Save Lives And Keep Families Intact │ Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund

ANIMAL INNOVATIONS SHOW - EPISODE 133 - ELLIE'S RAINY DAY FUND

Save Lives And Keep Families Intact │ Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund

The worst possible scenario you could encounter as a pet parent is needing to pay an unexpectedly large vet bill that is way above what you can afford. Fortunately, there are organizations like Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund to help pet owners in grave financial need out of those situations! 

Keep Pets and Families in Harmony with Ellie’s Rainy Day 

Save Lives And Keep Families Intact │ Ellie's Rainy Day Fund

Juli Burnell, the founder of Ellie’s Rainy Day, aspires to keep pets and people together. 

“We work to protect the love shared between families and their furry family members by funding the needed emergency and specialty veterinary treatment when they run into that unexpected large bills and would otherwise likely have to euthanize their pet.”

Juli put together a large charity that organizes a network of veterinarians. They keep in close contact with these vets, who will serve as the bridge to connect pet parents in need with the organization.

Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund works full-time to make a difference. The organization offers a helping hand to families deep in financial crisis by shouldering the expensive bills of their sick and injured pet animals. It supports and nurtures the human and animal bond through funding veterinary services and treatment. 

The organization is veterinarian-driven. If there’s someone who can decide on who needs the financial support the most, it is the vets. They can see which family is fully committed to helping their pets. These vets also know the most likely to do the follow-up care needed. 

“Nationwide, there are over 500,000 cases a year where animals are euthanized who could’ve been saved, but the treatment couldn’t be afforded.”

They encountered many senior citizen clients who usually have pets as their sole companions. There are several families with kids that have disabilities. 

Furthermore, there is also an increasing number of families with a member that is gravely ill. More often than not, the love and companionship they receive from their pets is what gets them through their treatment.

 

Helping Pets and People Through Medical Care

Since its establishment in 2015, the organization has helped 249 families and spent 560,000 dollars of donations. 

Juli acknowledges the generosity and kindness of animal lovers. She says these people know and understand the true meaning of unconditional love.

Save Lives And Keep Families Intact │ Ellie's Rainy Day Fund

She created a way that allows people with extra money to extend a hand to those in need, creating a win-win situation for everyone involved. The donors feel a sense of fulfilment and joy hearing that they helped save lives while the ones in need get to keep their families together. 

“Ellie’s rainy day fund is helping families, helping pets, and helping providers.”

Juli always wanted to try helping those in need. Ellie, her rescue dog, pushed her to establish the organization. She had a rare lung condition, requiring her to have ongoing care. That means Juli was in and out of the waiting rooms a lot. 

Moreover, it was those times when she saw several families leave with their pets in pain or inside a box. Ellie was the reason why Juli was personally aware of the pain that these pet parents go through. 

However, Ellie passed away just last August. 

Juli made it a point to keep her memory alive by pushing through with the organization and making it as big as it could get. She said that every family they helped and every pet they saved serves as a shout-out to Ellie. 

 

Visit their website at https://elliesrainydayfund.org/  to know more!

Have suggestions for who we should interview next?

Send us a message at [email protected]!

Juli: Hi, I’m Juli Burnell, and you are tuned in to The Animal Innovations Show.

Chris: Excellent introduction, Juli. So, start us off.

Tell us who you are and how you’re innovating and helping animals.

Juli: Okay, well, I am the founder of Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund. What we’re about, really, is keeping pets and people together.

Our tagline is keeping families together by saving their pets’ lives. We work to protect the love that’s shared between families and their furry family members by funding the needed emergency and specialty treatment, veterinary treatment, when they run into that unexpected large bill  and would otherwise likely have to euthanize their pets.

Chris: That’s a really hard thing, because, as you pointed out, these bills are often unexpected. You didn’t anticipate a $3,000 bill for your animal, but they’re—they are part of your family.

You can’t just let them go.

Juli: That’s exactly it. It’s so sad. You can imagine, to run into one of those kinds of situations.

I mean, here you are going along, taking really good care of your pet, and you budgeted for the regular wellness visits and the shots and all that kind of stuff. Or your cat, who’s going along all of a sudden has trouble urinating, has trouble using the litter box, which happens a lot.

And those are typically things that will run $3-6,000 to take care of.

When this kind of situation comes up, then the vet can contact us and we can pay the bill to keep the family intact.

Veterinarians agreeing to discount their fees at an amount of their choosing. And then the amazing supporters of Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund making up the difference.

We were seeing too many cases. In fact, nationwide there are over 500,000 cases a year where animals are euthanized who could have been saved, but the treatment couldn’t be afforded.

We do a lot of families that have kids with disabilities, physical or mental. We’ve done a lot of cases where the child is autistic and connects with the pet.

Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund is helping families, helping pets, and helping providers.

Chris: And how many animals and people have you helped since then?

Juli: As of last week, 249 families, and we have spent $560,000 doing it.

Chris: Now, how do you find the donors and how are you sustaining the operations?

Juli: Most of our donations are from individual donors. It’s very grassroots-oriented.

But that’s part of our partnership with the veterinarians as well, is that they help get the word out to their constituents.

So, automatically we have a few thousand people built in there that we know are interested. Our animal lovers usually love their vets, and so the idea for them that they could actually help their vet to help a neighbor keep a pet is very attractive.

Chris: But this sounds like a model, Juli, that anybody could do.

You mention 500,000 animals every year? This could make a really big impact if people could take your model and replicate it in their local communities.

Juli: Absolutely, and that’s essentially—What I’m hoping, overtime will happen.

But it seems to be going really well. We are growing every year. We’re growing both in terms of need and in terms of support.

Chris: Juli, if somebody is listening to this? Where can they learn more? What’s the website? How can they get a hold of you?

Juli: The easiest way probably is to go to either our website or our Facebook page, which are both Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund.

And there are obvious spots in both places where you can message me, email me, those kinds of things.

I have to give a little shout-out to my pup, Ellie. Ellie was a little rescue dog that I got at five months old.

So, if it weren’t for Ellie, I wouldn’t have been as personally aware of the pain and the need for this.

Chris: That’s awesome.

And I, for one, I’m really glad that Ellie inspired you to do this. And like I said, it’s really neat that you’re willing to share and help other people that might be interested in starting up an organization like this in their community, because it is very community-based and very community-focused, and you’re building those relationships with the partners, and you’re supporting your friends and neighbors and family that live in your community to increase their bonds with their pets.

So, Juli, thank you so much for doing this. I love the inspiration behind this. I love your willingness to share.

And as we wrap up the show, that’s what it’s all about on the show. It starts with an idea. It starts with an idea like Juli had that says, there’s got to be other people that need my help, and that’s where these ideas come from.

So, if you’ve got an idea like that and you want to talk about it, we’d love to have you on the show. Just go to INNOVATIONS.SHOW and we’d love to have you on the show.

And don’t forget to become a Dooberteer, We love having more volunteers helping out rescues and shelters.

You can be a transporter, you can be a foster. There’s so many things that you can do. Just go to DOOBERT.COM and you can learn more.

So, Juli, thank you so much for coming on today. It was really great to talk to you. And hopefully, we’ll be able to replicate this model out across the country.

Juli: That’d be super. Thanks for having me, Chris.

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