This is a list of the main animal welfare funders in the U.S. We will add to it as we identify other grant opportunities. Please share with us any we missed. For information on whether grant seeking is right for your organization, see our Grant Seeking 101 for Small Animal Rescues paper. Be sure and read the grant eligibility requirements carefully before applying; for example, whether they only fund 501(c)(3) organizations or organizations with budgets under a certain size. Follow the guidelines carefully and make sure you’ve included all of the required attachments. Have someone in your organization review your grant request to make sure it responds to the guidelines and is complete.
Here’s an interview with a shelter advocate and a volunteer grant writer who have successfully secured grants for one struggling shelter:
Animal Farm Foundation
Dedicated to ending breed discrimination toward pit bull type dogs, provides grants to improve the shelter system and address owner-pet accessible housing. Provides two types of grants:
- Removing Breed Labels Grant: Amount: $1000, by invitation only; email email@example.com for consideration
- People and Pets Together Grants: Grant window not open yet for 2022. For more details and to apply, click on Grants on their website.
Provides two types of grants:
- Meacham Grant for shelter expansion or improvements up to $4,000; Note: Meacham grants will not be awarded in 2022; and
- Second Chance Fund to help offset the costs of rescuing animals in select abuse and neglect cases; Note: Due to overwhelming demand, funding is awarded on a case-by-case basis.
American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
ASPCA, one of the nation’s largest animal welfare grant makers, has three types of grants for shelters and rescues:
- Anti-Cruelty Response Grants: Made to law enforcement, animal control and organizations they request to help them for large-scale animal intake from cases involving abuse, neglect, hoarding, animal fighting and/or puppy mills; grants also available for companion animal cases with a minimum of 20 animals.
- Emergency and Disaster grants: To animal welfare organizations and government agencies for natural and human-caused disasters and other emergencies such as animal disease outbreaks.
- Spay/Neuter Alliance Equipment grants. Funds members of their National Spay/Neuter Response Team (NSNRT) training program.
Note: Comprehensive website includes information on other animal welfare funders, training, tools, and how-to guides.
Athletes for Animals (A4A)
An organization of professional athletes with a shared passion for rescuing and protecting the welfare of homeless pets nationwide. A4A provides grants to shelter and rescue groups for spay/neuter/vaccination funding, adoption, enrichment and retention programs, community outreach and education efforts and extraordinary vet expenses. Since 2013, A4A has awarded $917,916 in grant funding. Grant range: $500-5,000. Applications are considered semi-annually with deadlines on March 15 and September 15. To apply, go to “About Us” on menu; click on Apply for Grants.
Provides grants to nonprofit and government agencies for programs designed to keep pets and owners together. Organizations are encouraged to contact Banfield to determine eligibility before submitting a grant. Note that Banfield receives a very high volume of requests. Grants categories:
- Community Care Grants: Provide funding and medical supplies to nonprofit organizations and local/state government agencies that provide veterinary care through on-site, mobile, or pop-up clinics. Applications are accepted quarterly in January, April, July, and October and awards are announced the following month.
- Safer Together Grants (pets & domestic violence victims): Grants are awarded to a domestic violence shelter or to a nonprofit housing the pets which has a formal established relationship with at least one nonprofit domestic violence shelter. Grants cover veterinary care; animal support specialists, temporary boarding; and behavior training. 2022 spring grants postponed. Check back in the summer.
- Veterinary Medical Equipment Grants: Up to $15,000 to nonprofit animal organizations and local/state government agencies to purchase veterinary medical equipment for on-site animal shelter veterinary clinics, low-cost veterinary practices, mobile veterinary units, disaster relief vehicles, etc. Applications are accepted quarterly in February, May, August, and November and awards are announced the following month.
- Disaster Relief Grants: for organizations impacted and those helping them; covers medical supplies, veterinary care, food, crates, temporary shelter/boarding, transportation, etc. Requests may be submitted at any time.
The Binky Foundation seeks to encourage new groups, in addition to having a passion for helping animals, to understand the hard truth that running a successful animal welfare group is also a business. Applicants must have completed a workshop or training on running a non-profit and must have a formal Business Plan. Binky provides First Steps grants of $1,000 for fledgling animal welfare organizations – shelters, rescue groups, TNR programs and others. Forward Steps follow-up grantsare provided at the Foundation’s discretion to First Steps grant recipients that have demonstrated the value and efficacy of its business plan, and success in striving for a sustainable model.
2022 grants: First Steps grants are currently being accepted. For more information, go to Grant Program on the homepage. Note: The Foundation has very detailed eligibility requirements and guidelines.
