Tails from the Frontlines - Calgary Clinic Shows its Spots

As workers on the front lines of veterinary care, animal health care professionals encounter all too often cases where pet owners simply cannot afford essential treatment for their animals.

That is why Registered Animal Health Technologists like Jenna Hall are key allies with Tails of Help in striving to get pets the care they need and keep them at home with their loving families.

When Hall heard about Alberta’s newly established pet charity Tails of Help (tailsofhelp.ca), she knew she wanted to help. Starting in May, Hall initiated a fundraising campaign at the Coach Hill Veterinary Hospital in southwest Calgary where she worked (Hall has since moved to work at Springbank Pet Hospital in northwest Calgary).

Dalmation poster created by Jenna Hall for "Tails of Help" fundraising event at Coach Hill Veterinary Hospital

Inspired by other non-profit fundraising efforts she has encountered through the years, Hall designed a campaign to boost donations as well as awareness in clinics. A large Dalmatian poster was hung on the clinic wall for all visitors to see. The Coach Hill staff then sold Dalmatian “tails” to raise funds for Tails of Help. One tail cost two dollars or donors could purchase three for five dollars. Each tail was entered into a prize draw for the end of May – prizes were generously donated by clinic suppliers – and donors were able to write their names on the tails and place them up on the wall around the original poster.

That wall filled up fast and soon tails were spreading throughout the walls of the clinic. Coach Hill’s original goal was to sell 101 Dalmatian tails, and they surpassed that goal in one week. As the campaign momentum grew, Hall raised the goal to 202 tails and even set up a page for the event on Facebook.

The walls of the Coach Hill Veterinary Hospital quickly began to fill with Tails during the campaign

Hall has no plans to slow down, and kept on rolling toward a new target of 303 tails, as well as initiating other small in-clinic “Trims for Tails” events (nail trimming) to help raise further funds for this cause. Her campaign has inspired Tails of Help to offer “202 Tails” fundraising kits to other veterinary clinics in Alberta, through their official website (coming in November 2014).

Coach Hill’s initiative reflects a clear recognition of the important gap in the pet community that Tails of Help hopes to fill. Each month nearly 8,000 pets and their families require financial aid for health care costs. For every 10 such cases, 6 of these pets are either euthanized, surrendered, or leave not treated and still suffering. On average, every $500 donated to Tails of Help has the potential to save one pet and their family from suffering these fates. Dedicated people like Jenna Hall and the Coach Hill Veterinary clinic are making a real difference – one tail at a time.

To start your own 202 Tails Campaign, and to order a clinic kit
(available in November 2014), please visit
Proceeds from this campaign will help Albertans in need to get essential health care for their ill or injured pets.