PAWS receives PetSmart Charities Grant to Expand Affordable Veterinary Care


JANUARY 31, 2023— Philadelphia, PA – Fifty million pets in the U.S. experience a lack of access to even basic veterinary care. Rising costs and other barriers mean these pets struggle to access services such as spay/neuter procedures, vaccinations and critical medical and preventative care. With as many as 70% of households now including pets, this issue affects families in nearly every community.

PetSmart Charities has committed $100 million over the next five years toward improving access to veterinary care. The “Accelerator” low-cost veterinary care grant program is a key part of this effort. These grants support the expansion of low-cost veterinary care by funding growth and operations for up to four years for nonprofit clinics looking to expand their services, serve their communities better and inspire other veterinary providers by sharing their experiences.

The grant made to the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in the amount of $200,000 will support the expansion of its clinic in the Grays Ferry section of the city, which serves pet owners who could not otherwise access or afford veterinary care for their beloved pets. Since opening 13 years ago, PAWS’s clinic has become a trusted source of support and provider of quality care. However, far more people need assistance than PAWS can currently accommodate. This grant will enable its team to grow, operate more efficiently, and offer more services to better meet the needs of the community. The anticipated impact on local pets and families includes having faster access to doctors’ appointments for illnesses, age-related conditions, preventive care, spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, end of life care, and much more. Ultimately, it will mean greater peace of mind for pet owners and fewer animals being surrendered due to easily treatable conditions.

“By providing affordable, accessible veterinary care, PAWS’s clinics play a vital role in keeping Philadelphia pets out of shelters and in their homes where they are loved,” said Melissa Levy, executive director of PAWS. “Our goal is to help families stay whole and make it possible for all pets to receive the quality veterinary care they deserve. The last few years have made it even harder for many Philadelphians to make ends meet, so this grant is coming at an especially critical time. With it, we will expand our scope and volume of services so that we can be there for more of the pets and people who need us. It is a tremendous opportunity to strengthen the safety net that we have been building for years – we are honored to continue our longtime partnership with PetSmart Charities in such an impactful way.”

Overwhelmingly, people consider their pets important members of the family. Pets make a significant impact in the health and wellness of the people they love. This grant will enable more families to get the preventative and standard care that ensures their pets thrive at home and stay out of shelters.

“Our veterinary system is in crisis,” said Kate Atema, director of community grants and initiatives at PetSmart Charities. “Rising costs are putting standard veterinary care out of reach for as much as 50% of pet-owning families. We need innovative solutions that make veterinary care affordable for the families in every community who want the best for their four-legged companions but struggle to meet the cost of vet care. We’re inspired by the incredible work that PAWS is doing to create solutions that will build strong families and a healthy community.”

For more information about veterinary care offered at PAWS, please visit phillypaws.org/clinic. To inquire or schedule an appointment, pet owners can call 215-298-9680 or email gfclinic@phillypaws.org.