Bissell Pet Foundation
Provides financial support to municipal shelters, rescue groups and spay/neuter organizations for adoption, spay/neuter, vaccinations and microchipping. Note: Organizations must join the Partners for Pets (P4P) program six months before applying for funding and have 501(c)(3) status and be in operation for at least 1 year prior to applying. The grant cycle opens sporadically, typically in spring and fall; watch their website for 2022 deadlines.
Bob Barker, well-known television personality, established the DJ&T Foundation in 1995. The Foundation’s goal is to fund low cost spay/neuter clinics and voucher programs as a way to help relieve animal over population. While its mission is to assist all qualified organizations, the Foundation is most committed to making grants at the grassroots level. The foundation is currently closed applications. They hope to reopen applications as some point in 2022. Watch their website.
Dogs Trust USA
Dogs Trust USA is an affiliate of Dogs Trust, a leading U.K. dog welfare charity. Drawing on their expertise in shelter design, education and dog behavior, their goal is to support rescues and shelters with technical advice and financial assistance. Grant categories are capital build, education, adoption/fostering and spay/neuter, including innovative approaches that can serve as models. The first 2022 grant cycle focused on 21 priority states and closed on March 1. Note: Later in 2022, DogsTrust will launch a new program open to all U.S states. Monitor the website for further details.
Doris Day Animal Foundation (DDAF)
DDAF is a national nonprofit founded in 1978 by performer Doris Day to help animals and the people who love them. DDAF provides grants for: spay/neuter programs, special needs programs, senior care programs, medical expenses for senior animals, rescue and placement of senior animals, and pet food pantries. Grant amount: up to $5,000. To be invited to submit a grant, send a letter of introduction (LOI). LOI’s are accepted the first month of each quarter (January, April, July, and October. For guidelines and FAQs go to Grants on the homepage. Note: DDAF does not fund capital campaigns.
Grey Muzzle Organization
Provides grants to 501c3 organizations to exclusively help senior dogs, including improving foster and adoption programs, reducing owner surrender, medical care and expenses, hospice care, rehoming and therapy dog training with an emphasis on program sustainability. Grant range: $2,500 to $10,000. 2022 applications will be accepted from Tuesday, February 15 to Wednesday, March 16. See the website for the 2022 grants webinar and FAQs.
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation
The Healthy Paws Foundation was started in 2009 and provides grants to pet rescues and animal shelters for medical care, spay/neuter surgeries, food, shelter, and operating costs and disaster assistance grants. Applications may be submitted throughout the year, and a foundation committee made up of Healthy Paws employees meets monthly to choose recipients. Applicants must be U.S.-based registered 501(c) (3) nonprofits that primarily serve dogs and cats and have a no-kill approach. The foundation has donated nearly $1.7 million in grants to more than 475 nonprofit organizations as of March 2022. Apply for a grant here »
One of the largest animal welfare grant makers, this family foundation is dedicated to building and sustaining a no-kill nation pet lifesaving, shelter management, leadership, shelter medicine education and foster care. Grants are administered by Best Friends Animal Society. 2022 grant programs:
- Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Grants: A new grant to support the operations of BIPOC-led government agencies or nonprofit animal welfare or veterinary medicine organizations that primarily deal with dogs and/or cats and/or their people. Grant range: $5,000-$50,000. 2022 grant window: March 14-31.
- We Foster Challenge: Animal shelter and/or rescue organizations are invited to participate in a contest to win grant awards. Registration period: February 28-March 7. See details under “Grant Opportunities” on their website.
Onyx and Breezy Foundation
Small family foundation that provides grants to shelters and rescues for spay and neuter programs, food, medicine and supplies, helping dogs of veterans suffering from PTSD, puppy mill rescues and disaster relief. Go to Requesting a Grant on the homepage for FAQs and the application. No deadline is listed for 2022 grants.
Provides grants to nonprofit shelters and rescues to improve quality of care and adoption rates for dogs only. Since 2008, the foundation has made 5800 grants. The grant window for 2022 is not yet open. The three types of grants awarded in November 2021 were:
- Dogs Rule grants: For new, creative, and innovative initiatives that could serve as a best practice model to help increase dog adoption rates. Two grants were made in this category, ach one a two-year, $50,000 per year for a total of $100,000.
- Program Development grants: 35 grants of $5,000-$10,000. Priority areas are transportation, programs with matching funds and foster expansion programs. Capital campaigns will not be funded.
- Operation grants: 175 grants of up to $1,000 each will be made for general operating expenses. Priority given to shelters and rescues with annual revenue less than $200k
Applicants are encouraged to submit applications for more than one grant, however, only one grant will be awarded in a grant cycle.
