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Archive for the ‘ShelterCare Pet Insurance’ Category

The headlines across the world are screaming “Recession” and, no matter who is elected President next week, the financial outlook looks rocky. With house foreclosures on the rise and many people forced to relocate and/or reduce their household expenditure, the needs of our four-legged friends are likely to fall in terms of priority. Consequently now is the time to check your own organization’s strategy for weathering the storm:-

Intakes – As families go through difficult times, their ability to care for their pets is undermined. This may result in increased intake numbers. Is your organization ready for more intakes? If you are at capacity now is the time to work together with other organizations in your vicinity to ensure that all the animals requiring a safe haven are given one. The PetPoint Animal Transfer module is the fastest and easiest way to complete a transfer, make sure that all your staff and volunteers are up to speed on this module. Go to www.petpoint.com for more information.

Microchipping becomes even more important during tough economic times. Multiple intakes of the same animal will cost your organization time and money. Microchipping and registering each animal with 24PetWatch ensures that animals can be quickly identified and re-united with their family. In the event that the family is not willing to take the animal back, the records can quickly and simply be amended to reflect the animal’s new status.

Donors – As belts tighten, the public’s willingness to give is reduced. Check that your organization’s donor records are up to date and accurate. E-mail addresses are crucial as indicated in the Pethealth Post issue March 15th 2007. Each e-mail address is valued at $1.78 per advertising campaign and online contributions are generally 25% higher than offline contributions.

With downward pressure on donations, corporate partner relationships become that much more important. As James Bias, President of the Texas SPCA, says collecting email addresses from adopters “will energize your corporate partnerships and bring your adopters more into the fold of your shelter electronically.”

With consumer spending for the holiday season likely to fall – start holiday season promotional campaigns early. Capture consumers’ attention with “Gifts that Give” a trend that has increased dramatically over the past couple of years. Make purchasing quick and easy – offer an online shopping cart if possible.

Review your Purchasing Profile – The Staples partner program offered to PetPoint users provides some of the lowest cost purchasing opportunities available and it’s not just for office supplies! Refresh your memory about all the great deals available through this partnership and make sure that all staff and volunteers are aware of these money saving options.

If there are everyday items that are not available through the Staples program, let us know we’d love to have the opportunity to provide PetPoint users with additional money saving opportunities.

Review your Health Records – All animal welfare organizations aim to keep their veterinary bills to the minimum and returns due to ill health to zero, review your recent records to check that your health protocols are working efficiently. Go to www.sheltermedicine.org for more advice.

The ShelterCare Gift of insurance continues to be the cornerstone of post adoption health protocol for many in the animal welfare sector. In these trying times it is particularly important to talk to all adopters about the importance of extending the insurance, while most will be able to cover the monthly premium an unexpected accident or illness which requires hundreds or thousands of dollars in veterinary bills may be beyond the financial capacity of many. Adopters who extend their insurance will not have to return their new family member in the event of an accident or illness.

Pethealth has recently offered animal welfare organizations the opportunity to offer a new dog ear cleaning product through their retail operations. Working on the “Prevention is better than Cure” basis, look at your own organization to see whether you feel that this product might be worth a try.

Deals Deals Deals – Price cuts, discounts and sales we are going to see them all but they won’t last forever, take advantage of low prices while you can but only buy what you know your organization needs.

If your organization has had a building project in the works with funding pre-allocated now may be the time to look at it again and maybe even bring it forward on the agenda, prices for materials and building projects are likely to be good.

Should you have any additional money saving suggestions for the animal welfare world, share them at Community.PetPoint.com today.

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The battle to provide lost or unwanted cats and dogs with a safe haven until they can be placed into new and loving homes is one which you fight every day. It is unfortunate that sometimes even after a successful adoption there is still the chance that a new pet may be returned. While there is little that we can do to avoid those returns due to incompatibility or a change of mind we have provided you with a $7,500,000 weapon to help eradicate returns due to the health of the animal – the ShelterCare gift.

The ShelterCare gift is the most widely used gift of pet insurance in the world offering animal welfare organizations the opportunity to transfer the risk of post-adoption veterinary costs to ShelterCare. The success of this gift with the animal welfare community and new adopters is clearly highlighted by the fact that ShelterCare gift paid claims now total more than $7,500,000. Many thousands of new pet parents have the ShelterCare gift to thank for the fact that they could afford to pay for the veterinary treatment required by their newly adopted family member within the 30-day post-adoption period.

