This page updated 01-17-19
Aid for Pets
Helping People and Pets Stay Together
"There are beautiful animals in shelters across the country waiting for loving, forever homes. Please explore the adoption option first when seeking a companion for your family."
Organized here by Patricia Stephens, Owner of FloridaPets.net
"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." - Unknown.
Most of us either know someone personally or know of someone, impacted by today's jagged economy. People are losing their jobs, families are losing their homes, and for many, it's getting harder and harder to put food on the table. And...in too many cases, an innocent animal is somewhere in the background, being negatively impacted by all of this and not understanding why. According to The Humane Society of the United States, thousands of family pets are now finding themselves at local pounds and rescues - or worse - simply because their families can no longer afford to take care of them.
Thinking about this was making me crazy. So I decided to do something. I've compiled a list of resources for people who are struggling to keep their pets in spite of the nation's economic turndown. From low-cost spaying and neutering services to free pet food, I've tried to find people and places that can help. And I hope to grow this list, by finding more resources myself and by readers like you letting me know about others. I believe it's vital for people to be able to keep their pets, especially during times of stress and uncertainty. And it's vital for pets to be able to keep their homes. I hope this information will help someone through a difficult time. I have added the actual web addresses of people accessing this information from someone who printed it off.
The first thing you should do, if you need help with pet food or medical care, 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. We have a good list of Florida humane societies to get you started.
If you do not have a shelter in your area, contact The Humane Society of the United States for suggestions and some great "out of the box" ideas.
Please read this first! You will need to qualify for the programs listed below. Please understand these are not places where you can give your pet away. These resources are to help you keep your pet. Please read or call for their qualifications before applying for assistance.
This non-profit organization provides help with food and vet care for qualified applicants.
2. The Pet Project
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 also offers some hands-on assistance to help their clients keep their pets.
3. We All Love Our Pets (WALOP)
This is a Meals on Wheels program to help seniors feed their pets as well as themselves. Contact your local Meals on Wheels or senior center for details. Not all areas offer this service. Some of the areas we know do have this program include:
*** Citrus County Pet Meals Program. For information, call (352) 527-5975.
*** Jacksonville Meals on Wheels Program. For information, or to volunteer, call the City of Jacksonville office at (904) 255-7387(PETS).
*** Meals on Wheels for Pets Nassau serves homebound senior citizens with pets in Nassau County.
This nonprofit organization reports the following Florida locations as distributors of free food for pets of homeless individuals. Soup kitchens, rescue groups and individuals who need food for pets can go to the following:
2 W. Fort King St.
Ocala, FL 34471
Broward Meals on Wheels
Helping Hands Clinic
(Also provides healthcare to the homeless)
419 NE 1st St.
(352) 372-8523 ext. 17
435 W. 2nd St.
Leesburg Food Bank Inc.
1305 Sunshine Ave
Saint Francis House Homeless Shelter & Soup Kitchen
413 South Main St.
The Salvation Army
639 E. University Ave.
Anyone who needs food for their pet can come to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay at 3607 N. Armenia Avenue during normal business hours and pick up food for their dogs or cats. Shelter hours are Monday-Closed, Tuesday and Wednesday-Noon to 7:30 pm; Thursday thru Sunday Noon-5: 00 pm. Administration hours: Monday thru Friday-9:00am-5:00pm.
6. Daffy's Pet Soup Kitchen
Offers food, supplies, medical supplies and services, even a temporary foster program. These people have it all together and are promising to help those who want to start similar programs in their areas across the country.
7. Lee County Animal Services
This organization organizes a Community Pet Pantry.
This group 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.
9. Rescue Raffle
This Hudson-based group provides needy pets with food, vet care, and 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. For more info, visit the link above.
1. No Paws Left Behind, Inc.
This non-profit group's main goal is to keep people and pets together during threats of foreclosure. They provide information about foster care and humane society shelters and they also consider requests for help with pet deposits for those who qualify. This resource is for both people with pets needing help and for people who know of pets needing help.
A few options we've found throughout Florida might be an answer if you find yourself needing to seek alternative living arrangements.
3. Have A Heart for Companion Animals, Inc.
This non-profit organization lists several pet-friendly apartments and offers pointers for homeowners with pets who might be facing foreclosure.
