First the fun stuff.
This is Carly. She was in the other day for a haircut and a puppy shot. She was surprising good for her first haircut as most puppies jump around, acting the fool, until the realize that the buzzing clippers aren't all that scary.
The next Beast is Bailey. She's a 4 month old Lab who came in the other day.
The camera batteries died rather quickly, so I only got this short video of her. She got a puppy vaccine but she originally came in because she got bug bit on her face by something, (bee, bug, spider, etc.). You can't see it very well but her left eye is swollen, almost closed, along with the left side of her face. We got her some Benadryl and she was fine. We did get a puppy shot in her too. Getting bug bit might have saved her life. She was already way behind on her puppy vaccinations, and we've already seen our first parvo puppy this winter. A 7 month old Bulldog mix died last week with it.
He had received one vaccination from the feedstore. It's very disheartening to know parvo puppies have to suffer unnecessarily like they do, or die, when it's easy to prevent, not to mention a hell of a lot cheaper, than to try and treat it. But such is the reality when people rely on the feedstore, a yearly rabies clinic, and the spay- neuter clinic for their veterinary care.
And now for my question-
What do people think of crowd sourcing fundraising sites? Sites like KickStarter.com, ChipIn.com, IndieGoGo.com, Profounder, or CrowdRise? Any experiences with them?
The reason I ask, I have been secretly wishing for a class 4 therapy laser. Familiar with those? They have been used longer in human medicine than veterinary medicine. Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Sports Medicine specialist use them for rehabilitation. They are a little different than a surgical laser that is used for tissue cutting. Surgical lasers are great for surgery- no bleeding, less pain and swelling, etc. Therapy lasers use a different wavelength of light than surgical lasers. They are good for degenerative joint diseases, pain management, wounds that won't heal, fractures that are slow to heal- really anything where it is desirable to reduce swelling, pain, inflammation, and stimulate collagen- hot spots, lick granulomas, stomatitis, herniated disks and spinal injuries, etc. I am probably going to get an appointment for Maybelline with a hospital that is about 40 miles away in Anderson, SC. To see if the treatments help her mobility.
If you want to read more about laser therapy, search for k-laser usa, companion therapy lasers, or litecure.com. You can also find videos online on Youtube.
I first learned about therapy lasers 3-4 years ago. And I think it is one of those things, that one would use, if they had it. The case studies are impressive. Jethro has his neck lasered twice when it seemed to be bothering him from his cancer. The two treatments might have helped some, but he had worse problems to deal with so he only got 2 treatments.
The problem is that lasers aren't cheap. And since they are rather new and everybody loves the one they have, you can't find them used or refurbished. The surgical lasers run about 30 thousand dollars new. You can find them used and refurbished since they have been around a bit longer. Therapy lasers cost a little less but they are still expensive- 16-17 thousand.
And with the economy what it is at this time, I don't want to deal with an equipment payment or lease without knowing if that equipment can pay for itself in such a small community. Large metropolitan area wouldn't have such an issue. Arthritic patients would require a series of 6 treatments and then maybe only a monthly treatment after that.
The reason this comes up again now, is that I have an older cat patient who is a little gimpy in his rear legs. He had a couple of treatments when he got sick while the couple was on vacation in Florida. And his owners could really tell a difference in how he was moving afterwards.
So, I am back to looking at laser therapy. Using a program like kickstarter would fund the equipment ahead of time, without going down the traditional route of a lease or a bank loan. (Kickstarter is actually for creative projects, so this might not qualify for them, although in my case, it's sort of a hybrid between business and art in how it would be stuctured.)
I guess what I like about Kickstart is that it's an "all or none" approach. I think the limit is 90 days, so if the goal isn't met, no money is exchanged. The fees and credit card fees would be similar to what a bank loan would charge for an interest rate. I can get creative with incentive packages. For local pet clients, it might be a series of treatment or other veterinary services. For art patrons it could be packages of gift items, original paintings, reproductions, etc.
So, after all my ramblings, my question is, What do people think of crowdsource fundraising rather than traditional financing? Would you consider it? Specifically for a site like KickStarter, what tiers of packages would you choose to do- $20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 1500, 2500, 3600?
Leave me your thoughts or comments below. Also if you have any experience or comments about laser therapy in pets, leave those too. Thanks.