to receive Farley funding.

What’s covered… and what’s not.

The Farley Foundation provides funding for non-elective procedures or treatments such as surgery (including some dental surgery), diagnostics and hospitalization.

It is important to understand that there are a couple caveats associated with this financial assistance program.

The Farley Foundation does not deal directly with pet owners. Pet owners interested in the program are required apply for assistance through their regular veterinary clinic. Pet owners must have a pre-existing veterinary-client-patient relationship with the practice from which they’re seeking funding. Status updates on the application are also handled through their clinic.

Ineligible treatments include:

  • Routine physical examinations and vaccinations.
  • Spays and Neuters. (unless it is deemed essential to the continued health of the animal)
  • General Prophylactic Dental Care.
  • Food and Medications.

To date, the Farley Foundation has disbursed more than $4 million to assist nearly 10,000 pet owners in need. Donations in excess of $25.00 can be claimed as a charitable deduction.

When you donate to the Farley Foundation, you can change two lives: the life of a real pet and the life of their owner. You’re helping to preserve and protect a bond of love and devotion, and giving hope to those who depend the most on their pets for love and companionship.

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DCM and Grain-Free Diets for Dogs

By Pet Health

What you need to know about grain-free diets and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

It’s natural to get concerned anytime that we see a news headline implicating a negative relationship between our pet’s health and wellbeing and their diet.

At Cabbagetown Pet Clinic, we have been fielding many calls about a recent report released by the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) in the United States (dog food manufacturers are NOT regulated in Canada). This study was initiated after the FDA received 515 reports of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs between Jan. 1, 2014 and April 30, 2019 which appeared to link dog breeds not typically susceptible to DCM genetically, and diets predominately labelled and marketed as “grain free”.

The report details FDA’s ongoing investigation into a “potential connection between certain diets and cases of canine heart disease”. We feel its important try and set the record straight and to help reduce some of the anxiety surrounding its recent findings.

You can read the full report here:

https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/news-events/fda-investigation-potential-link-between-certain-diets-and-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy

At this time, there is no verifiable evidence that these ingredients are a primary cause of DCM, but dog lovers should be aware of this alert and it’s ongoing investigation.

Q&A for DCM and Grain-free Dog Food.

What is Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) ?

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a serious disease affecting the heart.

Canine DCM occurs when the muscle wall of a dog’s heart thins, thereby weakening it and making it more difficult to pump blood. Congestive heart failure, irregular heartbeat and sudden death can result.

What Causes DCM ?

There a many factors that can lead to the development of canine DCM. Genetics appear to play a central role in the predisposition some dog breeds (Dobermans and Boxers have had specific genetic mutations identified) which makes them more susceptible to develop DCM.

One factor of concern with respect to nutrition, which is the focus of this report, is a deficiency of some amino acids (namely taurine and carnitine) or other nutritional components in the diet which may be causing an increase in cases of DCM in dog breeds not known to have genetic predisposition.

The FDA has not come to a definitive conclusion with respect to why “grain-free” dog food diets are suspect. The only common relationship that investigators at the FDA have observed is “grain-free” diets that use peas, lentils and other legumes and/or potatoes listed as one of the main ingredients appear to be associated with an increased incidence of canine DCM. There are currently many theories, but no conclusive answers clarifying how these diets can intensify this condition.  

How do I know if my dog has DCM ?

The indicators of DCM differ depending on the breed of dog and at what stage the disease has progressed.

Symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • pale gums
  • increased heart rate
  • coughing
  • difficulty breathing
  • periods of weakness
  • fainting
  • abdominal distension

Abnormal respiratory signs are most common initial complaint.

What should I do if my dog eats a grain-free, legume-based or other implicated diets ?

As a general rule of thumb, the best thing you can do for your dog’s dietary health is to consult your veterinarian. Together you can weigh the pros and cons of your dog’s diet and, if necessary, monitor your dog for signs of DCM. A discussion with your veterinarian will result in a tailored recommendation that reflects your dog’s needs and medical history.

To be clear, the FDA is not advising dietary changes based solely on the information gathered to date.

How did the FDA compile the list of brands ?

Of the dog food brands on the FDA’s list, 91% of the products were labeled grain-free and did not contain corn, soy, wheat, rice, barley or other grains, while 93% contained peas, lentils, chickpeas and beans, or potatoes. The common thread appears to be legumes, pulses (seeds of legumes), and/or potatoes as main ingredients in the food.

The FDA does not believe these cases can be explained simply by whether or not they contain grains, or by brand or manufacturer. Brands cited by the FDA most frequently (as of April 30, 2019) that had at least ten reports include: 

Currently, no therapeutic diets manufactured by Hills, Purina or Royal Canin have been associated with cases of diet-associated DCM.

Has the FDA recalled any of these brands ?

No. It is important to note that the FDA has not recalled any of the brands mentioned above. The potential connection between these foods and canine DCM has not been definitively confirmed, and there’s not enough conclusive data indicating that the aforementioned brands need to be removed from the market.

What’s Next ?

If your dog is showing possible signs of DCM, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. If the indicators are severe enough and your veterinarian is not available, obtain emergency veterinary care.

To conclude, the FDA is continuing to investigate and gather more information in an effort to identify whether there is a specific dietary link to development of DCM and will provide updates to the public as information develops.

Meet the Team

Professional, attentive and dedicated to you pet.

Veterinary Services

Here to help your pet live a longer, happier and healthier life.

Location and Hours

Modern and efficient in cozy, friendly environment.