Dear veterinary professional,
Every year, the Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) adopts over 4,000 pets to people seeking a new member of their family. Most of these individuals do not have a relationship with veterinary clinics and do not know about the importance of prevention and annual check-ups for their pets.
When illness or emergency strikes, many adopters don’t know what to do. We believe that it is critical for pet owners to establish an early and positive relationship with Manitoba’s Veterinary professionals.
The “Welcome Home” program allows for exactly that. It is based on a model currently being used in the City of Portland. Under this program new pet owners adopting from the WHS will be able to visit a veterinary clinic and develop an immediate relationship with that clinic to make sure ongoing care and concerns are being addressed.
If you wish to participate in this program, all we ask is to agree to provide 1 (one) free consult to the new adopter if they visit your clinic within the first 4 weeks after adopting the pet. The “free” consultation will not cover any procedure or additional diagnostics or treatment that may be required after the physical exam of the pet. It only needs to cover the one-time consult fee.
The process is very simple:
- When an animal is adopted, the WHS Adoption Counselor will ask if the person already has a veterinarian of choice for the future care of their new pet. If they don’t, the WHS will offer the individual/family adopting the pet to fax/send the medical file to a veterinary clinic participating in the “Welcome Home” program.
- Every adopter who accepts will be given a list of participating clinics for them to choose from. The participating clinics will be presented on a map form so people know where they are located. Under no circumstance the WHS staff will tell adopters to choose one participating clinic over another.
- Once the adopter selects the veterinary clinic, WHS will fax/email the medical file of the pet, together with the contact information of the adopter (name, address, phone number, email if available)
- The veterinary clinic will contact the adopter within 2 (two) weeks of receiving the information to set up the initial free consultation/visit. Please note we ask your clinic to contact the adopter to make sure the appointment is made.
How you can join this exciting new initiative:
Simply fill out the participation form and fax it to (204) 663-9401; or print, scan and e-mail it to: [email protected] OR submit the online participation form.
You will receive a letter and an email confirming your participation.
Commonly asked questions:
Why are you doing this?
We have become increasingly aware that adopters have not established a relationship with a veterinary professional. As an animal welfare agency, we want pets to access preventative care, and when we heard about the model used in Portland we thought we could also implement it in Winnipeg.
Can I withdraw from this program at any time?
Yes. You need to simply notify us in writing that you no longer wish to participate. The letter should be addressed to: Adoptions Manager, 45 Hurst Way, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 0R3
Are you going to explain to adopters that “free” is just the consult?
Yes. We will be very clear and we will provide a handout about the program and the fact that they will receive a call to schedule an appointment in the next 4 weeks after the adoption. After the 4 weeks, this opportunity for a free consultation expires.
Do I owe anything to the WHS for the referral?
No. We are happy to establish the first contact and make sure pets receive the preventative care they deserve. The WHS expects that every referral will be contacted within 4 weeks of the adoption, that is all.
It is important to note that if adopters do not hear from their chosen clinic, we reserve the right to rescind the agreement and stop sending referrals to that clinic.
What if the pet requires extensive medical procedures/care?
Pet owners have the option to do these procedures, or to surrender the animal back to the WHS.
Any other questions or concerns? Please call our Adoptions Manager at (204) 982-3552 or [email protected]