Pet Owners

If you are struggling to keep your pet, know that you have options before surrendering him or her. Here is a list of organizations that provide financial assistance for pet owners in need. Each organization has its own rules and guidelines, so explore their websites.


Massachusetts law requires all cats, dogs and ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies. The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources works with several nonprofit animal welfare groups to offer low-cost rabies vaccination clinics in cities and towns throughout the state.  Most clinics charge from $5 to $15 for the rabies vaccination. Microchipping, licenses, and other services are available at some clinics.

LuvMyPet also offers low-cost vaccinations for pets at PETCO stores all over the state.

–See also below under Veterinary Care


See the MAC page:

Veterinary Care

Massachusetts-based resources

Alice T. Whitney Helping Hand Fund – Animal Rescue League
The Alice T. Whitney Helping Hand Fund provides financial assistance to families with limited economic means in veterinary emergencies. For more information contact the Animal Rescue League’s Boston Veterinary Care at (617) 226-5605 or

Angell at Nashoba
Services: Vaccines, wellness visits, sick visits, surgery, spay/neuter
Qualification: Photo ID and one of the following:
-Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program card
-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) card (formerly known as Food Stamps/EBT card)
-Spay and Neuter Assistance Program certificate
-Letter/lease from the owner’s local housing authority showing that the owner is a participant in public housing
Web site: Angell at Nashoba (Westford, MA)
Phone: 978-577-5992

Captain Courageous Fund (CCF) – MRFRS
The Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society’s Captain Courageous fund offers assistance to caretakers of seriously injured feral and stray cats and to Good Samaritans who assist injured cats out of their own pockets.
Website: Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society Veterinary Assistance
Phone: 978-462-0760
Service Area: Massachusetts and contiguous border areas
How to apply: Email

Fairy DogParents
Assistance with food, medical needs and general wellness for dogs

Healthy Animals, Healthy Communities – Animal Rescue League
A pilot program in Codman Square, Dorchester, MA, ARL’s goal is to collaborate and create a community health and wellness model, which includes pets, and has the ability to be sustained by the ongoing support and effort of the organizations and residents of the community.

Healthy Moms, Happy Litters – Animal Rescue League
Provides complimentary assistance to local families and their pets to help prevent animal homelessness, suffering, and neglect.

Lillys’ Fund (grants of $250 for pit bull-related needs)

Merwin Memorial Free Clinic for Animals, Inc.
The Merwin Memorial Free Clinic provides free office visits and free outpatient veterinary services including physical exams, vaccinations, nail-cutting, and free medications for sick animals. The clinic does not schedule appointments. Service is first-come, first-served.
Web site: Merwin Memorial Free Clinic for Animals
Phone: 617-782-5420
Service area: Boston area
Location: 542 Cambridge St., Allston, MA 02134
Hours: Hours of Operation (first-come, first-served; arrive at least one hour before closing)

New Pet Owner Resources – Animal Rescue League
Website: New Pet Owner Resources

Pet Care Assistance – MSPCA-Angell
MSPCA-Angell Pet Care Assistance helps pet owners with limited incomes pay for medical care for their sick or injured pets at MSPCA-Angell Animal Medical Centers.
Web site: Pet Care Assistance
Phone: 617-541-5028 or -5030
Service area: animals treated at MSPCA-Angell Boston or Angell-West (Waltham)
How to apply: Call the MSPCA-Angell Financial Office at 617-541-5028 or 5030

Pet Behavior Helpline – Animal Rescue League
Website: Pet Behavior Helpline

Phinney’s Friends
Phinney’s Friends helps low-income pet owners in the Boston area who have disabling illnesses or other hardships. Phinney’s Friends provides vet vouchers for medical care, as well dog walking, daily pet care (grooming, litter box changing, nail clipping), emergency pet food, and pet foster care.
Web site: Phinney’s Friends
Phone: 617-979-8705
Service area: Boston area
How to apply: Call Phinney’s Friends at 617-979-8705 or use their Contact Form

