Note: This page was updated 03-12-2021.
The following information has been compiled by various pet-loving friends and 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."
Most of us know someone personally impacted by today's jagged economy. - perhaps you and yours have been struggling? 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 really sad. So I decided to do something. This page is a list of resources for people who are struggling to keep their pets in spite of the nation's economy.
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 for 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.
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.
A Florida non-profit group that 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.
2. Meals on Wheels
These programs 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. Areas we know that do have this program include:
* Citrus County Pet Meals Program
For information, call (352) 527-5975.
* Jacksonville Meals on Wheels
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.
3. Feeding Pets of the Homeless
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:
* Brothers Keeper
2 W. Fort King St., Ocala, FL 34471. (352) 622-3846
* Broward Meals on Wheels
For info call (954) 731-8770.
* Helping Hands Clinic
Also provides healthcare to the homeless. 419 NE 1st St., Gainesville, FL. (352) 372-8523 ext. 17.
435 W. 2nd St., Ocala, FL. (352) 629-8868
* Leesburg Food Bank Inc.
1305 Sunshine Ave., Leesburg, FL. (352) 326-5463.
* Saint Francis House Homeless Shelter & Soup Kitchen
413 South Main St., Gainesville, FL. (352) 378-9079
* The Salvation Army
639 E. University Ave., Gainesville, FL. (352) 376.1743.
* Humane Society of Tampa Bay
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 every Tuesday from Noon - 3 p.m. and every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call 813-876-7138 ext 0.
* Daffy's Pet Soup Kitchen
Serves Georgia. 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.
* First Coast No More Homeless Pets Pet Food Bank
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.
* 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.
Alachua County Humane Society - Gainesville
Animal Health Outreach Prevention Education (AHOPE) - Milton
Bright Paw Pet Food Bank - Volusia County areaCall 321-733-7672
First Coast No More Homeless Pets Jacksonville Pet Food Bank -Jacksonville
Flagler Humane – Palm Coast
Ginger’s Pet Food Pantry – Port St. Lucie
Humane Society of Pinellas – Clearwater
Humane Society of Tampa Bay – Tampa Bay
Jacksonville Humane Society – Jacksonville
Kibblez of Love – West Palm Beach
Leon County Humane Society – Tallahassee
Paws Pet Sanctuary – Fellsmere
Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando - Orlando
Sophie’s Circle – Volusia County
1. The Pet Fund
For pet guardians needing help to care for their pets.
This organization accepts application for help with vet care for sick or injured dogs and cats.
A small, privately run animal-services charity in West Palm Beach that offers affordable, not free, routine vet care, including heartworm testing and preventative, dental services and more.
Located in Brooksville, this walk-in clinic offers low cost spaying and neutering, immunizations, heart worm testing, and heartworm and flea prevention products.
SICK OR INJURED CARE
This organization accepts application for help with vet care for sick or injured dogs and cats.
Assistance for elderly, disabled, and people who meet income limitations as designated on the web site, to obtain emergency pet care.
3. 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.
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 at WebMistress@FloridaPets.net for more information.
LIFE-THREATENING EMERGENCY CARE ONLY
Offers help for critical care, cancer treatments, spay/neutering, and they also have a food pantry.
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.
This organization 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.
This retail store 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 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.
6. 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 drugs for pets program at this time, we've included this item in case refills on current prescriptions are needed quickly.
7. Other sources
I've been told that several humane societies around the state offer low cost heartworm and flea and tick preventative. Check prices with the group near you.
LOW COST SPAYING/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.
Low cost or free spay and neuter programs in Florida 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 9-4 p.m.
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.
This group has excellent 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 listed above, so check carefully before submitting applications for help.)
Note: "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 at WebMistress@FloridaPets.net. Meanwhile, please check out these resources for people needing assistance."
1. Food through SNAP
(Suppplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is a resource for people over age 60 to help with the expense of food and home-delivered meals. Actually, in Florida the program is called "SUNCAP." Most people over 60 will qualify if their net monthly income -after housing, medical and other costs - doesn't exceed $903 for individuals and $1,215 for couples. Check it out for you or someone you know.
Walmart Pharmacy offers free home delivery, 90-day supply, of many medications for $10.
3. More Prescriptions
Free Medicine Foundation is a free medicine ministry worthy of your review.
4. And More Prescriptions
Publix stores offer 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.)
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.
Find a dental school near you and perhaps let supervised dental students perform basic care at reduced rates.
Find federally-funded programs here.
Contact these people if you are disabled and need dental care.
Sometimes, dental hygiene schools offer supervised, low-cost care as part of the training experience for dental hygienists.
You may also 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. Use the "Find a Health Center" box on this site to locate a federally-funded health center near you.
6. Cleaning Services
Cleaning for a Reason 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 in need.
7. 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!
Note from me: "More resources will be posted as we find them - please keep checking back and let me know if you know of any that should be added...thanks!"