4. Citizens for Pets in Condos
This non-profit organization is working to find options for people in foreclosure. They believe if people can find more affordable association-run housing where pets are allowed, there is potential to save a lot of companion animals.
1. Free Pet Prescription Discount Cards
To save up to 85% on most medications for your pets, ask your vet for a prescription, then go to Pet Drug Card to download and print out your discount card to use at over 58,000 people pharmacies nationwide.
This grocery store offers a free prescription program for one of seven oral antibiotics for both people and pets. When veterinarians prescribe one of the drugs, consumers can take the prescription to Publix where they 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).
An official from CVS Pharmacy said they have a program where they provide certain antibiotic drugs for people or pets for no charge. Contact your area store for more information.
4. The National Association of Counties
This organization, in partnership with Caremark, offers a prescription discount card for NACo member counties that could save residents up to 24% retail on prescriptions, for both humans and pets. Over 60,000 pharmacies participate. Call your county office, ask if they participate in this program and how you can get a card.
Walgreens has a Prescription Savings Program for people which, for eligible participants, also 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 happen to have a membership with the American Automobile Association, they have a Prescription Savings card you can use for yourself and your pet. Just ask your vet to write a prescription you can fill at one of the participating pharmacies in your area.
7. Winn-Dixie, Target, and Walmart
Winn-Dixie has partnered with a pet compounding pharmacy, the type which develops drugs in smaller dosages for animals. Target and Walmart also offer pet medications. NOTE: While none of the three have a low-cost drug for pets program at this time, we've included this item in case refills on current prescriptions are needed quickly.
Low-Cost Spaying and Neutering
Why have we included this? Because spaying or neutering helps prevent cancer and other diseases in pets and that in turn helps the humans save money by not having to seek treatment for such afflictions.
1. Resources from all around Florida.
2. Love That Cat
More low cost or free spay and neuter programs in Florida; this one's only for cats.
More low cost or free spay/neuter resources.
Various low-cost programs for people with pets living in the Northeast Florida area.
It is the goal of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to offer high-quality sterilizations at low cost. They are able to do this through modest fees and generosity of the many HSTB donors who support the program. To make an appointment, please call (813)870-3304 Monday thru Friday between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.
General Veterinary Care
1. Fairy Dog Parents
This non-profit organization provides help with food and vet care for qualified applicants.
2. The Pet Fund
3. St. Francis Animal Hospital
A Jacksonville-based veterinary practice that offers care to pet guardians needing financial assistance.
7.South Ocala Animal Clinic
3760 SE Lake Weir Avenue
Ocala, FL 34471
Dr. Kevin Stoothoff, of the South Ocala Animal Clinic, won a grant from Feeding Pets of the Homeless and will work with two area agencies, Brothers Keeper and Interfaith, to offer veterinary care, vaccinations, and food for pets of the homeless population in the Ocala area.
8. Pet Samaritan
Possible assistance for pets of people suffering extreme financial hardship; considered on a case by case basis.
9. HELP Animals, Inc.
Provides funding for other groups to offer help to people with pets, including a monthly, low-cost shots clinic.
10. PetLuv Clinic
Located in Brooksville, this walk-in clinic offers low-cost spaying and neutering, immunizations, heartworm testing, and heartworm and flea prevention products.
11. Humane Society of Tampa Bay.
The Wellness Clinic at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay offers affordable veterinary care to the public and provides the proper preventative treatment so pets can be protected from deadly diseases like distemper, parvo, rabies, and heartworms. The Wellness Clinic is open every Saturday from 9:00am-3: 00 pm and is located in the Spay/Neuter Clinic at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay at 3607 N Armenia Avenue in Tampa. Please call (813)870-3304 Monday thru Friday between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm to schedule an appointment.
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.
13. Miami Veterinary Foundation
This group of veterinarians and other animal lovers donate their time and expertise to provides free basic veterinary care to residents of Miami Dade County.
Sick or Injured Care
1. Frankie's Friends Charitable Foundation
The brainchild of Florida Veterinary Specialists in Tampa, this fund assists financially-challenged (and qualified) people with animals in need of specialized care, such as cancer. The fund also provides charitable care for injured wildlife.
