Resources to Keep Your Pet
You Have Options
From financial struggles to family changes and housing insecurity, there are so many circumstances that can make keeping a pet difficult. But we believe loving pet owners shouldn’t have to lose their furry family members. If you are struggling to care for your pet, we have a host of resources to help.
Home Away From Home Program
Are you experiencing a crisis situation and need a temporary foster home for your pet? We may be able to help. Our Project Home Away From Home program, in partnership with PetSmart, provides temporary foster care or boarding (typically 30-90 days) for the pets of families in a critical time of need. This could include situations such as:
- Medical or behavioral health hospitalization.
- Domestic violence survivors seeking safety for their pets.
- A loss of housing.
- Active Duty deployments.
To be eligible for consideration into this program:
- Any and all pets must be healthy and behaviorally sound.
- We are only able to accept two pets per household. Exceptions are occasionally made.
- Owner must have a plan to reunite with their pet.
- Pets must be spayed/neutered either before entering the program or while they are in the program. AHS is able to provide this service.
- Vaccinations are required for entrance into the program as outlined below:
Dogs: Bordatella, Distemper/Parvo (DA2PP) and Rabies.
Cats: FVRCP and Rabies.
AHS is able to provide these vaccinations, but this may delay your entrance into the program.
What to expect after submission:
Once your application is received, it will be reviewed within 72 hours and a member of our team will reach out to you to determine program eligibility. If a staff member of AHS contacts you, and you do not respond within 48 hours, your spot will be given to the next person on the waiting list.
**Please note, this is a capacity based program and due to the high demand, we are not always able to assist right away. When space allows, evaluations for pets and pet parents determined to be potential candidates will be scheduled, on average, up to one-three weeks out.
Expectations of families accepted into our program:
- Pet Parents are required to proactively communicate on a weekly basis and report progress made to goals set in order to reunite with pets.
*If you or your pet do not meet these requirements, we do have other resources that may be able to help. Please see below for alternatives.
Bridge the Gap Program
Our Bridge the Gap program supports pet owners in crisis. With the help of our community support coordinator, we can help pet parents navigate the abundant resources in Maricopa County and help keep beloved pets in their forever homes. Do any of the statements below apply to you?
- I’m struggling to pay for rent and/or utilities.
- I’m struggling to pay for food for my pet.
- I’m struggling to meet my pet’s basic needs.
- I’m elderly (65+) and having difficulties caring for my pet.
- I’m in a dangerous situation and need help getting myself and my pet to a safe place.
- I lost my job and am unable to care for my pet.
- I am struggling with my own health/mental health and it is impacting my ability to care for my pet.
Keeping Pets with Their People
We’re on a mission to keep pets in loving homes. What do you need help with?
- Assistance with Rent, Utilities and Other Financial Hardships
Please see our Eviction, Rent and Utility Assistance Resource Sheet.
- Assistance with Pet Food
Please see our Pet Food Assistance Resource Sheet.
- Finding a Food Bank
Please see our Arizona Food Banks Resource Sheet.
- Domestic Violence Resources
Please see our Domestic Violence Resource Sheet.
- Additional Help for Pet Owners in Crisis
- Veterinary Services and Assistance
Making veterinary care affordable is a core part of our mission. If you need financial assistance, we may be able to use grant funds to partially or fully cover the cost of your pet’s treatment. To apply for financial assistance, please complete our Margaret McAllister Brock Veterinary Clinic at South Mountain Campus financial assistance form or our Marge Wright Veterinary Clinic at Sunnyslope Campus financial assistance form. Please note that financial assistance is not guaranteed, and a deposit must be made to schedule your appointment.
For additional veterinary support from other organizations, please see our Veterinary Assistance Resource Sheet.
- Shelters and Temporary Housing for You and Your Pet
- Finding Pet-friendly Housing
- Dealing with Pet Allergies
If someone in your home has been diagnosed with pet allergies, it may be possible to manage the symptoms without having to give up your pet. Here are a few tips to try:
- Minimize contact with the animal and create pet-free areas, such as the bedroom.
- Clean floors, walls, ceilings, and furniture regularly.
- Place a high efficiency particulate air purifier (HEPA) in the home, in addition to filters on vents.
- Enlist the help of non-allergy-suffering family members to care for the pets.
- Frequently wash clothing and bedding materials, including the pet’s bed.
- Frequently bathe and groom the family pet.
- Consider removing upholstered furniture and draperies; replace carpeting with hard flooring that won’t harbor hair and other allergens.
Other options may include immunotherapy (allergy shots) and/or steroidal and antihistamine nose sprays or medication. Consult with your physician and/or allergist to determine the best course of action for your family to live happily with your family pet.
- Pet Behavior Issues
If you’re considering rehoming your pet due to behavior problems, we can help:
- We offer Dog Training Classes—including group classes and private consultations—to help your pup (of any age) learn proper manners
- We also offer cat behavior consultations to address litter box problems, biting, scratching, fear and more. Contact us for more information.
- And we have a host of training tips and behavior resources on our Pet Behavior Tips page!
- Cats and Pregnancy
Many expectant mothers question if they should give up the family cat due to concerns about toxoplasmosis. Because it’s difficult for cats to transmit toxoplasmosis to humans, a pregnant woman is generally unlikely to contract the disease from her pet cat.
For more information, please see our Cats, Pregnancy and Toxoplasmosis info sheet. We also recommend these articles: