"Dear God, you have given us care over all living things; protect and bless the animals who give us companionship and delight, make us their true friends and worthy companions." - Patricia Collier, Owner, FloridaPets.net
According to The Humane Society of the United States, thousands of family pets are finding themselves at local pounds and animal rescues - or worse - simply because their families can no longer afford to take care of them.
That hurts my heart. In an attempt to help, I've compiled a list of resources for people struggling to keep their pets no matter their current financial situation. I hope to grow this list as I find more resources and as readers like you tell me about more. I believe that it's vital for people and their pets to stay together, especially during times of stress and uncertainty!
The first thing you should do if you need help, is to contact your local humane society or animal control. Many of them have programs designed to help people afford good care for their pets. If you do not have a shelter in your area, check out The Humane Society of the United States for suggestions and some great "out of the box" ideas.
Now, keep in mind you will need to qualify for the programs listed below. Also, these are not places where you can give your pet away. These resources are to help you keep your pet.
Note: We are currently searching for alternative living arrangements when you and your pet need to find a place to stay - fast.
This store offers a free prescription program for seven oral antibiotics for both people and pets. Consumers can get a 14-day free supply of one of seven medications, including Amoxicillin; Cephalexin, generic of Keslex; Penicillin VK; Ciprofloxacin (excluding Ciprofloxacin XR); Ampicillin; Erythromycin (excluding Ery-Tab), and Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim (SMZ-TMP).
Provide certain antibiotic drugs for people or pets for no charge. Contact your area store for more information.
National Association of Counties
This organization, in partnership with Caremark, offers a discount card for NACO-member counties that could save residents up to 24% retail on prescriptions, for both humans and pets. Call your county office, ask if they participate in this program and how you can get a card.
This retailer has a Prescription Savings Program which offers discounts on certain "cross-over prescriptions" which means they can be used for people or pets, for up to 2 pets per family. Check with your local store for specifics.
If you have membership with the American Automobile Association, they have a Prescription Savings card you can use for yourself and your pet. Just ask your vet for a prescription you can fill at one of the participating pharmacies in your area.
Winn-Dixie, Target, and Walmart
Winn-Dixie has partnered with a pet compounding pharmacy, the type which develops drugs in smaller dosages for animals. Also, Target and Walmart offer pet medications. NOTE: While none of the three have a low-cost drugs for pets program at this time, we've included this item in case refills on current prescriptions are needed quickly.
Fairy Dog Parents
This non profit organization helps with food and veterinary care for qualified applicants.
A Florida non-profit group which helps people in Broward and Dade counties with terminal or disabling conditions, seniors on fixed incomes, and victims of violent crimes. The group arranges for pet food, supplies, medical care, including immunizations, and offers hands-on assistance to help their clients keep their pets.
Type in your zip code on this site for a Meals on Wheels (MOW) programs in your area. Some help seniors feed their pets as well. Not all MOW groups offer this service. We've found a few who do:
This nonprofit organization offers food, treats, and emergency medical care for pets of homeless people. Check here for distribution locations throughout Florida.
This organization runs a Community Pet Pantry which provides food and supplies for anyone in financial crisis wanting to keep their pet.
First Coast Pet Food Bank
Provides a one month supply of cat or dog food for up to 4 dogs and 5 cats per household in Jacksonville, for those who qualify.
This group helps needy families across the U.S. with pet food and vet care. This group is currently regrouping and may not be able to provide help at this time, but keep checking back.
Pet Meals on Wheels by Rescue Raffle is based in Hudson (Pasco County.) They provide food, medical care, even temporary housing in order to help people keep their pets. The public can help by supporting the group's pet food drives and fundraising raffles.
General Veterinary Care
Helps with vaccinations, spay/neuter, food, routine vet care.
A Jacksonville-based vet practice that offers care to pet guardians needing financial assistance.
Dr. Kevin Stoothoff, with South Ocala Animal Clinic, won a grant from the Feeding Pets of the Homeless group and will work with two area agencies, Brothers Keeper & Interfaith, to offer food, veterinary care, and vaccinations for pets of the homeless population in the Ocala area.
Provides funding for other groups to offer help to people with pets, i.e., a monthly, low-cost shots clinic.
Located in Brooksville, this clinic offers low cost spaying/neutering services, immunizations, heartworm and flea prevention products.
Offers affordable veterinary care and preventative treatment so all pets can be protected from deadly diseases like distemper, parvo, rabies and heartworms.
A small, privately run animal-services charity in West Palm Beach that offers affordable, routine vet care, including heartworm testing and preventative, dental services and more.
Frankie's Friends "Hope Fund" assists financially-challenged (and qualified) people with animals in need of specialized therapy or emergency care.