Drs. Kelley and Bryant Phillips strive to use their veterinary practice to make an impact for the kingdom of God. They have found that one of the most powerful ways to demonstrate Christ’s love is a small gesture they make after a client loses a pet: sending a Remember a Pet memorial card.
Bryant and Kelley Phillips first heard of Christian Veterinary Mission’s pet memorial card program while they were part of a CVM fellowship group at Auburn University together. Excited by the vision and mission of CVM, when the pair married they decided to make CVM a part of their life together. They began going on short term trips and using the Remember a Pet memorial card program (then known as Lovelines) as soon as they opened their practice together as a way to support CVM. However, it quickly became more than a way to donate to veterinary missions.
The Phillips receive thank you cards every week from clients who have been touched by a Remember a Pet card. Using this program has opened up opportunities to talk about CVM and the Phillips’ short term mission trips, and serves as a tangible illustration to clients of how much the Phillips love Christ.
The process of losing a pet is often emotional and not an easy time for a vet to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way. When Kelley and Bryant have a client lose a pet, they send a donation to the Remember a Pet program, which in turn sends the client a card letting them know that a gift has been made to CVM in memory of their pet.
By the time the card reaches the client a few days later, it’s often a surprise to clients that the Drs. Phillips are still thinking of them, and that they cared enough to make a memorial donation. Clients have shared that the card reminds them of how much the Phillips and their clinic care about them, about their pet that is gone, and about loving God by being a part of the work he’s doing through CVM.
Some clients have begun giving to CVM themselves, or have shared the card with friends, who then seek out the Phillips’ clinic because they see value in having a vet who consistently demonstrates compassion, even after a pet has died. Even clients who aren’t believers have expressed their thanks for the cards, saying they feel touched that the Phillips care enough to make a donation on their pet’s behalf.
“Because of our contributions through Remember a Pet,” Kelley says, “We have many clients who…. feel a special connection because they know we care, they know we love them, and that we loved their pet. But more importantly, they know that we love the Lord.”