Agreement in Idaho on non-profit, subsidized care

The Idaho Veterinary Medical Association (IVMA) and Idaho Humane Society (IHS) announced an agreement regarding the latter’s ongoing role in providing veterinary care as a charitable organization in the community. Under the terms of the agreement, the IHS, based in Boise, will begin means-testing their clientele in an effort to direct their delivery of veterinary medical services to lower-income clients—those most in need of charitable care.

This agreement will have no effect on shelter animal care, pet adoptions, or the spaying and neutering services currently provided to the general public by the IHS. The delivery of veterinary medical and surgical services, however, will be limited to those who qualify via means-testing. The agreement, effective May, was reached after nearly two years of discussions and negotiations involving local leaders and state legislators and heads-off potential legislative action.

“We are extremely pleased we have been able to come to an agreement with the IHS of Boise,” said IVMA Board Chairman, Dr. Robert Pierce. In explaining the agreement to his 600-plus statewide membership of veterinarians, Dr. Pierce said the state desperately needs non-profit animal groups to stay focused on helping low-income families, as mandated by their charity charters, rather than duplicating services for the public at large.

“Non-profit animal groups are allowed very generous tax advantages and for excellent reasons: they spay and neuter pets for the general public, take care of strays and shelter animals, and help those lower-income families who cannot easily afford veterinary care,” said Pierce. “We not only applaud their efforts, but we desperately need them to continue this mission. This agreement sets an important framework and precedent for the future all across our state.”

The agreement also calls on IHS to encourage adopters of animals to establish a permanent relationship with a non-IHS employed veterinarian. In addition, the IHS will continue its practice of including a listing of local veterinarians in new pet adoption packets.

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