Sampson Fund for Veterinary Care
Financial assistance through certain veterinary medical practices on Cape Cod and the Islands.
Web site: Sampson Fund
Phone: 508-240-7387
Service area: Cape Cod and the Islands
How to apply: Call the Sampson Fund at 508-240-7387 or apply at a Member Hospital

Smokey’s Fund – South Shore Humane Society
Smokey’s Fund helps South Shore residents who need emergency medical care for their pet and have true financial need.
Web site: South Shore Humane Society Programs (click on Smokey’s Fund)
Phone: 781-843-5838
Service area: Abington, Braintree, Hanover, Hingham, Hanson, Holbrook, Hull, Norwell, Milton, Randolph, Rockland, Stoughton, Whitman, Quincy and Weymouth
How to apply: Call or e-mail the Pet Medical Assistance volunteer listed on the Contact Us page

Spay Waggin’ – Animal Rescue League
The Spay Waggin’ offers affordable spay and neuter on the South Shore and Cape Cod.

Tufts at Tech Community Veterinary Clinic
Tufts Veterinary School, together with the veterinary assistant program at Worcester Technical High School (WTHS), runs a low-cost primary care pet clinic at WTHS on Skyline Drive in Worcester, MA. Clinic services include vaccinations, checkups, stable urgent care, simple surgeries, diagnostics, and dentistry, all at low cost.
The clinic serves pet owners in the Greater Worcester area who cannot afford to pay for medical care for their pets. To qualify, you must have an ID card from WIC, SNAP, the Worcester Housing Authority or another qualified Housing Authority, or a student ID from WTHS, as well as photo identification. See Tufts at Tech Financial Policies for more information.
Web site: Tufts at Tech Community Veterinary Clinic
Telephone, hours, and directions: Contact Tufts at Tech
Appointments: Tufts at Tech Appointments

Vitality Veterinary
Services: Vaccines, wellness visits, sick visits ($29!!), surgery, spay/neuter, walk-ins welcome during open hours, drop off pick up later
Web site:  Vitality Veterinary Services – Swansea 
Vitality Veterinary Services – Attleboro
Phone: 508-567-5757

Second Chance Community Veterinary Hospitals

Full-service veterinary care for all with subsidized pricing for households with income 150% of the poverty level or less. Visit the Second Chance website for details on how to qualify for subsidized services.

North Brookfield Community Veterinary Hospital
Website: North Brookfield Community Veterinary Hospital
Phone: 508-637-1333

Springfield Community Veterinary Hospital
Website: Springfield Community Veterinary Hospital
Phone: 413-739-2343

Worcester Community Veterinary Clinic
Website: Worcester Community Veterinary Cinic
Phone: 774-243-1234

National programs (grant programs)

The Pet Fund provides financial assistance to pet owners who cannot afford expensive surgery or medical treatment that their pets need. Assists in covering medical costs beyond the normal expenses of vaccination, spay and neuter surgeries, food and routine veterinary care.

United Animal Nations LifeLine Fund (now Red Rover) helps pet owners care for their animals in life-threatening situations. and and domestic violence:

Brown Dog Foundation offers pet owners in temporary financial crisis an alternative when their pets face a treatable but life-threatening condition or illness.
Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance provides financial assistance to cat guardians who are unable to afford veterinary services to save their companions when life-threatening illness or injury strikes.

Cody’s Club provides financial support for dogs who need radiation treatment. Offers emotional support through a hotline and in-person group that meets monthly.

Diabetic Pets Fund offers financial help to assist the companion animals of those in financial difficulties. (Not accepting applications at this time).

The Mosby Foundation assists in the care of sick, injured, abused and neglected dogs through financial support and public education.

Magic Bullet Fund provides financial assistance for canine cancer treatment when the family is financially unable to provide treatment.

God’s Creatures Ministry Veterinarian Charity Fund spreads God’s compassion to all animals God has made according to the scriptures. Helps with up to $50.00 toward vet bills.

The Big Hearts Fund (financial assistance for the diagnosis and treatment of canine and feline heart disease).

