Tis the Season for Giving

In all of our blog posts we continually emphasize the importance of lowering stress levels in ourselves and our own companion animals.  The lack of fulfilling basic needs such as food, water, safety and overall good physical and mental health are the largest contributing factors of stress. We as humans sometimes find ourselves lacking enough food and forgoing medical care when resources are limited and this means forging those basic needs for our pets as well. Animals often go without or are given up in these heartbreaking situations.

While there are some credit programs and pet insurance companies that can help owners with medical bills, most people need to ask for help or face the unbearable situation of  losing the animal or giving them up. There are many programs both nationally and locally that can help ease the financial and emotional burden. Many members of our staff are heavily involved in these organizations and we are proud to directly support, partner and showcase their work.

Founded by Erin Kowalski, this organization started in memory of Bialy who was found with a broken back and stab wound at just 7 weeks of age. She was dealt a bad hand in life and needed special equipment, prolonged veterinary care, veterinary rehabilitation, behavior modification and training among other services to maintain her quality of life. Despite doing everything in our power to keep her healthy physically, mentally and emotionally Bialy passed away on June 19, 2014.  Her legacy lives on through this foundation which provides families and rescues with special needs animals the equipment, medical care, rehabilitative therapy, training, resources and support necessary to optimize the quality of life of their wonderful animals. www.bialyswellnessfoundation.org

Debbie Ferguson is a board member and an animal rescue team member-Founded in 1987, the mission of RedRover is to bring animals out of crisis and strengthen the bond between people and animals through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education. RedRover accomplishes its mission by engaging volunteers and supporters, collaborating with others and maximizing the use of online technology. www.redrover.org


Founded by Erin Kowalski, this fund will help Chicagoland rescue organizations pay for all veterinary costs that puppies incur. Puppies always cost a little more since there is more vetting to be done and because they are so young their immune systems are not fully developed leaving room for more severe medical issues to arise. The Lucida Puppy Fund will allow rescues to concentrate on getting these dogs the care they need without having to worry as much about finances.

A non-profit organization formed for the purpose of providing financial assistance to dog owners in need. Their goal is to keep pets in loving homes and out of over crowded shelters. Founded by Kelly Michael, Heather Owen and Sebastian Sparenga who have all worked in the rescue community and realized how there are people who are out there struggling and love their dogs. The foundation spokesdogs, Fifty (Michael’s rescue dog) and Rude Dog (Owen’s rescue dog) have become the face of this organization with a combined total of close to 350K Facebook followers, they are helping keep families and pets together.


This is truly the “the season of giving” and by helping these organization, we enable and empower  pet guardians to fully take care of their animals .  Whether it’s a temporary emotional, physical or financial situation, we can keep these animals healthier, happier and with the ones they love.

Happy Holidays and please remember to support these organizations today and every day!

We’ve also compiled a list of national and local organizations that go above and beyond in their offerings for general medical care . Please support them as well.

Animal Care and Welfare, Inc.
helps low-income animal guardians obtain medical care for their sick or injured pets

Animal Guardian Network

Brown Dog Foundation
provides funding to families who find themselves with a sick pet that would likely respond to treatment, but due to unforeseen circumstances, there is not enough money to afford the care

Canine Cancer Awareness

Care Credit 
offers special financing and low monthly payment options, no up-front costs, and no-prepayment penalties

Cats In Crisis
dedicated to helping individuals & humane organizations care for cats with chronic or emergency medical conditions

Fairy Dog Parents
mission is preventing dogs from being surrendered

Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance (FVEAP)
provides emergency financial assistance to cat & kitten guardians who are unable to afford veterinary services to save their companion

Frankie's Friends
assists families who demonstrate substantial financial need & whose pets would have a good prognosis for long-term recovery to a normal quality of life

In Memory Of Magic, Inc.
a registered charity helping companion animals whose caretakers cannot afford non-routine veterinary care

J. Kirk Foundation & Animal Assistance League

Paws 4 A Cure
provides financial assistance for canine and feline owners who cannot afford veterinary care

Rose's Fund

Shakespeare Animal Fund
nonprofit founded to help those who may face financial problems while trying to save their pet

