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Veterinary care extends beyond medical needs
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- People expect veterinarians to offer quality care to their pets, but they may be surprised to discover the depth of the doctors’ concern for animals and their owners.
Dr. Joey Burt is chief of community veterinary services with Mississippi State University’s Animal Health Center. Beginning when he was in private practice in Ohio, he has felt an emotional connection with pet owners when they lost pets.
“For many people, pets are members of the family, and losing one can be devastating,” he said. “Pet ownership involves more than the physical connection of daily care and health needs. There is an emotional bond.”
A Mississippi native and a graduate of MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Burt has offered special condolences to owners through memorials in honor of deceased pets. MSU’s Fund for CARE, which stands for Companion Animals Require Excellence, offers a unique way anyone can memorialize a pet.
“Veterinarians pursue careers in animal medicine because they love animals,” he said. “It hurts us to lose pets we have gotten to know and love.”
MSU created the fund in 1989 as a way to honor special pets and to help fill in the gaps between state appropriations and needs at the veterinary college.
“Undesignated donations allow us flexibility with purchases, many of which are unplanned expenses that were not or could not have been budgeted. Obviously in these economic times, flexibility is important,” Burt said.
Dr. Robert Filgo Jr., owner of All Creatures Animal Care Center in Madison, is an active supporter of MSU’s Fund for CARE.
“We submit donations to the college each month in memory of our patients and furry friends that have left us too soon,” Filgo said. “The memorials allow us to thank our clients for letting us take care of their ‘children’ over the years, and they acknowledge the importance of the human-animal bond.”
Filgo lets the college notify the clients of the memorials.
“We want our clients to know that we appreciate the trust they have placed in us by allowing us to take care of their pets, and our clients never cease to amaze me with notes of gratitude for the donations,” he said.
Filgo expressed confidence that the money will go to good use.
“The veterinary college may purchase equipment for the teaching hospital, train students in the latest diagnostic procedures, conduct clinical studies or provide continuing education for veterinarians,” he said. “This form of support allows us as practitioners to demonstrate to our clients the care and compassion we bring to our profession, as well as support our profession in the education of future caregivers.”
Anyone can make a tax-deductable contribution to the CARE fund. Donations can be directed to the MSU Foundation at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Health Center, P.O. Box 6100, Mississippi State, MS 39762-6100.
Contact: Dr. Joey Burt, (662) 325-3432