Note: This page was updated 06-30-23
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.
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 assistan
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 for Pets (For Seniors)
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:
NOTE: If you know of any areas not listed above that have Meals on Wheels for pets, please write me at WebMistress@FloridaPets.net and let me know so I can add them to this page.
This nationwide, nonprofit organization has several Florida distributions locations of free food for pets of homeless individuals. Go to the site and type in your city name under "Search for help near you" for locations.
4. Other locations with pet food banks include:
Humane Society of North Central Florida - Gainesville
Space Coast Kibble Kitchen - Brevard County
First Coast No More Homeless Pets Jacksonville Pet Food Bank -Jacksonville
Flagler Humane Society – 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 (For Seniors in Need)
Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando - Orange, Seminole or Osceola County
Sophie’s Circle – Volusia Cou
1. The Pet Fund
For pet guardians needing help to care for their pets.
Paws 4 A Cure is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance throughout the United States for dogs and cats with all illnesses and injuries which also includes medication, insulin, Heartworm positive treatment and medical equipment such as wheelchairs. If you are in need of assistance for your dog or cat's veterinary care, please visit the link above.
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
Help with treatment for dogs with cancer.
Paws 4 A Cure is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance throughout the United States for dogs and cats with all illnesses and injuries which also includes medication, insulin, Heartworm positive treatment and medical equipment such as wheelchairs. If you are in need of assistance for your dog or cat's veterinary care, please visit us through the link above.
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
None found at this time.
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.
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.
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.)
Offers help with food, clothing, and more.
Offers support to patients with pets who are undergoing cancer treatment, including food, dog walking, and more.
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