Information and Resources for Pet Owners

Need advice on your pet’s behavior? AWS offers on-call assistance through our helpline (207-985-3244 x132).  We can counsel pet owners facing problems such as scratching furniture, chewing, eliminating in the house or outside the litter box, pulling on the leash, etc.  We can also answer questions about behavioral training resources at AWS.

Suspect abuse? Contact the Animal Welfare Program in Augusta at 287-3846 or toll-free 1-877-269-9200. You can also e-mail them at Complaints received via email must contain the reporting party’s name and phone number, the name of the animal owner (if known), a physical address, a description of the animals and the type of complaint.

Scroll to find links to additional resources related to animal welfare. Please keep in mind that the Animal Welfare Society does not necessarily endorse any of the organizations, methods or information contained on these websites.

For pet owners experiencing financial hardship:

Pet food pantries

Reduced Priced Spay and Neuter

  • The Shelter Spay/Neuter Clinic can safely perform surgery and immunize your pet for rabies beginning at 12 weeks of age. However, spaying or neutering your pet at ANY age is beneficial to the animal and to the community.
  • Help Fix ME, call 1-800-367-1317

Low-cost vaccine clinics, including rabies clinics

Reduced & subsidized veterinary fees

Parasite Control

  • AWS may be able to assist with temporary parasite control and offer educational resources on how to prevent reoccurrence.  Contact our Programs & Outreach Manager for more information on these resources.

Veterinary financial aid:

Care Credit, credit payment plan for veterinary and personal health care costs, (800) 839-9078;

The American Animal Hospital Association: The AAHA offers a program among its member animal hospitals that helps to pay for veterinary expenses. Ask your veterinarian if they are part of this program.

Cats in Crisis, Inc., providing financial assistance to help with diagnosing, treating and maintaining cats with special medical needs, PO Box 225, Lititz, PA 17543; – The RedRover Relief program provides financial and emotional support to Good Samaritans, animal rescuers and pet owners to help them care for animals in life-threatening situations and resources to help victims of domestic violence escape abusive environments with their pets. They also have a program that helps with disaster relief, criminal seizures and hoarding cases.
The Pet Fund - The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c) 3 nonprofit association that provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need veterinary care.
The AAHA Foundation - The benevolent arm of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the AAHA Foundation offers the AAHA Helping Pets Fund which works with AAHA-accredited veterinary practices to identify pets in need. Accredited practices may then apply for assistance from the Fund for emergency and non-elective treatment of abandoned pets and pets whose owners are facing financial hardship.
IMOM - This all-volunteer 501(c)(3) charity helps people cover vet bills when they just can’t do it themselves. They also help with spay/neuter and have a staff on hand to answer questions or get you the resources you need for any issues with your pet.
Harley’s Hope Foundation - Harley’s Hope offer several services for low-income pet owners, service animals, seniors and short-term foster care.
Brown Dog Foundation - This organization is dedicated to helping families who find themselves in a temporary financial crisis at the same time their pet requires life-saving treatment or life-sustaining medications.
Banfield Charitable Trust - The Banfield Charitable Trust has numerous programs including grants to help with veterinary care, food programs (like Meals on Wheels), helping homebound pet owners and owners in hospice care among others.
Shakespeare Animal Fund - They help elderly, disabled and those whose total income does not exceed the current federal poverty guidelines to obtain emergency pet care. The fund was founded after the loss of a beloved cocker spaniel “Shakespeare”. He died after a very costly illness, and in his memory this fund was founded to help others who might face financial problems while trying to save their pets.
The Onyx & Breezy Foundation - This is a privately run nonprofit started in memory of the founder’s dogs.  This foundation has helped animals in a variety of ways: from spay/neuter programs, to getting dogs on death row out of high-kill shelters, to providing emergency medical care to animals whose owners have fallen on hard times.
Handicapped Pets Foundation - The Handicapped Pets foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation dedicated to the health and well-being of elderly, disabled, and injured pets. They also donate mobility equipment to pets in need.
Credit Cards for Veterinary Care
Since many veterinary hospitals do not take payment plans, getting one of these specialized cards may be a solution if you are not able to afford the whole cost of treatment all at once. Your veterinarian must offer this service, in order for you to use so check with your veterinarian to see which cards are accepted.

Dog-Breed Specific Support
There are many rescue groups and associations that support specific dog breeds. Reach out to your local breed clubs for information on local, state and national groups involved in dog breed-specific veterinary care assistance programs. Examples include groups like CorgiAidSpecial Needs DobermansLabMedPit Bull Rescue Central.

Disease Specific Support
There are groups that help with specific canine diseases such as Canine Cancer AwarenessThe Reidel & Cody FundThe Magic Bullet Fund, Helping Harley Fund, and Muffin Diabetes Fund, The Big Hearts Fund.

Working Dogs / Service Dog Support
 There are also special programs for veterinary care assistance for working dogs and service animals, such as Assistance Dogs Special Allowance Program and The Gandalf Fund.

Crowdsource Funding
Try raising your own funds through fundraising platforms like GiveForward,, GoFundMe, that let you create a personal fundraising page to raise funds for your pet’s medical care. They charge a small percentage of funds raised.

There are many other local groups and rescues that may be able to help, or point you in the right direction for assistance. Many will know of low-cost vet clinics and possible solutions for funds.
Keep in mind the groups listed above are primarily for helping families with emergency medical situations. If you are looking for low cost-spay and neuter and vaccinations, try calling your local animal control or rescue organizations for information. Another good place to check for this information would be with veterinary schools in your city or checking with veterinary associations such as The American Veterinary Medical Association.


Help with emergency veterinary care:

THE PET FUND: Provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need urgent veterinary care. The Pet Fund also provides information about preventative care, pet insurance programs, and financial services that will ensure that pet owners are able to develop financial resources on their own and thus avoid future emergencies through care and planning. (916) 443-6007.

FELINE VETERINARY EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM: Provides assistance to cat/kitten guardians who are unable to afford veterinary services to save their companions when life-threatening illness/injury strikes. Focus on seniors, people with disabilities, people who have lost their job, good samaritans who rescue a cat or kitten.

STARFLEET CANINE AID FOUNDATION: SCAF was created to provide financial aid to owners or rescue organizations that could not otherwise afford medical treatment for the curable disease or recoverable accident of a canine companion.

IMOM: Dedicated to better the lives of sick, injured and abused companion animals and to ensure that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker is financially challenged. Allows owners to fundraise for their pets’ care via their website. Also has limited funds for emergencies, blind dogs, diabetic pets, and those with chronic renal failure.

For continuing education:

Below is a list of sites where you can learn more about animal welfare and medical issues. We firmly believe in lifelong education and hope these links provide helpful information beyond what we have here on our site.

Do you have an emergency/disaster plan for your pets? Take this quiz.

Local and regional humane societies and animal welfare groups: