Program Policies

The Pet Care Assistance program assists low-income older adults with ongoing care of their pets.

To qualify:

  • Guardians must be 62 years or older
  • Guardians and pet must reside in Marin County
  • Applicant is the regular caretaker of the pet
  • Pets must already have been in the home for at least one year
  • Household income must be at or below the U.S. Department of Housing and Development’s (HUD) definition of very low income limits
  • All dogs and cats must be spayed and neutered
  • All dogs must be licensed in accordance with county laws
  • Guardians must agree not to acquire any additional pets while receiving assistance

The Pet Care Assistance program can provide services for a maximum of two animals per household. Pets adopted after acceptance into the program will not be covered. We discourage the adoption of new pets because we believe any available resources should be used for animals already in the home.

Marin Humane is against any elective cosmetic surgery for pets, declawing and debarking. Pets that have had these surgeries prior to being in the program will be considered. If participants are considering these procedures for their pets, they will be offered counseling by an animal behavior counselor to discuss alternatives. The Pet Care Assistance program will not cover the cost of these procedures and participants who have these surgeries performed on their pets may be denied further program assistance.

All Pet Care Assistance program participants are expected to abide by Marin County and city animal ordinances. Anyone who violates these ordinances may be denied further program assistance. Marin Humane strongly recommends cats be kept indoors always. Injuries or illnesses that result from a cat being allowed outside may not be covered under the program’s veterinary care benefits. For a copy of applicable animal ordinances, contact the Community Engagement office at 415-506-6255.

Emergency boarding is provided only in the event of an acute emergency (i.e. hospitalization), and is limited to two weeks.

Pre-authorization must be obtained for coverage of all veterinary expenses. Clients whose pets are eligible and need to see a veterinarian must call the Pet Care Assistance office at 415.506.6255 before making a veterinary appointment. Arrangements will be made with pre-approved local veterinarians who participate in the Pet Care Assistance program. Any expenses already paid by a pet guardian cannot be reimbursed. Financial assistance for veterinary care is dependent on eligibility and yearly limits.

Transportation and delivery requests are dependent on volunteer availability and should be made 10–14 days in advance to ensure the animal’s needs are met.

In an emergency after hours or on weekends, clients may call Marin Humane at 415.883.4621 and follow directions to speak to a staff member. Marin Humane personnel are on duty 24 hours a day. Every effort will be made to provide appropriate care.

In the event that the pet(s) accepted into the program pass away, prior approval is required before benefits will be extended to a new animal.

Persons with disabilities who do not qualify for on-going services through the Pet Care Assistance program may be eligible for a one time financial aid for urgent veterinary care, based on available funds.

Marin Humane does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or religion and reserves the right to deny assistance to anyone for any reason. Funding resource are limited and Marin Humane makes every effort to use limited funds in the most responsible way to serve as many companion animals in the community as possible.