2. Cody's Club
This group provides funds to help offset the cost of radiation treatment and a support hotline for people with dogs with cancer.
3. Halifax Humane Society
This group has an Emergency Medical Fund (EMF)that provides financial assistance to help keep animals from being surrendered by their guardians. Anyone with a pet, who is facing a veterinary emergency and meets income guidelines, is eligible to receive assistance through the EMF. Applications are reviewed on a case by case basis. See website for more information.
4. The Magic Bullet Fund
Provides help with treatment costs for dogs with cancer.
5. AAHA Helping Pets
The benevolent arm of the American Animal Hospital Association. Your vet will have to contact them for you.
6. Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Programs
Financial assistance for people in need with cats in need.
7. Shakespeare Animal Fund
Assistance for the elderly, disabled, and people who meet income limitations as designated on the website, to obtain emergency pet care.
8. For Paws Hospice
Providing emergency financial support and other types of assistance to people with pets in need.
9. Interfaith Emergency Services
Every other Wednesday, this business offers a free clinic from 12:25 p,m. through 1:30 p.m. The clinic is located at 435 NW 2nd Street in Ocala. Call 1-352-629-5771 for more information.
10. There are several other groups and organizations that provide financial assistance for specific breeds and/or diseases. The list is pretty extensive, so if you have a particular need, please contact me for more information.
Life-Threatening Emergency Care Only
May be able to help with life-saving emergencies if confirmed by a licensed veterinarian by fax or phone.
Other Type Help
1. Dog Coats
A woman in Ocala has been making coats for dogs of homeless people or seniors living on fixed incomes having problems keeping their homes warm. If you can help sew the coats, provide material for the coats, donate money so the material can be purchased, or just pass the word to those who need the coats can get them, please contact Yvonne for all the info.
1. Alley Cat Allies offers suggestions and financial resources for help caring for feral cat colonies, including food, shelter, spay/neuter, and veterinary services. (Note: Some resources listed may duplicate some of those we've listed above, so check carefully before submitting applications for help.)
Help for People, Too!
I love both animals and humans. If you are sick (or know someone who is) and need financial assistance with medication and practical care, please contact me and I'll send you what information I've gathered.
1. Food through SNAP
SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is a resource for people over age 60 to help with the expense of food and home-delivered meals. SUNCAP is a food resource program for people receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
2. Medications through Partnership for Prescription Assistance
For anyone of any age, this program has income guidelines that, if met, can help provide lifetime free or low-cost medications. There is a processing fee per prescription, but the potential savings, depending on what prescriptions you require, can be impressive.
3. Walmart Pharmacy
Now offers free home delivery, 90-day supply, of many medications for $10.
4. The Medicine Program
This is a free medicine ministry worthy of your review.
This grocery store chain offers a 30-day supply of Lisinopril (for blood pressure) at no charge. They also offer a 14-day supply of certain generic antibiotics - check the link given here for a list. They also offer a 30-day supply of immediate-release Metformin (for diabetes.)
6. Dental and Medical Care for People
If you have no dental insurance, but you or a family member is in pain, you may be able to get free or low-cost dental examinations and various treatments through one of the below resources.
a) University of Florida Health Dental Care
Let supervised dental students perform basic care at reduced rates.
b) Dental Lifeline Network
Contact these people if you or someone you know is elderly, disabled, or mentally fragile and in need of dental care.
c) Federally-Funded Health Centers
If you need health care, you may be able to find care at federally-funded health centers, where you pay what you can afford, based on your income. Health centers are in most cities and many rural areas in Florida. Scroll to the bottom of the page, to the "Find a Health Center" box and type in your city.
7. Cleaning Services
Cleaning for a Reason
This is a cleaning service for patients undergoing treatment for any type cancer. This organization will clean your home at no charge to you, once per month, for 4 months while you are in treatment. Contact them for help for yourself or a friend.
8. Free Smoke Alarms
Many cities and counties offer programs that provide free smoke alarms to people who qualify. Contact your local fire departments, police departments or city halls for more information about individual programs and requirements. Do it for yourself and for your pets!
More resources posted as we find them - please keep checking back...
If you are a company, organization or a member of the press, the above information has been compiled in a press release titled Aid for People and Their Pets. Please feel free to pass it along and help us get these resources out to those in need. Thank you!
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