By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Bella SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is now realizing a longtime dream of its co-founders Eric McCune and his husband Wes Shaw. On Monday, July 6, the organization announced the soft opening of the Bella SPCA Nonprofit Veterinary Hospital, the first of its kind in the state. It is located at 9101 S. Western, serving the Oklahoma City metro area.
That morning McCune, Bella SPCA president, posted on Facebook, “Today is a day I will never forget. For the first time in 14 years, today Bella SPCA began providing full veterinary care for the animals of Oklahoma at its very own clinic. Wes and I always had this in mind when we started Bella but never knew if it would actually happen.
“I won’t lie and say I am not as proud as hell,” he added. McCune went on to credit his team saying, “Matthew, Alicia, Misty, and so many others…you did it!”
Since 2006, the Bella Foundation has been a lifeline of hope, support and care for the people of Oklahoma and their pets. Through Bella, over one million dollars have been given in veterinary assistance and close to 12,000 animals have been adopted into loving homes.
“At Bella, we believe every animal deserves to receive the best possible care regardless of the owner’s ability to pay,” McCune said.
That same day, Matt Goodwin, Bella SPCA executive director, announced the facility’s soft opening in a video posted on Facebook.
“We are so excited,” Goodwin declared. “Today I’m standing in front of our brand new nonprofit veterinary hospital at 9101 S. Western, #120.
“There is still work to be done, and COVID has presented extreme challenges, but we didn’t want to wait any longer before opening our doors to help animals and people,” Goodwin said. “The need is now greater than ever.
“We understand how much your pet means to you and we also understand that financial resources can be limited,” Goodwin continued. “The central mission of our work is to remove financial roadblocks to care, helping you maintain life-long bonds with your pets.
“We offer a two-tier pricing system based on income qualifications that will be posted online soon. This week we will be taking appointments for wellness exams, vaccines, heartworm test and prevention, flea and tick prevention and dermatology.”
Surgery and other extended services will be available in the near future, according to Goodwin.
In a recent interview on The Bella Cast, McCune discussed with Goodwin how his passion for animals led to the creation of the Bella Foundation and ultimately the new veterinary hospital.
“The goal for Wes and I was that eventually Bella would not only provide funding for veterinary care but also provide the care ourselves,” McCune explained. “It’s a natural evolution and progression for the organization to create and maintain a low cost / no cost veterinary hospital here in Oklahoma.
“Every year thousands of animals are euthanized or sent home to die because the people who love them cannot financially absorb the cost of veterinary care,” McCune states on the website. “Stray and abandoned animals have even fewer options when brought into a clinic or veterinary office with no owner to pay for their care.
The organization has welcomed Dr. Alisha Preno to help launch the Bella SPCA Nonprofit Veterinary Hospital. Alisha comes to Bella from the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine class of 2015, with 5 years of comparative medicine at the The University of Oklahoma.
In order to help the Bella SPCA’s nonprofit Veterinary Hospital succeed, Eric, Wes and Matt are asking for the public’s help.
“Our mission has always been to make sure that people and their pets can stay together regardless of finances and this clinic will do that even more. But we need your help to do it,” Eric said. “We have a goal of $75,000.
“I know that things are uncertain and asking for you to give right now is a big thing for us to do. But we also know that the people that need us will need us even more now. So, if you can give, please donate. If you can’t give, please share our story so that others can hear what we’re going to do,” Eric added.
An anonymous donor has pledged a $25,000 matching gift to jumpstart the Bella SPCA Veterinary Hospital. In addition, this special supporter has agreed to match any gift of any size up to $25,000.
“Every dollar counts,” McCune said. “Please help us save a life. Donate today and know that your donation is helping a little heart beat stronger.”
To donate directly to the Bella SPCA Veterinary Hospital, visit the organization’s gofundme Matching Fund Campaign.
“There will be much more information coming online,” Goodwin said. “We’d love to get you helped out and meet your animals. We look forward to seeing you soon.”