On June 1st this year we enhanced the ShelterCare gift by increasing the coverage amount to $750 PLUS we added two new “zero-cost” options for adopters a) the opportunity to extend their 30-day gift of insurance to 45-days and b) the opportunity to include renter’s insurance. These changes to the gift have been well received by adopters resulting in a 31% pick up in inbound call volume to our ShelterCare team. This increase should come as great news for both the animal welfare community and those newly adopted animals as it gives us the opportunity to discuss the benefits of pet insurance with more new adopters. As you are aware, people who have insured their pets with ShelterCare for life will not need to return their pet to you due to the cost of their adopted pet’s health care.

As we settle into an environment in which the majority of people are paying more attention to where their dollars are going it is more important than ever to talk to your adopters about pet insurance – monthly pet insurance is an affordable cost for most but it is a rare pet parent who can afford thousands of dollars to cover their pet’s unexpected health costs!! Give us the opportunity to help to keep your returns low – use the ShelterCare gift daily and encourage all of your adopters to call us to take advantage of our new offers.

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For those of you who don’t already provide the ShelterCare gift of Insurance to your new adopters, now is the time to reconsider. This 30-day gift of insurance, which has already been given to over 1.75 million new adopters, and through which over $7.2 million in claims has been paid out, has now been improved!

Starting on June 1st 2008 the ShelterCare Gift of insurance was enhanced to offer a number of different options for your new adopters:

1. New adopters may continue to choose to take the existing 30-day gift of insurance which has been improved to offer – increased coverage up to $750 plus an extension to the number of covered conditions, and now includes heartworm!

OR

2. New adopters may call 1-866-375-7387 within 72 hours of adoption to extend their 30-day gift to 45 days.

OR

3. Adopters who are in rental accommodations may call 1-866-375-7387 within 72 hours of adoption to add third party property damage coverage to their ShelterCare 30-day gift. This additional coverage will pay the costs of physical damages up to $500 by newly adopted pets to the interior of the new adopter’s rental unit – a unique feature that we believe will add value during this period of uncertainty in the property market.

OR

4. Adopters who choose to upgrade their ShelterCare Gift insurance policy within 10 days of adoption will receive an $8.95 credit towards any one of the annual ShelterCare pet insurance programs.

Shelters and rescue groups that have started promoting the new and enhanced ShelterCare gift have already indicated that their adopters appreciate the changes and we have received hundreds of calls to take advantage of the new options available to adopters. Help us to help your adopters by telling them about the options available to them by calling 1-866-375-7387 within 72 hours of adoption.

PetPoint users please make sure that you go through the “New” ShelterCare Gift Checklist as this is of critical importance in making sure that your new adopters understand the true value of the ShelterCare gift. We are here to provide financial support to the adopters of animals from your facility – work with us to ensure that your animals have a future – tell your adopters about the ShelterCare gift of insurance and how important it is to prepare today for what the future will bring.

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Animal vaccination is a topic that affects all of those who care for animals including both those in the animal welfare sector and those in the veterinary community. However, as some of you may know, the ShelterCare requirement with regards to the vaccination of insured cats and dogs is open-ended, reading only that “As a condition of insurance the Insured’s pet must receive an annual physical exam and all licensed vaccines as recommended by the Insured’s veterinarian.” The reason for the open ended nature of this requirement is that, despite extensive debate on the subject, there remains no accepted protocol within either the animal welfare community or within the veterinary sector for the vaccination of cats and dogs.

Much of the discussion about vaccination will take place between the new adopter and their chosen veterinarian once the animals have left the care of your organization. However, a vaccination protocol is something that many organizations in the animal welfare community consider implementing in order to avoid outbreaks of contagious and deadly diseases within their organization. In our recent PetPoint Journals #17 and 18 it was noted that approximately 45-55% of all adopted dogs are vaccinated while they are in the care of the animal welfare community. The percentage of adopted cats that are vaccinated is higher, approximately 55-65%, perhaps reflecting the desire to contain outbreaks of Upper Respiratory Infections in cats. Approximately 80% of vaccinations given by animal welfare personnel are administered within 24 hours of intake, indicating pro-active protection measures being taken to prevent the introduction of disease into the facility.

Attempts by veterinarians to create a “one-size-fits-all” protocol for the vaccination of cats and dogs have been consistently thwarted by the complicated and ever changing set of considerations that must be assessed. As the amount of historical data builds up, veterinarians have access to an increasing knowledge base concerning the immune response of cats and dogs to vaccination (both positive and adverse effects). In addition, each year additional research is carried out to understand the nature of infectious diseases and improved veterinary technology is allowing domestic animals to live longer lives. Added to this is the fact that the prevalence of various diseases changes based upon location and the administration of vaccines to different species and breeds has been shown to have differing effects.

In the face of this abundance of information, some of it static and some of it changing, and after years of research, the AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents (“COBTA”) concluded that inadequate data exists to scientifically determine a single, “one-size-fits-all” protocol for vaccination or revaccination of dogs and cats.

