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La Jolla Veterinary Hospital sponsors upcoming celebration of foundation that helps pay for critical pet care

The FACE Foundation will celebrate 15 years with an event at The Lot La Jolla on Saturday, Sept. 11.
The FACE Foundation will celebrate 15 years with an event at The Lot La Jolla on Saturday, Sept. 11, sponsored by La Jolla Veterinary Hospital.
(Courtesy of La Jolla Veterinary Hospital )

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To help celebrate the FACE Foundation’s 15th anniversary, La Jolla Veterinary Hospital is sponsoring an outdoor dinner-and-movie event on Saturday, Sept. 11, at The Lot La Jolla.

The event in the parking lot at 7611 Fay Ave. will start at 5:30 p.m. with a “Yappy Hour” featuring appetizers, drinks and games, followed by dinner, a short program and a screening of the 2018 movie “Dog Days.” Dogs are welcome to attend.

The event will double as a fundraiser, and contributions will help the FACE Foundation continue its mission of providing financial grants to animal owners who are unable to afford their pets’ emergency or critical care. FACE stands for the organization’s stated values: fulfillment, accountability, collaboration and empathy.

“With the influx of people adopting pets during the pandemic, there has been an influx in the need for veterinary care and surgical needs,” said La Jolla Veterinary Hospital director Stephanie Coolidge. “Ninety percent of what [the FACE Foundation does] is provide grants for lifesaving surgeries. If your pet gets hit by a car, that could end up costing $10,000 to $15,000, and that is not something the average person can pay for. They help with that.”

La Jolla Veterinary Hospital previously presented the Paws & Pints fundraiser to benefit the FACE Foundation but opted not to this year because the average attendance is 500 people.

“We decided it would have been irresponsible to have an event that size, so we went for something smaller, all outdoors and with limited attendance,” Coolidge said. “This was a great opportunity to continue the contributions to FACE Foundation and raise awareness for the lifesaving work they do.”

The foundation has increased its outreach to homeless people who have a pet.

“Due to the pandemic, we are also seeing an influx of homelessness,” Coolidge said. “That animal/human connection is stronger than anything, but some homeless shelters don’t take animals, so we have seen people stay on the street rather than give up their animal. FACE Foundation works with shelters, veterinary hospitals, homelessness services and gives them pet food and pet supplies. We know a lot of veterans and homeless veterans that have [post-traumatic stress disorder], and these animals give them something to live for. We want to help maintain that bond.”

La Jolla Veterinary Hospital provides general services, services for geriatric pets, dentistry and orthopedic care. The practice has added a veterinarian — and is looking to hire another — to keep up with surging demand, Coolidge said.

“In the three years prior to 2020, we saw an average of 30 new clients a month, which was essentially one a day, and we thought that was great,” she said. “From the onset of the pandemic to now, we have seen 90 to 100 new clients a month. People do not generally come to La Jolla for general services, so it’s pretty localized. I’ve been there for almost 17 years and I have never seen what we saw in 2020.”

La Jolla Veterinary Hospital is at 7520 Fay Ave. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Its phone number is (858) 454-6155.

To learn more about the upcoming celebration or to buy tickets, visit face4pets.org or lajollavet.com.

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