Above & Beyond: Local veterinarians aim to provide affordable health care for pets

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — After working in a veterinarian clinic for 15 years, Doctor Lori Pasternak brainstormed with her co-worker Jacqueline Morasco about moving into their own clinic but wanted it to be different.

Pasternak would focus on surgery and Morasco on dental and health care.

“I was just tired,” Pasternak said. “I saw so many people in day practice simply let their pets go without or suffer simply because they couldn’t afford it. They wanted to be able to give them you know, A-plus care, but not everybody is fortunate enough to do that.”

Together, they opened Helping Hands Affordable Veterinary Surgery & Dental Care.

“If you cut out some of the little appointments and we just concentrate on the surgery, getting these animals through the crisis and getting them back in the hands of a full-service vet, we can do it for less and so we came up with a plan and it works,” Morasco said.

By skipping some of the consultations and avoiding extra fees, pets can get medical care sooner and for a more affordable price. Now, people travel across the country in hopes of saving a pet’s life.

“It’s something that you don’t even realize what kind of impact you have on an animal or persons like until you get to see it,” Morasco said. “When you get to see that animal walk out the door, you know, alive and well other than the alternative.”

Pasternak said they started off small, only taking on as many cases as they could. Now, she said they can take in 30 cases at a time and emergency calls. They’ve expanded and moved to a new building in Carytown. Helping Hands will have an official grand opening February 6 from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. to show off their new place.

All this week, 8News reporters Evanne Armour and Roxie Bustamante are introducing viewers to people like Lori Pasternak and Jacqueline Morasco who are going “Above & Beyond” in their communities. That segment airs every day this week at 5 a.m. on Good Morning Richmond. 

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