The AVMA recommendation for individual veterinarians is to create a core vaccine program for the majority of animals in their practice. Core vaccines include those that protect against diseases caused by agents that are highly infectious, virulent, and widely distributed and for which highly effective vaccines exist and may be required by law. Veterinarians may choose to administer noncore vaccines to a minority of animals who are at special risk due to lifestyle, breed or other individual circumstances. Non-core vaccines are for diseases that represent a less-severe threat and/or for which the vaccine benefit-risk ratio is too low for general use.

Vaccination has consistently proven itself to be a life-saving tool in the day-to-day health management of domestic animals. We encourage you to advise new adopters that this is something they will need to discuss with their veterinarian to ensure that their new family member gets the protection it needs. The ShelterCare Gift will cover adopters against costs associated with the most common contagious diseases frequently found in newly adopted animals, thereafter ShelterCare offers QuickCare Optimum and QuickCare Complete to help cover the cost associated with providing all required vaccinations.

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Pethealth Inc. today announced the launch of the PetPoint Lite™ animal management system designed specifically for the needs of Animal Rescue Organizations. PetPoint Lite will be available free of charge to these organizations across the U.S. and Canada, in early June.

PetPoint Lite is a streamlined version of PetPoint®, the most advanced web-based animal management application used by animal welfare organizations today.

Pethealth created PetPoint in 2005 in response to the expressed need of animal welfare organizations for an efficient and intuitive application to run their day-to-day operations. Since 2005, many new modules, reports and applications have been added to support the growing needs of large animal welfare organizations, many of which are over and above the more limited needs of smaller organizations and animal rescue organizations in particular. Pethealths’ desire to offer smaller organizations and animal rescue organizations a similar hosted application, through which these organizations can reduce, or eliminate completely, their IT and IT-related infrastructure costs has lead to the development of PetPoint Lite.

“The additional modules and reports we had added to PetPoint since its introduction in 2005 led to a need for us to develop a scaled-down version for smaller organizations and rescue groups,” said Steve Zeidman, Chief Technology Officer of Pethealth Inc. “Animal rescue organizations have fewer animals in their care and generally have less complex requirements than larger animal welfare organizations and therefore we believe this version will be more suitable to their needs.”

PetPoint Lite allows the full benefit of an online animal welfare management system, as well as the operational advantages designed specifically for animal rescue, including:

  • the management of medical data
  • automatic registration of microchips with the 24PetWatch system
  • registration and intake of animals
  • transfer module allows for seamless migration of pet data between PetPoint organizations
  • automatic uploads of information about adoptable pets to national pet adoption websites, giving immediate access to millions of potential pet adopters
  • online search tool allows organizations to add real-time search functionality to their web sites

To date, PetPoint has been licensed by more than 900 animal welfare organizations, including animal control agencies, humane societies, SPCAs and rescue groups in both the U.S. and Canada. Pethealth estimates that approximately 4 in 10 animal adoptions in the U.S. are now managed through the PetPoint platform. In 2007, animal welfare organizations running the PetPoint application accounted for over 1.1 million animal intakes and over 375,000 adoptions

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North America’s #1 Pet Insurance Program for Adopted Dogs and Cats to Offer Four New Enhancements

Pethealth, owner of ShelterCare® Pet Insurance Program for newly adopted pets, is pleased to announce it has added four new enhancements to its industry-leading pet insurance program designed for those pet parents who choose to adopt their new dog or cat.

The ShelterCare Pet Insurance Program was first introduced in 2002. More than 1.8-million dogs and cats have been enrolled in the program to date. The program features a 30-day pre-paid gift program provided by animal welfare organizations to those adopting dogs and cats from their facilities. Over $7-million in claims has been paid out under the first 30 days of coverage alone.

Expanded Coverage
Coverage under the program has been expanded significantly to include all accidents, eye and ear illnesses, flea allergy related dermatitis, heartworm disease and tick borne diseases. Previously, the coverage had been limited to 11 specific perils.
“Extending the coverage available under the ShelterCare gift program to include all accidents and these additional illness coverages has been made in response to our shelter partners’ desire to provide greater value added to those pet parents who choose to adopt their dogs and cats,” said Mark Warren, President and CEO, Pethealth Inc.

Extended Coverage Period
The second announced change is that adopters can now extend the pre-paid gift period from 30 to 45 days by making a simple phone call to the ShelterCare call centre between 9.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. (EST) Tuesdays through Saturdays.
“Extending the gift period from 30-45 days is an additional change desired by our partners in the shelter community that we have been happy to make based on the generosity they have exhibited,” added Warren.

