While the COVID-19 crisis has delivered some devastating economic blows, there is support for pet owners who are struggling financially. Resources are available for pet owners in need so that you and your pet can remain together in times of crises.
Here is a list of a few of the resources available that can help you or others who may be struggling to care for your four legged friends.
Pet food pantries
Humane Society Silicon Valley: Open to Santa Clara County residents. You must fill out an online application and be qualified to participate. Food is distributed every 30 days during designated hours: noon to 1 p.m. Thursdays, and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. For more information, email [email protected] or call 408-262-2133 ext. 110.
East Bay SPCA: Drive-through pet food pantry held every other Friday from 11 a.m. to 1
p.m. or while supplies last, 410 Hegenberger Road, Oakland. Offers cat and dog food
to pet parents in need. Pet parents must stay in their car and wear a mask while driving
Alameda Animal Shelter: Open to Alameda residents 10 a.m. to noon every second and fourth Saturday, 1590 Fortmann Drive, Alameda. Supplies are limited to up to
three dogs and three cats per family, and visits are limited to once a month per family.
Berkeley Humane: Open 10 a.m. to noon every Sunday, 2700 Ninth Street, Berkeley. Provides a two-week supply of dog or cat food on a first-come, first-served basis. Mask and social distancing required.
Furry Friends Food Relief (Antioch): Volunteer-run organization open 1 to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 708 W. Second Street in Antioch. Bring proof of
spay/neuter for each pet in the household and your ID. Supplies are limited, and visits are limited to once a month per family. Hours may be subject to change.
Contra Costa Humane Society: The “Animeals” program is a partnership with the Food
Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. You must contact the Food Bank to register for the
program – they can be reached at 925-676-7543 or 1-800-870-3663. They will give you
the list of requirements, which includes a valid form of ID, proof of address, and income
guidelines for household members. Pet food distribution sites are located in Martinez,
Pittsburg and Rodeo.
The Animal Connection (San Francisco): Open to San Francisco residents by appointment only. Email [email protected] to schedule an appointment. Please note they are low on donations so there may be a wait time.
Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF – Walnut Creek): The FoodShare program is open to
Contra Costa County residents. You must fill out an online application and be qualified to
participate. Pets must be spayed or neutered (certificate required), and proof of
household income and photograph identification are needed.
Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (Burlingame): Open to San Mateo residents the
second Friday of each month at 1450 Rollins Road in Burlingame. You must register for
the pet food bank online. They provide for up to four pets per household. Email [email protected] for more information.
The Palo Alto Humane Society has Daisy’s Fund, which provides financial assistance for people facing unmanageable veterinary expenses. PAHS collaborate with local veterinary clinics to facilitate critically needed medical treatments and directly pay these clinics for their services. The help is available to eligible applicants living in Redwood City, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara or San Jose.
RedRover offers urgent care grants for emergency veterinary care. Grants average $250
and are intended to fill a small gap in funding that is keeping an animal from care.
Applications are accepted online.
The Pet Fund offers financial assistance for non-basic, non-urgent care such as cancer
treatment, heart disease, chronic conditions and more.
RedRover Relief emergency boarding grants. If you or someone you know needs help
taking care of an animal because of a COVID-19 hospitalization, or if the pet owner is
recovering at home and unable to care for their pet, RedRover has created an assistance
program. These grants will cover the cost of up to two weeks of pet boarding while the
owner is recovering.
RedRover relief safe escape grants help families with pets safely escape domestic abuse together. These grants will cover the cost of up to 90 days of boarding while the survivor is residing in a shelter.
Low-cost spay and neuter
North Shore Animal League has an extensive database of affordable spay and neuter
services. Type in your zip code for a list of clinics nearby.
Feed the Dog, Inc. helps disabled veterans with high level injuries that don’t have the
resources to care for their service dogs. Funding can help pay for dog food, veterinary
care, special equipment, dog walkers, and more.
Temporary foster resource
PACT for Animals helps to find temporary foster homes for pets of military personnel and
These are just a few of the many resources available to help pet owners in need. With a little time and research you may be able to find even more resources to fit your needs.
Nicole Forsyth is president and CEO of RedRover, an organization that focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the human-animal bond through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education. She writes For the Love of Pets for the Bay Area News Group. Send questions to [email protected]