Pet Guide

Three Doggie Do-Gooders Inspire Charitable Programs at Monroe Pet Wellness Center

A local animal hospital and therapy center creates programs starring its very own pooches


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Newman the English Bulldog, the namesake of Monroe Animal Hospital’s Newman Project

Photographs courtesy of Lauren Steinberg

Specializing in advanced animal care techniques such as massage therapy, laser therapy, and rehabilitation programs, the Pet Wellness Center at Monroe Animal Hospital is already a top destination for pets in need after just over a year of operation.

But what makes this animal care center unique from all the others is its charitable endeavors, including its nonprofit organization called the Newman Project; its pet food pantry, the Stuart Little Pet Pantry; and its “Tuesdays with Tomas” program for children.

The Newman Project aims to generate “awareness and good deed toward animals,” according to its website. The initiative focuses especially on the unwarranted euthanasia of millions of animals each year, as well as the cycle of abuse and neglect toward animals.

Every few months, the Project chooses a local cause and campaigns for it, raising awareness about its goals and work. The Newman Project also supports the cause by providing supplies and funds from fundraising efforts. Currently, the Project is supporting Equine Rescue Inc. in Bloomingburg.

The Project’s own namesake was a hugely personable English bulldog who had been adopted by program director Lauren Steinberg.

“He loved to be in the woods, take dips in the pond, run as fast and free as he could,” Steinberg recalls. Newman unfortunately passed away after being diagnosed with bladder cancer when he was nine years old.

newman and stuart
Newman and Stuart Little

“For all the love and joy he gave me and many others, I thought it appropriate to help other animals find such love... it sounds grand, I know. But like one of my favorite people on the planet, Jane Goodall, says, ‘act locally, think globally.’ I do believe we can make a difference.”

In addition to animal wellness, the center also provides care for the needy families of the pets themselves. The Stuart Little Pet Pantry is one program that embodies that effort. Created in the name of another of Steinberg’s dogs, Stuart Little the Chihuahua, its purpose is to help families who are experiencing financial hardship and therefore do not have access to the supplies necessary to take care of their pet. The pantry provides these supplies and also accepts donations.

Tomas therapy dog
Tomas the therapy dog

“The concept for the pantry is simple. If you have something, leave it; if you need something, take it,” said Steinberg. “I am humbled and blown away by the outpouring of donations we have received over the past year and am so pleased to say we have been able to help many in need.”

In addition to the center’s material support for pet owners, it also provides psychological support. Its Tuesdays with Tomas wellness program for children focuses on building self-confidence through reading practice. With the comfort of a loving and positive pooch like Tomas by their side, children thrive in the supportive environment.

Keep up the good work, Monroe Animal Hospital! For more information on these programs, visit www.monroeah.com/wellness-center.

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