How a single animal’s spirit led to the care of many others in need.




Oscar was a beautiful, flamed point feline who lived out his days on sunny counter tops and in the laps of locals visiting Van Isle Veterinary Hospital. Adopted from the SPCA in 2002, Oscar quickly settled into hospital life and attracted many admirers. Clients checking in at reception were often faced with 20 pounds of fur and a belly begging to be rubbed. Oscar had a special gift for knowing when compassion was needed. He would curl up beside stressed or saddened owners, bringing comfort to many who waited for appointments. His affection towards humans was matched only by the love he showed other animals. When Van Isle Veterinary Hospital started a charity in 2012 with the sole purpose of supporting pets in need, the choice to name it after our empathetic friend came naturally.

For years we discussed setting up a special fund to help pet owners with financial constraints and wanted to find a way to help critically ill or injured pets that needed immediate medical attention. 

It wasn’t until we started brainstorming with one of the Comox Valley’s local chocolate shops, Hot Chocolates, that the idea materialized to start selling our own chocolate bars, aptly named the “Oscar Bar.” It didn’t take long for word to get out, and through the sale of our chocolate bars, fundraisers and community support, more than $12,000 has been raised to help the community’s sick and injured pets. We were amazed at the show of support from within the community, and by how quickly we were able to start putting the funds to use. It has also given us the opportunity to assist injured and abandoned stray animals.

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The Oscar Fund has brought the hospital staff together in a wonderful way. It was easy for employees and fellow animal lovers to embrace and support it. Trying to make the most of raised funds, the staff has donated their own surgical time after hours for injured and abandoned animals.

Sadly, Oscar passed away in 2013, but his legacy lives on through the animals his fund has assisted. The Oscar Fund is a testament to the kindness of the community, allowing us to reach out to and care for local animals that might otherwise not get the attention they deserve. The Oscar Bar helps us to remember our kind, generous and inclusive friend who touched everyone, person or animal, he came in contact with.

Oscar Bars can be purchased and donations can be made at the Van Isle Veterinarian Hospital. Please visit vanislevet.com for more information.