By Jim Benemann

DENVER (CBS4) – The waiting room is always a frisky place at the PetAid veterinary hospital in west Denver.

This place sees all kinds of patients, from bunnies to dogs and cats to snakes.

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(credit: CBS)

In one of the check up rooms, we met Patty Imber and her three-legged dog, Winnie.

Winnie was badly injured she was when hit by a car in Eastern Arapahoe County. Imber didn’t have enough money for the limb surgery, so her vet told her about PetAid.

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She was able to have the procedure performed for half the usual cost — and that she could afford.

Imber told us her family was crushed that they might have to put the loveable Winnie down because they couldn’t afford the surgery.

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Patty Imber and her dog, Winnie. (credit: CBS)

“Winnie has such a special way about her. She’s the perfect pet and we’re so thankful for PetAid. Now Winnie is keeping up with her four-legged sister!” said Imber.

PetAid was born 15 years ago as the charitable arm of the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association.

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Between the hospital and it’s expansive community outreach program, PetAid will provide cost-reduced care for 14,000 pets this year.

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Veterinarian Dr. Genevieve Forster started working there six months ago.

“I grew up below the poverty line and my family could never afford good care for our pets,” said Forster. “That’s why I’m so thrilled to be working here and helping people keep their pets even if they can’t afford the needed care.”

More than two-thirds of the pets that PetAid treats through its community outreach program need further treatment at the hospital.

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During a visit, CBS4 saw several animals on operating tables being treated for severe mouth problems, facial infections and more maladies.

Rick Romero got his beloved cat, Samantha, from a shelter a few years ago. One of his first stops afterwards was at PetAid.

“She needed a lot of work. She’d been neglected,” said Romero. “She had severe gingivitis and needed a lot of her gums and bone removed. But now she’s doing great. Thanks to PetAid for letting me keep my beautiful little girl.”

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(credit: CBS)

Dr. Randa MacMillan manages PetAid’s community outreach program. It serves subsidized housing developments, senior care centers and other places where residents can struggle  affording care for their pets.

“For many of these people, their pets are their most important friend and companion. It’s who they share their lives with. So, treating their pets is a wonderful way to help them stay happy and positive,” said MacMillan.

Thank you, PetAid!

LINK: PetAid Colorado

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