Non-profit veterinarian that saves pets’ lives and owners’ money

TAMPA, Fla. — A nonprofit veterinary clinic in Tampa takes an assembly line approach to pet health, and when Dr. Stephanie Sabshin walks into surgery, it’s not just a job, it’s a mission.

“You go into vet school wanting to help animals and they don’t really teach you how to treat people in situations where the owners can’t afford medical care,” Sabshin said. “And it’s one of those things that slowly eats away at you from the inside.”

In 2018, Sabshin established the nonprofit clinic, Harmony Vet Care, so that no client would ever have to choose between paying rent or saving their pet’s life.

They bring in as many animals as possible while keeping costs down and maintaining a high quality of care. While the average veterinarian operates around three pets a day, Harmony Vet Care operates nearly 60, and this unique pattern is entirely due to community support.

“They went from clinic to clinic trying to find someone to work within their budget and repeatedly got turned down and they all found their way here,” Sabshin said.

Over the past four years, they’ve grown to eight full-time physicians, 50,000 clients, and 90,000 patients at two centers: one in Tampa and one in Brandon.

“I don’t even have to think about the price when it comes to making sure my animals get the best care they can get,” said client Amanda Gorut.

“They go to emergency clinics and they get estimates of $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 for surgery,” Sabshin said. “So they come to us desperately for help.”

Stacy Prevost volunteers her time to trap feral cats to be neutered and neutered.

“I brought 21 cats in the last month,” Prevost said. “I couldn’t afford sterilizations, sterilizations, rabies shots, everything they did.”

The name says it all: more than 50 employees all working together in harmony.

“So the doctor can go from one sterilization or sterilization to the next sterilization or sterilization without any pause in between,” Sabshin said.

She said pets are part of the family and a dollar sign should never determine their future.

“That’s what makes me wake up and get to work because I never know what life I might be able to save,” Sabshin said.

The nonprofit organization is building a new facility in Tampa that would double the size of its current facility, allowing it to accommodate more customers and expand its services.

They are having a fundraiser on September 24 at the Tampa Zoo. For more information, visit their website.

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