The Big Hearts Fund
financial assistance for the diagnosis & treatment of canine & feline heart disease

The Binky Foundation
dedicated to the protection of domestic & wild animals & the protection & expansion of their habitats

The Dog & Cat Cancer Fund
work directly with veterinarians to help needy families get treatment for their cats & dogs suffering from cancer

The Magic Bullet Fund
provides cancer treatment for dogs whose caretakers are unable to provide treatment

The Mosby Foundation
a charitable organization assisting in the care of sick, injured, abused and neglected dogs through financial support

The Riedel & Cody Fund
provides support, resources, & treatment funding for people whose pets have cancer

The Pet Fund
a nonprofit association that provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need veterinary care (cannot help in emergency cases)

You Caring
free online fundraising tool


If you’re looking for help with feeding your companion animals the following organizations are great resources:


Animal Welfare League
10305 Southwest Highway, Chicago Ridge, IL
Once a month, our satellite shelter provides a monthly supply of pet food to pet owners on a limited income who otherwise would be unable to keep their companion animals. The shelter works diligently to secure food donations so that we can continue this vital service in the community.


Friendship Pet Food Pantry
2733 W. Lawrence Avenue, Chicago, IL
The new Lincoln Square Friendship Center not only holds a weekly food pantry, it is also the home of the Friendship Pet Food Pantry, which distributes from 3pm-5pm on the 3rd Friday of every month. There are no residence boundary requirements, other than living in the city. Dog and cat food is offered to anyone who is having difficulty feeding their pets.


Irving Park Community Food Pantry
3801 N. Keeler, Chicago, IL
Hours of Operation – Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the Second Tuesday of every month from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Service Area – All of 60641 and a portion of 60618 West of Kedzie Ave. Pet Food support as well.


Patrick’s Pantry
1133 W. Fulton Market, Chicago IL
Now housed at Chicago Party Animals. Pet owners may pick up food on Wednesdays from 11am – 2pm.


PAWS Chicago Pet Food Bank
1997 N. Clybourn, Chicago, IL
Owners must show proof of financial need and not be looking to adopt or buy a pet with PAWS Chicago’s help in mind. Pet owners must accept in good faith that with the help of the Food Bank, they will be able to care for their animals in a reasonable amount of time.


Paws N Claws Pantry
P.O. Box 2442, Bridgeview, IL
Paws N Claws Pantry provides free dog and cat food to anyone in financial crisis, counsels pet owners on proper nutrition for their pet and provides information on free and low cost spay and neuter programs.


Pets Are Like Family
Northwest side of Chicago
Pets Are Like Family has a pet pantry to help clients get through tough times. The pantry is located on the northwest side of Chicago. If you’d like to sign up to receive assistance from the pantry, email us at help@petsarelikefamily.org.


Red Door Animal Shelter
7648 N. Paulina, Chicago, IL
www.reddoorshelter.org | info@reddoorshelter.org
Food distribution is during regular business hours at the shelter, as well as from 1-2pm on the last Thursday of every month at the Howard Area Community Center, 7648 N. Paulina. Through a partnership with PAWS – Chicago and its Lurie Family Spay/Neuter Clinic, Red Door also provides food pantry participants with $10 vouchers to have their animals neutered and/or spayed. Participants must be willing to get their animals altered in order to be eligible for pet food assistance.


Tree House Pet Food Pantry (two locations)
1212 West Carmen Avenue, Chicago, IL
www.treehouseanimals.org | info@treehouseanimals.org
Food distribution is Thursday 9a-6p. Clients must show proof of their low-income status. This includes Social Security Award Letters, Unemployment Award Letters, Disability Award Letters, Medical Cards, etc.  All animals belonging to clients must be spayed or neutered and clients must provide verification. (Note: If a client has unaltered animals, they may be eligible for Tree House’s low-cost Spay/Neuter Program. For information on this program, please call 773-227-5535, ext. 2)

1629 N. Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL
www.treehouseanimals.org | bucktownbranch@treehouseanimals.org
Food distribution is Thursday & Saturday 12p-4p. Participation criteria same as above.