Dr Justin Nelson at Firehouse Belterra (pre-COVID) helping a pet from WAG Shelter.
Our charitable giving and community involvement reflect a deeply rooted commitment to lifelong wellness for animals that extends beyond the walls of our hospitals. When we launched Firehouse Animal Health Centers in 2012, our co-founders Dr Jed Rogers and Dr John Faught agreed that Firehouse would play a key role in Austin’s collective effort to elevate the well-being of our city’s entire pet population.
We began at our first hospital by partnering with three nonprofits. For the past eight years, we’ve grown our financial and volunteer support for local shelters and other animal welfare groups. Today, we have 5 Austin-area hospitals and proudly partner with 12 animal welfare nonprofits.
Ensuring that cats and dogs get healthy enough to be adopted into loving homes is a significant need. We primarily offer free medical care to shelter pets, covering the costs of anything the pet needs. For some, it’s as simple as a free post-adoption exam, vaccinations, or heartworm medications. For others, it’s a dental cleaning or a complicated surgery that improves the pet’s quality of life and keeps the pet with its owner for years to come. By the end of 2020, we’ll have donated $1M in free medical care to thousands of cats and dogs.
Pet shelters have expressed immense gratitude for the amount of time, energy, and care that goes into helping their pets.
“As pet healthcare professionals, we feel it’s our obligation to contribute to the health of our city’s entire pet population, not just the clients who walk through our doors,” says Dr Jed Rogers. “It’s about being a good neighbor.”
Firehouse’s charitable contributions aren’t limited to free medical care. Our hospitals and team give back in other ways:
• All five hospitals contribute cash donations to pet care organization awareness events, fundraisers, and emergency efforts after hurricanes when shelters need extra support.
• Firehouse has supported The Statesman’s Season for Caring Program for three years, donating $10,000 annually in free healthcare to sponsored families. We believe in the human-animal bond, and when families experience trauma, pets can be a critical source of support.
• Firehouse sponsors weekly “Wednesday Friendsday” segments on CBS Austin’s “We Are Austin” show to help promote pet adoptions in Austin, helping cats and dogs find their forever homes.
• Our team loves being out and about in the community to meet the people and pets of Austin. While this spring and summer looked different than we had hoped, we can’t wait to get back out there.
• We engage with students at Austin-area schools by providing hospital tours to budding veterinarians, as well as hosting students for class credit.
We love our community —and doing our part to help pets and people in need is at the heart of Firehouse.