Petsecure Pet Heath Insurance
| Aug 21, 2014
The Canadian Veterinary Medicine Association (CVMA) recognizes individuals and groups in the veterinary industry each year for their outstanding contributions to pet medicine.
Petsecure sponsors the Small Animal Practitioner Award, which recognizes a veterinarian whose work has made a significant contribution to the advancement of small animal medicine, surgery or the management of a small animal practice.
This year's recipient, Dr. Elizabeth O'Brien
(pictured above with Petsecure's Veterinary Advisory Board Chair Dr. Berney Pukay
in a photo from canadianveterinarians.net
), received a $1,000 cash award and a plaque. Petsecure:
What does this award mean to you?
Dr. O'Brien: It means the world to me. I feel completely humbled and overwhelmed by the honour. I so admire the veterinarians that are past recipients; it's unbelievable that I am now a recipient as well.
P: How do you feel about getting recognized by your industry?
O: I love this profession from the bottom of my heart. I love working with the animals and find it very rewarding, but it's the people in this industry that have made nearly 30 years of practice an incredible journey. So to be by recognized by my peers and the industry for the work that I love to do is truly amazing. Receiving the letter from CVMA and then the award at the ceremony are both experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life.
P: What types of interesting initiatives or projects have you taken on this past year?
O: The Cat Healthy Initiative has been a priority and will continue to be a priority. Working with five other feline specialists, we created the Feline Preventive Healthcare Protocols, the Simplified Feline Preventive Protocols and have been busy lecturing from coast to coast to educate veterinary teams about Preventive Healthcare in Cats and Feline Medicine.
On Oct. 26, we'll be hosting the first Cat Healthy Symposium and all five of us will be speaking. The Cat Healthy Initiative will be creating more tools and resources for the veterinary teams and we'll be expanding the initiative and creating resources for the animal shelters and humane societies, so that when cats are adopted, the new cat parent will be educated about the needs of their new family cat.
The support from Hill’s, IDEXX, Merial, Bayer and Petsecure -- who are the sponsors/partners of Cat Healthy -- has allowed us to develop these great resources and I would like to recognize their contribution as well.
On the home front, my clinics are involved in TNR programs locally. We provide education and veterinary care to numerous animal welfare and cat rescue groups in Hamilton. We also run a street cat/street kid program (Pets Rock) with the Living Rock in Hamilton and provide veterinary care for some of the young people who are relying on the feline/human bond to pull them through a tough time. P: How will the Cat Healthy initiative benefit cat owners?
I also take any opportunity that I can, whether that is a talk at a library, an interview with the press, a tweet, coffee with a politician, a visit to our local shelter, write a blog and the list goes on in order to educate people about the importance of preventive healthcare, identification and to increase awareness of the feline overpopulation crisis. This fall our clinic is co-hosting a gallery of photos of “Hamilton’s Other Cats” with a local photographer in order to promote the cats and as a fundraiser for local rescue work.
The Cat Healthy initiative's vision is to increase the value of owned, homeless and feral cats in communities across Canada. The mission is to decrease feline euthanasia rates, increase return-to-owner rates and to make sure every cat in Canada has a home -- whether it's with an educated colony TNR caregiver or a forever home where the cat parent truly understands the needs of their cats.
How will it benefit cat owners? Their cats will live longer healthier lives and by understanding their cats, they will develop a much stronger and more rewarding relationship. P: What is your opinion on pet health insurance? Why should people get the right insurance for their pets?
O: When people have pet insurance, it makes life so much easier for me as a clinician to provide the ideal medical care for the cat, as finances are no longer a part of the equation.
Being covered with insurance is part of preventive healthcare – preparation for an emergency. The key is that it is that it needs to be a good policy with a good company. In the Cat Healthy Preventive Healthcare Protocols, we include a pet insurance section with a list of points that should be considered when choosing a pet insurance policy. Pet insurance is a must for a responsible cat owner, unless they can cover the cost of an emergency -- which is less than 20 percent of the population.