National Grants for Animal Shelters

The current housing crisis affects more than just those people that have lost their homes. Those that have been forced to move in with family or friends, rent apartments, or even became homeless face the decision on what to do with the family pet that may not be able to make the move with them. As a result, animal shelters are seeing a huge increase in abandoned pets. There is not enough space, enough food or enough help to take care of them all. To address this growing problem, existing shelters scramble for more funds and communities find themselves even needing more shelters. National grants for animal shelters have been in place even before the increased current needs.

  • The American Humane Association awards grants through various programs:

    • Foreclosure Pets Grant – up to $2,000 to assist shelters in caring for the increase in abandoned pets due to foreclosures.

    • Second Chance® Fund – up to $2,000 per year as funds are available to assist shelter in the care of abused and neglected animals.

    • Meacham Foundation Memorial Grant – up to $4,000 for shelter improvements and equipment.

  • United Animal Nations – in 1987 they founded the LifeLine Rescue Grant designed to assist animals rescued from life-threatening conditions.

  • Corporate Foundations – Some corporations in the industry collect donations from their customers and forward these funds on to animal shelters. The PetCo Foundation and PetSmart Charities are two that work to help shelters both by collecting donations and also by letting them set up adoption opportunities at the stores.

  • State and Regional Grants – Most states have grant programs for county and municipal animal shelters. While some of these grants are location and/or treatment specific, these funds enable shelters to help a larger number of animals.

  • Start Up Grants – Some grants exist solely to assist with opening an animal shelter. One such grant is the DJ & T Foundation Grant which was founded by Bob Barker, the famous game show host. (

  • Private Donations – Many shelters harness the power of the Internet and have websites to bring attention to their efforts. One such organization is HALO Animal Rescue – a no-kill organization in Arizona that places over 2,500 abandoned animals in new homes each year. Their website is extremely informative and includes pictures and information about their animals awaiting adoption.

While funding exists to assist shelters, the needs generally still outweigh the funding. If you have time and love to give, volunteering at your local animal shelter is a wonderful thing to do.

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