PETCO Love (formerly PETCO Foundation)
Provides grants to foster-based nonprofits, animal control agencies, SPCA/humane societies and other nonprofits that operate out of a sheltering facility, in addition to disaster assistance and pet food bank support. Grants are made by type of organization–for example, spay/neuter or animal welfare—not by type of project or program. Applicants must become a PETCO partner and submit an annual partnership report to be eligible. Each program has one grant cycle each year and rescues or shelters may submit one proposal per grant cycle. 2022 grant categories and deadlines:
- Spay-Neuter-only organizations (March 1-31);
- Animal Welfare organizations July 1-Aug. 30; and
- Petco Love Stories (formerly Holiday Wishes) – deadline to be determined.
See the website for details and an informational webinar. To become a PETCO partner, go to “Grant Opportunities” on the website, click on “Partner Login”, click “New User” and register.
Provides support to municipal and private agencies and Petfinder members through 12 grant categories. Must be a Petfinder member and actively posting adoptable pets on Petfinder.com and provide data on intake, adoption, and euthanasia. To become a member and apply for a grant, click on “For Grantees” on the homepage. This section also includes numerous Grant Resources. Note: Organizations may receive one grant from each grant program once per year. Each category has its own criteria. 2022 grants:
- Bar Dog Wine Grants: Support day-to-day operations of No-Kill animal groups, including supplies, food, vaccines, and other needs. 2022 applications awarded monthly in February, March, April, May, and June until funds expended. (In 2021, awarded 42 grants totaling $27,000.)
- Cat Enrichment: Grant range: $100-$1,000. Awarded monthly until funds used. In 2021 awarded 30 grants totaling $20,000.
- Disaster Relief Grant range: $500-$10,000. In 2021, awarded 31 grants totaling, $103,000.
- Dog Field Trips/Short Term Fostering: Amount: $500 for purchase of supplies; must complete Maddie’s Fund or other training course. In 2021, awarded 14 grants totaling $7000.
- Dogs Playing for Life Program Mentorship Grants: Amount: up to $1,000 for tuition for one staff member. In 2021 awarded 10 grants totaling $10,000.
- Emergency Medical: Grant range $100-$1,000; see website for list of procedures covered. In 2021, awarded 41 grants totaling $31,000.
- Kia Pet Adoption: Grants up $1,000; Awarded monthly until funds depleted, based on the number of pets posted on Petfinder.com.
- Kong Toys: Grants awarded quarterly.
- P.L.A.Y. Pet Bed Grants: Awards 10 Chill Pads monthly to specific geographical regions. See the application for more details.
- Play Yard Renovation Grants: For members that have completed in-person play-group training seminars or mentorship conducted by Dogs Playing for Life; grants for construction or improvement of play yards to bring them into compliance with DPFL’s recommendations.
- Senior Pet Adoption Assistance: Up to $1,000 awarded monthly until funds are depleted. In 2021, awarded 35 grants totaling $31,000.
- Sponsor a Pet: This program lets you fundraise through Petfinder. By clicking “Sponsor” on a pet profile, visitors can donate toward that pet’s care.
PetSmart Charities, Inc.
Funds shelters and rescue organizations who become PetSmart adoption partners” and adopt out over 100 dogs and cats through PetSmart stores in a 12-month period. Grant categories include:
- Adoption prep
- Transportation (of at least 1500 pets in one year)
- Disaster assistance
- The new Sustainable Low-Cost Veterinary Care
This new program is by invitation only and provides multi-year grants to establish, modify, or expand nonprofit veterinary clinics that deliver low-cost veterinary care through financially sustainable clinic models. To become an Adoption Partner, on click on “Partner with Us” Under this section you also find FAQ’s and the Partner Resource Center.
Purina provides pet food donation and grant requests from 501(c)(3) tax-exempt pet welfare organizations that promote pet welfare to support growth in the areas of capacity building, capital improvements and program and spay/neuter funding outside of an event. Note: Organizations must be located within 50 miles of their St. Louis headquarters or one of their manufacturing locations.
Rachel Ray Foundation (RRF)
RRF is a private foundation launched in 2016 funded by proceeds from the sale of Rachael Ray™ Nutrish®. RRF provides two types of grants that are administered by the Best Friends Animal Society:
- Save them All (up to $50,000)
- No Kill Excellence (innovative, scalable programs, up to $60,000).
As of February 2022, both grant cycles are closed. Check the website for updates on the next cycle. You must be a Best Friends Network Partner to apply. Contact the Best Friends regional specialist before submitting a grant application.