It’s time for the task I was dreading… organizing all their healthcare stuff!
I started with this.
Yuck. A big, overstuffed folder of who-knows-what. At least it was sorted by animal…
What precipitated this particular project was, first, that I needed to register the whole herd with the parish (Louisiana’s version of a county) which included sending along their vaccination records and, second, inspired by Amy at GoPetFriendly.com, I wanted to scan their crucial documents to a USB to put in our hurricane evacuation kit.
So I dug in! This turned out to be a simple project that I completed in 3 steps:
1. Dumped everything out.
2. Paged through all the documents and PURGED.
3. Hole punched all the important pieces for a 3-ring binder.
All told, it took less than two hours, including a coffee break. AND!! There was an unexpected GEM discovered in the piles. More on that later…
Here we go in detail:
1. Dump everything out.
Empty the contents of the files, folders, or bins where you’ve been stashing all your vet records. This is sort of like the emptying process we went through in the “stuff” organization process. At this stage, I assembled my supplies: my label maker, an old binder, and a set of dividers.
2. Flip through every single page and get rid of what you can.
I saved every single credit card receipt (I toyed with the idea of tallying them as I cleaned it out, but… I couldn’t bring myself to do it). Those were the first to go. I also saved all the purchase orders for their monthly medications. Those went in the recycle pile, too. As I sorted, there was an odd quantity of duplicates. I’m not sure how it happened, but we ended up with two copies of a lot of records. All the doubles went in the toss pile.
This part took the longest, but there was an unexpected gem in the pile. I can’t believe this myself…
When we adopted Emmett (July 2006), the shelter faxed his paperwork to us – back when people still faxed! ha! – but the fax didn’t come through all the way. Several pages were cut off, so they dropped a copy in the mail. The cut-off pages didn’t contain his health info, so we were able to give them to his new vet and move on. When the mailed copy came, I stuck it in my Emmett file and never looked at it.
Well, wouldn’t you know… In that file is a letter his foster mom wrote to the shelter about what he was like as a foster. It is the most touching, heartwarming letter EVER about Emmett’s time at the county shelter, then her pulling him out and keeping him until FOHA had space for him… and it includes her return address!! I got teary eyed when I realized that I can write her a thank you note! So happy!
Because the huge chunky file took up significant real estate in our filing bin, I decided to go with a 3-ring binder instead. It fits neatly on a shelf, and it’s simple to add papers as we go along. On the inside flap I stuck their official parish licenses in case I need to access those quickly.
Their rabies certificates are the first document in each of their individual sections. And, because I’m nutty about these things, I found a printable binder cover on Pinterest to make it cute! 🙂
Because I wanted to take the extra step to put these documents on a USB for our hurricane evacuation kit, I scanned in the important docs: rabies certificates, shot records, and parish licenses. Then it occurred to me that I need to find some sort of waterproof container for the drive…
Which leads me to my next pet care organization project: emergency preparedness! Coming next week! 🙂
In the meantime, are you taking on any pet care organization projects? Have you sorted through your pet’s medical files in a while? Is it time? Who knows… you might uncover an unexpected treasure!