Unique Programs for Pet Owners

Alicia Bailey

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Where do pet owners turn when they are facing hardships? How does a person with a disability find a service animal? Unfortunately, many pet guardians don’t know where to turn when faced with an extraordinary medical emergency or any other curve balls life can throw our way.

We’ve put together a list of California organizations that address the various challenges pet owners can face, as well as those that offer support and therapy services to senior citizens, veterans and those in hospitals, to name just a few.

Actors and Others for Animals This California non-profit corporation is dedicated to the promotion of the humane treatment of animals. Their main mission is to curb the pet overpopulation problem by subsidizing spay/neuter surgeries, but they also offer limited emergency assistance grants to help pet owners cover the cost of their pet’s medical emergencies. actorsandothers.com

Animal Health Foundation “To help pets and wildlife in times of need” is the simple mission of this nonprofit organization, but the aid they provide is vast including financial aid for those facing obstacles that threaten their ability to provide basic care for their pets. animalhealthfoundation.net/index.html

AniMeals is a program of Helen Woodward Animal Center, whose aim is to keep pets in their home regardless of the logistical or financial challenges faced by their clients which include homebound and low-income elderly, disabled veterans and the homeless. animalcenter.org

Bad Rap offers pit bull-specific assistance for finding rental housing and insurance. badrap.org

Cammies and Canines A unique organization, Cammies and Canines marries the need of transitional housing and rehabilitation for veterans and rescue dogs. cammiesandcaninessanctuary.org

Canine Companions for Independence provides highly trained service dogs and ongoing support for people with disabilities. cci.org

Downtown Dog Rescue This Los Angeles-based dog rescue offers free spay/neuter services to low-income and homeless pet guardians, a shelter intervention program to keep pets and their people together, and a pet resource center. downtowndogrescue.org

FACE Foundation provides emergency funding for San Diego County pets in need. face4pets.org

Guide Dogs of the Desert provides guide dogs for those living with blindness or visual impairment, at no cost to the individual. guidedogsofthedesert.org

New Leash on Life/Lend a Paw Therapy Dogs This Los Angeles-based organization visits seniors, children, and campuses to enhance the lives of those living with physical, mental, emotional or life challenges through the warmth and compassion of the animal-human bond. newleash.org

Lucy Pet Foundation Spay & Neuter Free spay & neuter and Pet wellness clinics to those who qualify. lucypetfoundation.org

Maddie’s Fund For those impacted by COVID-19, MaddiesFund.org has a list of known emergency resources. maddiesfund.org/covid-19-emergency-foster-care-resources.htm

OC Shelter Partners A privately funded 501(c)(3) charity, OC Shelter Partners is committed to assisting good pet owners so they can keep their pets by offering resources such as spay and neuter assistance, veterinary help, food, leashes and collars, flea treatment, and training. When it is evident that it is impossible for a pet to stay in a home, it works with a pre-approved network of rescue partners. ocshelterpartners.org

Orange County Animal Allies This non-profit organization’s programs are aimed at saving the lives of animals by providing community education, emergency resources and referral services to Orange County community residents. ocanimalallies.org

Paws & Hearts Animal Assisted Therapy enriches the lives of seniors and children with visits from therapy dogs from Palm Springs to Indio. pawsandhearts.org

Pet Food Bank Palm Springs Animal Shelter This community food bank helps pet guardians keep their pets in their homes by providing pet food to those in need in the Palm Springs area. psanimalshelter.org/pet-food-bank

Pets Are Wonderful Support PAWS provides free comprehensive support services for pets of seniors and individuals living with disability or illness. shanti.org/programs-services/pets-are-wonderful-support/

Pets for Patriots provides veterans with various benefits to make pet guardianship more affordable over the life of the pet. petsforpatriots.org

State of CA Animal Assistance Allowance

This organization provides a monthly payment of $50 to eligible individuals who use a guide, signal or service dog to help them with needs related to their physical disabilities. Call 916-657-2628.

State of California SB 245

This Senate Bill waives adoption fees at animal shelter for veterans.

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