VetVet Pet Pals Spotlight: Bernadette Vinci, MS - HEALS

December 17, 2021

Pet Pals Spotlight

December 17, 2021

This month we’re putting the Pet Pals Spotlight on Bernadette Vinci, co-founder of HEALS.

Bernadette has an incredible track record in the veterinary industry. She has launched three successful veterinary emergency and specialty hospitals and is currently building HEALS, a non-profit organization to assist pet owners in need.

Could you please let us know what HEALS is?

Guardian HEALS is a unique nonprofit organization dedicated to saving pets' lives by providing financial assistance that enables qualified pet owners to obtain necessary veterinary care when they truly can't afford it. 

Accepted cases are referred to local primary care practices for treatment, unless specialty services are medically warranted. This model enables local family veterinarians to treat more cases and save more lives whenever possible.

Can any practice participate in the HEALS program?

Any practice within our service areas can register and refer patients to us. We serve the following counties: Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, and Orange in New York; Fairfield in Connecticut; and Bergen in New Jersey. 

What are your views on the human-animal bond? 

Guardian HEALS was inspired by the love of animals. Throughout the decades we’ve been practicing veterinary medicine, we’ve witnessed, understood, and appreciated the special sustaining bond that develops between pets and their owners. But unfortunately, this rewarding experience has a dark side. 

As veterinary professionals also see wrenching heartbreak, stress, and anxiety when pet owners surrender or, even worse, euthanize their beloved companion animals simply because they lack the financial means to pay for medical and surgical care. 

This troubling trend rapidly escalates in a down economy when many pet owners are forced to face unforeseen economic hardships.

How can people support HEALS?

They can donate at or mail donations to Guardian HEALS, P.O. Box 5205, Greenwich, CT 06831.

Do you have any pictures of animals you've helped through HEALS?


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Disclaimer: Our content is for informational purposes only — it’s not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.