About the Jessie + Bandit Fund


"No one should have to make that kind of decision"

That is what film director Steven A. Adelson thought upon  overhearing a nearby conversation while sitting in Canada West Veterinary Specialists’ reception area several years ago.  While his dog Jessie underwent treatment, the couple beside him was debating whether they could afford a costly but potentially life-saving procedure for their dog. 

Overwhelmed with empathy, Mr. Adelson undertook an act of true generosity and offered to pay the strangers’ costs associated with the required procedure. 

Mr. Adelson has also continued to make annual contributions, directed towards care for pets facing serious or life-threatening situations whose owners face financial hardship. As such, we have named our hospital’s donation fund in memory of Mr. Adelson’s own beloved dogs, Jessie and Bandit. 

Two other cases in recent years also highlighted the need for a designated fund to manage donations for care of animals undergoing treatment at our hospital. The first was Palm, a guide dog whose leash was caught in a skytrain door, causing her to be dragged across the platform by the departing train and causing extensive injuries. The second was Rumble, an American terrier who was shot twice and beaten while defending his home from a break-in. 

In both of these high-profile instances, an outpouring of public sympathy resulted in donations that exceeded the costs of those particular cases.  But here at the hospital we see many difficult situations every month where pet owners wrestle with the cost of care.  Our hope at Canada West Veterinary Specialists is that by creating a formalized structure for donations through the Jessie + Bandit fund, we can help more animals who would not otherwise receive advanced treatment, and that anyone who wishes to help can make a contribution, knowing that 100% of their donated funds will be put towards deserving cases.

Out of Mr. Adelson’s initial act of kindness, a movement has now begun, as beneficiaries of donated funds have moved to “pay it forward” by donating themselves when circumstances permit.

You can find out more about Fund oversight and administration here.