If you are struggling to keep your pet, know that you have options before surrendering him or her. Here is a list of organizations that provide financial assistance for pet owners in need. Each organization has its own rules and guidelines, so explore their websites.
Massachusetts law requires all cats, dogs and ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies. The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources works with several nonprofit animal welfare groups to offer low-cost rabies vaccination clinics in cities and towns throughout the state.
http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/animal-health/rabies-control-program/rabies-clinics.html. Most clinics charge from $5 to $15 for the rabies vaccination. Micro chipping, licenses, and other services are available at some clinics.
LuvMyPet also offers low-cost vaccinations for pets at PETCO stores all over the state. http://www.luvmypet.com/
--See also below under Veterinary Care
Merwin Memorial Free Clinic for Animals, Inc.
The Merwin Memorial Free Clinic provides free office visits and free outpatient veterinary services including physical exams, vaccinations, nail-cutting, and free medications for sick animals. The clinic does not schedule appointments. Service is first-come, first-served.
Web site: Merwin Memorial Free Clinic for Animals
Service area: Boston area
Location: 542 Cambridge St., Allston, MA 02134
Hours: Hours of Operation (first-come, first-served; arrive at least one hour before closing)
Metro Action Clinic/Alliance for Animals
the Metro Action Clinic provides affordable veterinary medical services to inner-city pet owners.
Web site: Metro Action Clinic: Medical Services and Fees
Service area: Boston inner city
How to apply: Call the Alliance for Animals at 617-268-7800 or use their online Contact Form
Pet Care Assistance - MSPCA Angell
MSPCA Angell Pet Care Assistance helps pet owners with limited incomes pay for medical care for their sick or injured pets at MSPCA Angell Animal Medical Centers.
Web site: Pet Care Assistance
Phone: 617-541-5028 or 5030
Service area: animals treated at MSPCA Angell Boston or Nantucket
How to apply: Call the MSPCA Angell Financial Office at 617-541-5028 or 5030
Phinney's Friends helps low-income pet owners in the Boston area who have disabling illnesses or other hardships. Phinney's Friends provides vet vouchers for medical care, as well dog walking, daily pet care (grooming, litter box changing, nail clipping), emergency pet food, and pet foster care.
Web site: Phinney's Friends
Service area: Boston area
How to apply: Call Phinney's Friends at 617-979-8705 or use their Contact Form
Sampson Fund for Veterinary Care
The Sampson Fund helps pay for medical care for critically ill or injured cats and dogs when their owners cannot afford the cost of treatment.
Web site: Sampson Fund
Service area: Cape Cod and the Islands
How to apply: Call the Sampson Fund at 508-240-7387 or apply at a Member Hospital
Scratch's Patch-Up Program
Scratch's Patch-Up Program helps pet owners whose dogs or cats are facing a medical crisis and who do not have the money to pay for the care their pets need. Pet owners must meet income limits and other requirements. Approval may take up to two weeks, so the program cannot usually help in emergency situations.Web site: Scratch's Patch-Up Program
Service area: Central Massachusetts
How to apply: Vet Service Request - Online Form or call 978-779-8287
Smokey's Fund - South Shore Humane Society
Smokey's Fund helps South Shore residents who need emergency medical care for their pet and have true financial need.
Web site: South Shore Humane Society Programs (click on Smokey's Fund)
Service area: Abington, Braintree, Hanover, Hingham, Hanson, Holbrook, Hull, Norwell, Milton, Randolph, Rockland, Stoughton, Whitman, Quincy and Weymouth
How to apply: Call or e-mail the Pet Medical Assistance volunteer listed on the Contact Us page
Tufts at Tech Community Veterinary Clinic
Tufts Veterinary School, together with the veterinary assistant program at Worcester Technical High School (WTHS), runs a low-cost primary care pet clinic at WTHS on Skyline Drive in Worcester, MA. Clinic services include vaccinations, checkups, stable urgent care, simple surgeries, diagnostics, and dentistry, all at low cost.
The clinic serves pet owners in the Greater Worcester area who cannot afford to pay for medical care for their pets. To qualify, you must have an ID card from WIC, SNAP, the Worcester Housing Authority or another qualified Housing Authority, or a student ID from WTHS, as well as photo identification. See Tufts at Tech Financial Policies for more information.
