The New England Foundation for Animals, Inc. was established in 1998 by Brad Burrington, D.V.M. and Mr. Ted Keith. Initially, they intended to solve nearly all of the wrongs that occurred to pets in our society. The original business plan called for the establishment of a fee-for-service emergency hospital in the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire. The goal was to create a win-win arrangement whereby the pet owners of that region would receive superior emergency care (there was no emergency hospital at the time) and the proceeds from the new hospital would, eventually, be used to help stomp out pet problems.
Like many business plans, this one morphed over time. The region’s veterinarians were uncomfortable with the nonprofit emergency care concept, and stomping out all woes that society inflicts on pets seemed overly ambitious. In the end, a concern that pets who needed critical care might not receive that care solely due to a lack of funds, motivated the founders to focus on that niche. A memorial fund was created to raise money, and a distribution system was created to target the money to pets whose owner’s had suffered a financial set back.
Over the last decade, The Bonnie and Button’s fund has donated over $30,000 to pay for much needed veterinary care for critically ill pets whose owners have suffered a financial setback. In addition, during the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, NEFAH, in partnership with the Veremedy Pet Hospital, provided $9,000 worth of additional financial support to the pets whose owners suffered terrible loss to that devastating event.
With one fund, and a couple of veterinary hospitals, NEFAH has been able to provide much needed relief to pets in the Upper Valley. Going forward, NEFAH plans to scale the concept by increasing the number of funds, and expanding the geographical reach of our influence for good.
NEFAH hopes to create additional strategic partnerships that will allow for additional win-win-win opportunities to raise money to pay for underfunded pet care needs. NEFAH is exploring partnerships that can raise money through the sale of pet-related art work. NEFAH is working with financial planners to provide estates with an option to target bequests toward pet health care. Stay tuned!