There’s no worse feeling than knowing your animal needs help, but not knowing if you’ll be able to afford it. For many of us, the price of preliminary testing can represent the extent of our expendable income, let alone the cost associated with a treatment plan. Throw an emergency visit into the mix, and suddenly the knot in your gut feels like it’s taken over your entire body.

For Uma’s adopter, Abby, that knot kept tightening with every subsequent trip to the emergency clinic, where the five-year-old cat had to be put on oxygen, steroid injections, and bronchodilators to keep her breathing. What initially seemed like harmless hairball coughs had continued to worsen rapidly, and Uma was diagnosed with severe asthma.

Next came a series of medical regimens and crises as one prescription after another failed to work. Following one particularly precarious recovery, Uma’s veterinarian told Abby that a specialist consultation was her last hope. The estimated cost was between $1,200–$1,500. Abby’s heart sank. She had exhausted her resources on Uma’s medical journey up to now, and finding the means for this next step felt impossible. Holding onto hope and with a vague recollection of the Animal Aid Cares Fund, she reached out to us.

In one form or another, the Cares Fund has been a part of Animal Aid’s mission since day one, emerging from an understanding that the cost of veterinary care can be overwhelming, and the belief that animals deserve every chance to live and be with the people they love. Over the past decade, the Cares Fund has provided more than $50,000 in lifesaving grants through a unique partnership with veterinarians, behaviorists, and trainers. A component of this program is our Helping Hands grant: financial assistance in support of animals adopted from our shelter who have especially challenging health or behavioral conditions.

It was through a Helping Hands grant that Abby was able to bring Uma in to see a specialist, and the team made a key discovery: Out of 61 environmental allergens they tested, Uma was allergic to 59 of them! It was the breakthrough Abby had been hoping for. With a better grasp of Uma’s needs, the vet was able to prescribe a treatment plan, which included a comprehensive hypoallergenic diet in combination with an allergy serum that has both Uma and Abby breathing easier. In fact, Uma’s comeback even earned her a new name: Buffy the Asthma Slayer.

Abby and Buffy’s journey together is one of a kind, but their need for a helping hand during trying times is not. As we all face an uncertain year ahead, the availability of financial aid for urgent medical or behavioral care is more important than ever. We’re honored to be the stewards of this program, but we’re also aware and grateful to know that the Cares Fund came into being because of your generosity and compassion—and with your help, that’s exactly how it will be carried forward into tomorrow.

Your contribution to the Animal Aid Cares Fund provides a lifeline to pets and pet guardians in
need. Please donate today, and when you do, know that you’ve changed the world for an animal and their family.

On behalf of all of us at Animal Aid, thank you for supporting our rescue, the Cares Fund, and animals in need throughout our community.

Paige España
Director of Operations

“She is such a wonderful kitty, and we hope she can live a very long and happy life now that we know what has been causing her problems. She is my family, and it brings me such joy to come home from work and see her at the door to greet me.”

P.S. If you are able, consider becoming a monthly donor to the Animal Aid Cares Fund. Your ongoing contribution allows our program to be a reliable resource for the community and a powerful sidekick for animals like Buffy.

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