Gratitude to Our Staff and Clients

We would like to share with you another example of how incredibly loving our amazing staff members and clients are. Cindy, who is Dr. Plankenhorn’s Exam Room Tech, brought us the idea of helping the pets of Asheville’s homeless people through the Project Connect 2010 event. Project Connect is an annual one day event that is held in conjunction with the VA Stand Down. The aim of Project Connect is to provide onsite barrier-free services to the homeless population of Asheville-Buncombe while facilitating community awareness and participation. Although Project connect had tried to help the pets of the homeless in past years, there had never been veterinary services available, so Animal Hospital of North Asheville decided to try and help.

Cindy organized the plan. First, using our Facebook page, she asked our wonderful clients to donate dog and cat food that could be distributed to the homeless at the event. Next she and Mary, who is in charge of our inventory, spent a great deal of time contacting our vendors to explain the project and ask for donations of medical supplies, vaccine, flea treatments and food. Since this was a new program for Project Connect, we had no real way to know how many pets or what kind would be presented, but we were advised us to be prepared for 35 pets, maybe a few would be cats, but mostly dogs.

Lots of food as well as other donations were brought in by our generous clients, and we were amazed at the generosity of several of our vendors. Liz Borkowski with Butler Schein brought wonderful gift bags containing various flea control products, food, bowls, leashes, brushes, and toys. John Ballard of Elanco sent Comfortis for treating the dogs for fleas. Chad Trent with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica donated the vaccine that would be needed for both dogs and cats. Hunter Smith with Merial provided Frontline. David Brinton w/Merritt Veterinary Supplies supplied canine and feline Hill’s foods. Animal Hospital of North Asheville would like to sincerely than these wonderful companies and their representatives who shared in our excitement at the opportunity to help these pets.

Cindy stayed tirelessly on the job organizing the products, and planning for the day. Once all the donations were in, she determined the products and equipment that would be needed from our hospital. Our staff members loaded the van on the evening of September 9th and then were at First Baptist Church before seven o’clock the next morning, unloading and setting up. Cindy, Jen, and Laurie, all techs at Animal Hospital of North Asheville, along with Dr. Dennis Golden, our Board Certified Internal Medicine Specialist, spent the morning helping these wonderful pets and their people. The support and unconditional love that pets provide is extremely important to all of us and in the absence of a home, if anything, it becomes more valuable. It was an honor to be able to help these loving pets.

We applaud all our clients for their generosity in donating to this cause. We whole heartedly thank Butler Schien, Elanco, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Merial, and Merritt Veterinary Supplies as their donations made this possible. Cindy, Jen, Laurie, and Dr. Golden you are very special people for volunteering your time to help these pets! Thank you, one and all!


This project was a wonderful gift to the community – thanks to all who made it possible. Being homeless doesn’t mean you don’t love your pets, but it does sometimes mean you can’t always meet the pets’ needs for care. How many pets did you see that day?

We helped about 30 pets. Because this was the first year that veterinary services were available, many homeless people had not brought their pet. They left their pets with friends because they knew they could not take them into the church building. Food and products were sent home when requested (as well as health questions answered). We anticipate that more pets will be brought along in the future. Project Connect had volunteers ready to care for the pets while their people went into the church. Due to the extraordinary generosity of our clients and vendors, there was some leftover pet food (many people were walking and could not carry a great deal). The food was donated to the Meal on Wheels pet food program and any left over vaccine was donated to Asheville Humane Society. Again, thank you to everyone who donated!

Wish I had known about this prior to the event. Kudos to all involved and especially to Cindy. Please send us, your clients, and email next time around prior to the event so we can all help out.(Maybe I missed it?)
Love this idea!

We got the word out via our Facebook page, but we didn’t send a mass e-mail out to our clients. Maybe we should next time!

What a wonderful contribution you have made to the homeless community in Asheville. I think all of us who love our dear dogs and cats see these unfortunate individuals on the streets with their beloved pets and wonder if there is some way to help. You found that way – congratulations. Please contact me next year if I can contribute in some way.

When you bless someone it always comes back to you tenfold.
Thanks for blessing all the homeless people and their beloved pets! You all are so special! Thanks to Cindy for getting the ball rolling!

Thanks as always and Double! Wish we had known about the event so that we could donate.

A very special thanks from –Sophie and Rasberry for helping their friends!