SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Dakin Humane Society received $250,000 to help with the construction of a new Pet Health Center to operate out of the Springfield area during the summer.

The John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation has donated the funds to help with Pet Health Center start-up costs, equipment, supplies, and construction of the existing building in Springfield. The Springfield location has been partially used as an animal hospital for over 12 years.

In an Embark study with over 190,000 pet owners in all 50 states, Massachusetts is one of the top states for dog health.

Dakin’s Pet Health Center offers the following care treatments to both dogs and cats:

  • Veterinary medical care
  • Non-emergency services (annual physical/wellness exams, vaccinations, diagnostics, routine surgeries and dentals.)

These treatments are to help animals with discomfort or suffering due to either diseases or injuries.

“A generous donation such as this to Dakin is unprecedented and marks a shift in animal welfare that has been coming for years – a focus not only on animals within the shelter but meeting the needs of all pets so they can stay with the families that love them,” said Stacey Price, director of development and marketing. “What the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation has done and continues to do for the pets and people in our community signifies they understand this need is great and that one of the best ways to help pets is to also help their families, of which they are an integral part.  The impact of their generosity will be far-reaching and felt for decades, and we are grateful for their support.”

Public Medical and Education Director Dr. Jack Muth noted, “We are thankful for the grant from the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation to establish the Pet Health Center, which will create another avenue for Dakin to further support local pets. I am excited by our purpose to improve the health of dogs and cats by offering an additional option for timely veterinary care including for those who are under-resourced in the community. We will empower families by offering a spectrum of care to fit their pet’s needs.”

According to a news release from Dakine Humane Society, these are the veterinary care cuts across all walks of life:

  • 25% of Americans have experienced a barrier to vet care in the last two years
  • 30% cannot secure the required money in 30 days in the event of a pet emergency
  • 75% of people with pets can’t afford an unexpected vet bill over $400
  •  80% of people can pay off a $400+ vet bill over time

A pet’s chance of going to a shelter decreases when a pet’s family has more financial options to inherent to keep them at home.