Increased Coverage Limit
The coverage limit per event under the gift program has now been increased from $500 to $750. A corresponding increase in the deductible from $50 to $75 has also been made.
“Since 2002, veterinary fees have increased in line with or ahead of inflation rates in general,” said John Warden, Vice President. “As a result, it seems sensible for us to increase the dollar limit per event under the ShelterCare program during the gift period to $750.”

ShelterCare for Renters
Pethealth also announced that pet parents living in rental accommodation can choose to add a renters’ endorsement to their 30 day gift of ShelterCare by calling the ShelterCare call centre. This endorsement will cover any damage the newly adopted pet causes to the pet parents’ rental unit.

“Our increasingly strong relationship with the animal welfare community has made us cognisant of a couple of significant trends,” said Warren. First, organizations have had difficulty attracting potential adopters who live in rental accommodation due to concerns about the ability to obtain landlord permission for the pet. Secondly, with the current crisis in the housing market, we are concerned that pet owners who currently own their own homes may soon become renters and we want to make sure that our friends in the animal welfare community are not suddenly inundated with dogs and cats who are unable to relocate with their pet parents,” added Warren. “Given our success to date in promoting pet health insurance to those that adopt dogs and cats, adding coverage for renters made good sense.”

Animal welfare organizations that wish to inform their community of this new renters’ endorsement may do so by using the prepared release – click here to access release http://www.pethealthinc.com/pr_15_may_08.htm

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There are few products that have the ability to improve the lives of all those who use them – the ShelterCare Gift Program is one such product. As we pass the $6 million mark for claims paid during the 30-day Gift period, we feel that the ShelterCare Gift Program has indeed “Come of Age”.

The ShelterCare Gift was developed in 2001 as a method of providing new adopters and animal welfare organizations with a financial and emotional cushion alleviating the cost and fear of post adoption health issues. The ShelterCare Gift has now been given to over 1,372,000 new adopters, enabling them to take their new pet home secure in the knowledge that they have the financial means to provide their new family member with the veterinary treatment that it may need.

 

“It has added great value to our adoption package and assisted our adopters with the medical expense they may incur post adoption..”

-Angie Wood
Assistant Executive Director Naperville Area Humane Society,IL

[click here to read the full testimonial]

 

The ShelterCare Gift was structured to cover the most common illnesses and accidents that were known to occur within the first 30 days post-adoption. It is a reflection of the accuracy of the policy structure that ShelterCare has now paid out over $6,000,000 in claims within the 30-day gift period.

 

“One of the kittens we adopted out this spring unfortunately developed URI post adoption…The good news was that ShelterCare paid … and the kitty pulled through. The gift of insurance we provided helped turn this situation into a happy story.”

-Jamie Fitzpatrick
Director of Operations, Heartland Humane Society, OR

[click here to read the full testimonial]

 

The value of the ShelterCare Gift Program to users in the animal welfare sector cannot be measured in dollars alone. While the $6 million paid out by ShelterCare in claims is concrete financial support, the positive impact of the ShelterCare Gift to organizations is supplemented through increased adoption rates as adopters are attracted by the peace of mind offered through the Gift.

 

“When we post our animals and show the potential adopter the many things they receive with the adoption, the one that really catches their attention is that the new pet come with health insurance free to them for the first month”

-Ruthanne Olpin Nielsen
Director of Lost Paws, Inc., UT

[click here to read the full testimonial]

 

 

“I say that if you are looking at adopting an animal from a shelter, ask if they have the 30-day ShelterCare Gift Policy. It is an awesome program and will only help other people to adopt…”

-Michael K. Kolb
Satisfied Customer
[click here to read the full testimonial]

 

Even more commonly noticed is the decreased return rate since adopters are more willing to keep a sick animal if a third party is willing to underwrite the cost of treatment. Undoubtedly, in many occasions the ShelterCare Gift Program has helped reduced the number of adopted cats and dogs that would have otherwise been euthanized by their new owners due to lack of funds.

 

“Thank you for giving us this type of insurance, without it our fur kids would have been put to sleep.”

-Greg & Stephanie Davis
Champagne, IL
[click here to read the full testimonial]

 

To those who are giving the ShelterCare Gift to their adopters we thank you for your support of this valuable program, the most successful of its kind worldwide. We encourage you to discuss the benefits of extending the coverage with your new adopters as it is only by extending the coverage that you can be sure that the animal you are adopting out will have access to the healthcare it needs for the rest of its life. To sign up for a free seminar on Pet Insurance click here to send an email request

To those of you who are not yet giving the ShelterCare Gift to your adopters we encourage you to consider moving to PetPoint Animal Management System for FREE to enable you to participate in this life-saving program. Contact us today to find out how, click here!

 

“Keep up the great work and we will keep saving lives one dog and cat at a time. “

-Kristie Jacoby
Shelter Director Hill Country SPCA, TX

[click here to read the full testimonial]

The Pethealth Family

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