The Binky Foundation:

The Onyx & Breezy Foundation:

Paws 4 A Cure:

Pets of the Homeless (pet food and veterinary care assistance for homeless):

Rose’s Fund:

Pet Food

Many Massachusetts food pantries and animal welfare groups offer free pet food to pet owners in need. The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) maintains a list of pet food pantries by region. MSPCA pet food pantry statewide list:
In addition, other local food pantries may have pet food available or may be able to provide it if you ask.

In some Massachusetts communities, Meals on Wheels partners with local animal welfare groups to provide pet food to homebound Meals on Wheels pet owners. If you receive Meals on Wheels and need pet food for your dog or cat, ask your meal delivery driver if Meals on Wheels pet food is available in your area. For more information about Meals on Wheels pet food, see We All Love Our Pets (WALOP) and Dakin Wheels on Meals Partnerships.

Southborough Pet food Pantry:

Central MA Kibble The Central MA Kibble Kitchen is a volunteer animal surrender prevention program in Central Massachusetts, dedicated to keeping pets at home and out of shelters. Our Mission is to keep pet-owners suffering from economic crisis from relinquishing their pets by providing free pet food and supplies until the pet-owner is once again able to afford to care for their pet.

The Mary Hooper Elder Pet Care Program (HELP) provides assistance to deserving senior individuals or households so they may keep and properly care for their beloved companion animals. The program supplies free pet food for cats and dogs.
At this time, the pilot program is for residents of Cohasset, Scituate, Hingham, Norwell and Hull 65 years of age and older, who are enrolled in one of the following qualifying programs: South Shore Elder Services, Old Colony Elder Services, Meals on Wheels, Senior Housing, MassHealth (Medicaid). Cohasset, Scituate, Hingham, Norwell and Hull seniors may also qualify for HELP services in other certain situations including unanticipated financial hardship, disability or high unreimbursed healthcare costs due to chronic illness. The Mary Hooper Elder Pet Care Program is sponsored by the Social Service League of Cohasset on behalf of Cohasset resident Mary Hooper, who had a passion for the elderly and for animals in the early 1900’s. A team of volunteers at the Scituate Animal Shelter organizes and executes the Program. For further information, call (781) 561-7994 or via email at

Berkshire Humane Society
214 Baker Rd.
Pittsfield, Massachusetts 01201

Ginny’s Thrift Shop and Food Pantry
52 Mechanic St.
Leominster, Massachusetts 01453

Pet Partners of the Tri State
West Stockbridge, Massachusetts 01266

The Pet Pantry
PO Box 333- Last Saturday of every month at the Coyle and Cassidy High School
Easton, Massachusetts 02334

Keeping Pets Safe in Cars
This wesbite features a wealth of great  information –

Other Resources

Other groups that keeps lists of resources (may be duplicative):

  • Kane’s Krusade/Greater Springfield Area:  We are a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit improving the quality of life of dogs in the Greater Springfield MA area and creating awareness about Misunderstood dogs. A Misunderstood dog is any dog that is labeled or judged based solely on appearance, not behavior. Through a partnership with Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center, we distribute C.A.R.E. Kits (Canine Assistance, Resources and Education) with our C.A.R.E. Krew volunteers. Helping families care for their dogs in difficult financial times keeps loved dogs in their homes, out of shelters and off the streets. any people are struggling in these challenging economic times. When people struggle, their pets often struggle. Kane’s Krusade C.A.R.E. Kits are designed to help keep loved dogs in their homes and out of shelters by providing Canine Assistance, Resources and Education. A typical starter C.A.R.E. Kit includes a leash, collar, name tag, food, toys, and treats. We advocate for dogs to live inside with their family, but in situations where dogs must be outside, we are building dog houses. For hot summer months, we can also provide shade tarps and kiddie pools. We can also provide spay/neuter, vaccinations, microchips and have a small medical fund for minor health issues.
  • The Humane Society of the United States has a list of national organizations that may be able to help you: Pet Financial Aid Organizations.
  • Here is a blog on how to save money on Pet Care:


updated February 2018