Texas A&M Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center

(upbeat music) – [Narrator] The Stevenson
Companion Animal Life-Care Center is a privately funded program
providing lifetime care for companion animals after owners can no longer care for them. They live out their days
in a home-like environment and many different pet
species are included. Veterinary students also
gain valuable experience, helping care for their
medical and emotional needs. – I love my cats and my dog. I only have one dog at the moment. Guess my first animals were strays that I would
see maybe at a restaurant or out on the side of the road, and I’ve just accumulated
them over the years. They’re varying in ages
from a six-month-old kitten to a 22-year-old senior citizen. My dog is, she’s 12 and she was found
on the side of the road also. She has three feet and a prosthetic device that is just wonderful. They’re very important part of my life. They enrich my life very much. – Over the years we began to worry about what we were gonna do if
something happened to us. We never had insured. We were referred to Stevenson Center. It’s just been a great solution for us as to what would happen to us, then what would happen to the cats. So this is where they’re coming. – It’s a very large
responsibility to make sure, from the moment you get them
until the moment they pass on. – Dr. Sonny Presnal’s pretty impressive, and then Ellie as well. I think the fact that the students are onboard and live here and take care of the
animals is a big plus. – No program like the
Stevenson Center in the world. Bringing all these animals
together in such a compassionate home environment is really unique, and then the level of care that
we at the teaching hospital can provide them, again,
there’s no program like this. There’s other programs
that want to be like this, but this is truly one of a kind. – Yeah, the mission is really twofold. We’re to provide as near as we can in home-like environment
for a group of animals after the owners are no
longer able to take of ’em, but the second part of that mission is that it provides many
educational opportunities for our students and also
for our teaching hospital. Medical care for the pets that live here or are in this program is absolutely would be second to none. – The Stevenson Center utilizes Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in the small animal
clinic and they utilize our primary care services and then any of the specialty services throughout the small animal hospital. With our close proximity, they can come here and get an
ultimate end care for them. Everything from routine wellness all the way to specialty
care, specialty surgeries. – Everything that we do or
every decision that we make for these animals is not
based upon the dollar, it’s based upon quality of life. And so we try to give them
the best quality of life for as long as we possibly can. To place an animal with the center requires this establishment
of an endowment. The income from which will
be used to operate the center and provide quality care. This is normally by bequest
but it can also come from an insurance policy or from a trust. Endowment can also be paid up in advance with a considerable discount
for our younger donors. – If I were to meet the donor, I would tell them that when their pets comes to the Stevenson Center, that I would treat them
just like they’re my own. I would make sure that
they have everything taken care for them and that
they’re getting everything from their emotional to physical
to the nutritional needs. Everything will be taken
care of when they come here. – We try very hard to
treat each of these guys like our own pets. I often have two or
three that I sleep with. Anytime we’re studying or doing homework, there’s lots of areas around
the center with couches and TVs out in the open so we can gather as many of these guys
as we want to study with or watch TV and just
kind of bond more with. – We love them all equally and
the day stop is really great. They’re always loving on the animals, giving ’em toys, treats. It’s just really nice to have like a family away from home. – I love taking friends and family here and showing them around. It never fails. I’ve never given a tour or
showed anybody the center and walk away and not
be completely blown away by just the facility itself,
the animals that are here, the staff that’s here. It’s a really unique experience and I’m very grateful for it. – People feel like this
program is designed to support graduates of Texas
A&M to take care of their pets and that is far from the truth
because of the 187 people or so that have pets
enrolled in this program, less than 20 of ’em are
graduates of Texas A&M. – It’s tremendous coup for these pets because all the pets that
are owned by these people, their owners have the
best in mind for them. They want nothing but the best for them. They want them to live
in comfort and happiness when they can no longer provide that. I think it’s wonderful. It says a lot for these owners, it says a lot for these pets, and it says a lot for us and Texas A&M. – We were very honored to
be asked by the university to provide a retirement
home for Reveille VIII when she retired. A wonderful ambassador for the university and we all loved her very
much and grieved her loss. I know that she had a
wonderful retirement here at the center. – It’s not just an institution
where our pets are gonna go. It’s a family environment
that we’re really comfortable with now and we’re
close to the people here and we really know that they’re gonna get good care and loving care. It’s changed a lot from when
we just signed a piece of paper to have somebody take care of our cats. Now, our cats are
actually coming someplace we’re very comfortable with. – Describing it is one thing, but seeing it is something else. I think all you have to
do is walk in to that door and be met by the greeting
committee of different ages and different sizes welcoming
you into their home. Once you’ve seen it, you get it.

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