Web site: Tufts at Tech Community Veterinary Clinic
Telephone, hours, and directions: Contact Tufts at Tech
Appointments: Tufts at Tech Appointments
Assistance with food, medical needs and general wellness for dogs
Lillys' Fund (grants of $250 for pit bull-related needs)
National programs (grant programs)
IMOM wants to better the lives of sick, injured and abused companion animals. Fights for the lives of companion animals who are at risk of being euthanized because their caretakers are financially challenged. www.IMOM.org
The Pet Fund provides financial assistance to pet owners who cannot afford expensive surgery or medical treatment that their pets need. Assists in covering medical costs beyond the normal expenses of vaccination, spay and neuter surgeries, food and routine veterinary care. www.thepetfund.com
United Animal Nations LifeLine Fund (now Red Rover) helps pet owners care for their animals in life-threatening situations. http://www.redrover.org/redrover-relief-grants and and domestic violence: http://www.redrover.org/redrover-relief-domestic-violence-resources
Brown Dog Foundation offers pet owners in temporary financial crisis an alternative when their pets face a treatable but life-threatening condition or illness. http://www.browndogfoundation.org/
Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance provides financial assistance to cat guardians who are unable to afford veterinary services to save their companions when life-threatening illness or injury strikes. http://www.fveap.org/
Cats in Crisis helps cat owners care for cats with chronic or emergency medical conditions through financial and fundraising assistance. http://www.catsincrisis.org/
Canine Cancer Awareness raises awareness of the prevalence of canine cancer, its effects and treatment options. Helps dog owners pay for veterinary care for dogs with cancer. http://caninecancerawareness.org
Cody’s Club provides financial support for dogs who need radiation treatment. Offers emotional support through a hotline and in-person group that meets monthly. http://www.dogdoggiedog.com/pwcAcodysclub.htm
Diabetic Pets Fund offers financial help to assist the companion animals of those in financial difficulties. (Not accepting applications at this time). http://www.petdiabetes.net/fund/
The Mosby Foundation assists in the care of sick, injured, abused and neglected dogs through financial support and public education. www.themosbyfoundation.org
Magic Bullet Fund provides financial assistance for canine cancer treatment when the family is financially unable to provide treatment. www.themagicbulletfund.org
God's Creatures Ministry Veterinarian Charity Fund spreads God’s compassion to all animals God has made according to the scriptures. Helps with up to $50.00 toward vet bills. www.all-creatures.org
The Big Hearts Fund (financial assistance for the diagnosis and treatment of canine and feline heart disease). www.bigheartsfund.org
The Binky Foundation: www.binkyfoundation.org
The Dog & Cat Cancer Fund: www.dccfund.org
The Onyx & Breezy Foundation: www.onyxandbreezy.org
Paws 4 A Cure: www.paws4acure.org
Pets of the Homeless (pet food and veterinary care assistance for homeless): www.petsofthehomeless.org
Rose's Fund: www.rosesfund.org
Top Dog Foundation "Bentley Grant": www.topdogfoundation.org
The Pet Food Stamps program, a nonprofit organization, provides free home delivery of pet food and supplies to low income pet owners. The program fills a void in the SNAP food stamps program, which excludes the purchase of pet food, so that low income pet owners can afford to keep their pets. You can apply for Pet Food Stamps online at Pet Food Stamps Sign-Up. www.petfoodstamps.org
Many Massachusetts food pantries and animal welfare groups offer free pet food to pet owners in need. The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) maintains a list of pet food pantries by region. MSPCA pet food pantry statewide list: http://www.mspca.org/programs/animal-protection-legislation/massachusetts-food-pantries.html
In addition, other local food pantries may have pet food available or may be able to provide it if you ask.
In some Massachusetts communities, Meals on Wheels partners with local animal welfare groups to provide pet food to homebound Meals on Wheels pet owners. If you receive Meals on Wheels and need pet food for your dog or cat, ask your meal delivery driver if Meals on Wheels pet food is available in your area. For more information about Meals on Wheels pet food, see We All Love Our Pets (WALOP) and Dakin Wheels on Meals Partnerships.
Southborough Pet food Pantry:
MetroWest Pet Food Pantry: http://www.metrowestpetpantry.org/
Pet Food Bank: www.petco.com
The Mary Hooper Elder Pet Care Program (HELP) provides assistance to deserving senior individuals or households so they may keep and properly care for their beloved companion animals. The program supplies free pet food for cats and dogs.
At this time, the pilot program is for residents of Cohasset, Scituate, Hingham, Norwell and Hull 65 years of age and older, who are enrolled in one of the following qualifying programs: South Shore Elder Services, Old Colony Elder Services, Meals on Wheels, Senior Housing, MassHealth (Medicaid). Cohasset, Scituate, Hingham, Norwell and Hull seniors may also qualify for HELP services in other certain situations including unanticipated financial hardship, disability or high unreimbursed healthcare costs due to chronic illness. The Mary Hooper Elder Pet Care Program is sponsored by the Social Service League of Cohasset on behalf of Cohasset resident Mary Hooper, who had a passion for the elderly and for animals in the early 1900’s. A team of volunteers at the Scituate Animal Shelter organizes and executes the Program. For further information, call (781) 561-7994 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Berkshire Humane Society
214 Baker Rd.
Pittsfield, Massachusetts 01201
Ginny's Thrift Shop and Food Pantry
52 Mechanic St.
Leominster, Massachusetts 01453
Lighthouse Outreach Center - Feed My Sheep Food Pantry
65 Middle St.
Fall River, Massachusetts 02723
Pet Partners of the Tri State
West Stockbridge, Massachusetts 01266
The Pet Pantry
PO Box 333- Last Saturday of every month at the Coyle and Cassidy High School
Easton, Massachusetts 02334
Keeping Pets Safe in Cars
This wesbite features a wealth of great information - http://www.fullcoverageautoinsurances.com/safe-driving-with-dogs/
Other groups that keeps lists of resources (may be duplicative):
Kane's Krusade/Greater Springfield Area: We are a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit improving the quality of life of dogs in the Greater Springfield MA area and creating awareness about Misunderstood dogs. A Misunderstood dog is any dog that is labeled or judged based solely on appearance, not behavior. Through a partnership with Thomas J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center, we distribute C.A.R.E. Kits (Canine Assistance, Resources and Education) with our C.A.R.E. Krew volunteers. Helping families care for their dogs in difficult financial times keeps loved dogs in their homes, out of shelters and off the streets. any people are struggling in these challenging economic times. When people struggle, their pets often struggle. Kane's Krusade C.A.R.E. Kits are designed to help keep loved dogs in their homes and out of shelters by providing Canine Assistance, Resources and Education. A typical starter C.A.R.E. Kit includes a leash, collar, name tag, food, toys, and treats. We advocate for dogs to live inside with their family, but in situations where dogs must be outside, we are building dog houses. For hot summer months, we can also provide shade tarps and kiddie pools. We can also provide spay/neuter, vaccinations, microchips and have a small medical fund for minor health issues. http://www.kaneskrusade.org
The Humane Society of the United States has a list of national organizations that may be able to help you: Pet Financial Aid Organizations.
Here is a blog on how to save money on Pet Care: http://beyondbreed.com/saving-money-on-pet-care/