Helping Hand Fund

About Helping Hand Fund: Assisting Needy Pets of the Treasure Valley

The Helping Hand Fund was established in 2012 by founders who witnessed the incredible gifts found in the bond between humans and animals. In establishing this fund, the founders acknowledged:

Helping Hand HeartThe hearts of people comforted by the love of a faithful pet

Helping Hand HeartA need for veterinary services when financial resources are not available

Helping Hand HeartA need for client education on preventative care

Helping Hand Fund is an all-volunteer organization whose motto is “strengthening the canine-human relationship through education and support”. Our mission is to improve the lives of pets in the Treasure Valley by providing the needed funding so that all pets can get the care that they need. We know that a dog, cat or any pet is not just a pet, but a family member. If you are experiencing a financial crisis, we are here to help you get the services your family pet needs. 

Pending available funds, assistance is granted after applicants complete a needs assessment, which must be approved by the Funding Committee.

Money from the Helping Hand Fund supports service and rescue organizations in the Treasure Valley. A percentage of donated funds are available to other non-profit animal organizations (i.e. rescue groups, shelters, etc) that DO NOT already provide veterinary care as a non-profit entity.

Thank You to Everyone That Donated In the Past

We appreciated everyone that has donated in the past. At this time, we are not accepting donations.

A Story of Hope

By Kim Mulvahill

This is Rosie. Rosie was diagnosed with a persistent right aortic arch at just five weeks of age and was facing euthanasia. Rosie was able to have her condition surgically corrected through compassionate care from the veterinarians at Intermountain Pet Hospital. It was because of this compassionate care that Rosie was able to survive and grow into a wonderful companion.

I took Rosie home shortly after her surgery in the midst of a very difficult time for my family. My father had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He was suffering from serious depression as well as all the symptoms of his cancer and treatments. He had gone from a very active outdoorsman and grandfather to my two young girls to barely being able to make it out of his bed on some days.

I brought Rosie into our lives with the selfish intent of shedding a little light on my life and for my two girls, who desperately missed spending time with their “Pappa.” To my surprise, Rosie became so much more.

I will never forget the joy in my heart the first day home when Dad quickly got out of bed and began playing with this tiny little puppy on the floor of his living room. Rosie quickly became inseparable from my father.

Even as a very young puppy, she had the amazing ability to match his mood and activity level. On the days he felt good, they would head out for a walk around the neighborhood. On not-so-good days, she would sit for hours in his lap on the back porch as he would pet her.

Rosie provided something for my father that my family had struggled for months to provide without success. She gave him a reason to get up from his bed. He had to care for something else instead of dwelling on his own condition and, through that, found joy in each day.

Because of the bond they quickly developed, Dad was able to overcome a lot of the depression he suffered from and was able to enjoy many days with his “favorite girl.” We still had a fair amount of tough days, but Rosie was definitely a light during each of those days.

My father lost his courageous fight against cancer in May 2012, but Rosie continues to provide companionship and meet many of the emotional needs of my family who have been so affected by this loss.

I feel deeply indebted to Rosie for the quality of life she brought to my father during his last months, and thankful for the veterinarians who provided the compassionate care that saved a tiny puppy’s life.

This experience has changed me. It has blessed me with the understanding of the importance of caring for animals and supporting the precious gift of the human-animal bond.

Grant Guide Lines

If you have a pet in need of assistance, please review the following guidelines. Applications can be downloaded and emailed to us via our email address:

The purpose of the Helping Hand Fund (HHF) is to help those patients whose owners are not able to afford essential veterinary care for their pets.

The Fund’s sources of income include The Helping Hand Fun Run and Pet Fair, private donations, and pet memorial donations.

Please note—Approval of funds is based on fund availability.  There may or may not be funding available at any given time.

  1. A.    Eligibility
    1. List of considerations for eligibility:  Applicant must meet ALL of the following stipulations.
      • The owner must prove low income based on the previous year’s tax return and the previous month’s paycheck stub.  Other extenuating circumstances can be considered on a case by case basis.
      • Other alternatives of payment must have been exhausted (i.e. relatives/friends of the owner) See list below.
      • The medical prognosis must be reasonable based on the judgment of attending veterinarian.  The age of the patient must be taken into consideration.
      • There must be an obvious need and emotional bond between the owner and the pet.
      • The owner must be capable or have a plan for aftercare or ongoing treatments.
  2. B.    Non-Eligible
    • Clients who have already received a contribution
    • Stray or relinquished pets (refer to Idaho Humane Society)
    • Wildlife
    • The Fund shall not be used for euthanasia or disposal.  Refer to IHS
    • Elective procedures (vaccinations, spay/neuter, dental prophylaxis, etc)
    • Services rendered from a veterinary clinic operating as a 5013(c).

Administrative procedures

  1. A.    Administrative Process and Protocols
    1. The HHF is to be used for veterinary services only, at any veterinary hospital in the Treasure Valley with the exception of a veterinary hospital operating as a 5013(c).  It can pay a maximum of 100% of the costs after approval from the board (majority vote).  Applicants must submit an invoice for services that must be approved.  In an emergency situation when approval is needed right away, the executive committee can approve applications with a majority vote. (2 of 3 signatures). A sliding discount schedule based on income is applied with a maximum payout from the fund of $1,000.
    2. The board assigns a discount category to every case based on poverty level and need.
      1. The sliding scale is defined as:
    • i: A- 100% discount
    • ii: B- 75% discount
    • iii: C- 50% discount
    • iv: D- 25% discount
    • v: Maximum gift per qualified applicant is $1,000.
  2. The amount that is not covered by the HHF is to be paid by the owner of the pet.
  3. The Helping Hand Fund will have a separate account and will make a payment to the client account after approval from the board and services have been invoiced.  The board must make sure that the items on the invoice meet qualifying criteria.  (Example will not cover cremation services)
  4. If the owner is unable to pay the remaining amount, the case is to be referred to the Idaho Humane Society.

The following resources can be helpful solutions for financial difficulties for you to consider:

  1. Apply for Care Credit
  2. Register with a local temporary agency
  3. Exchange services with family, friends, or neighbors in exchange for payment for needed veterinary care – e.g. babysitting, home repair or cleaning, yard work.
  4. Hold a garage sale and get rid of unused appliances or furniture
  5. Sell unwanted items of value on Internet Auction sites.
  6. Ask your credit card companies to increase your available credit.
  7. Apply to a bank or credit union for a short-term loan.
  8. Set up a savings plan for proposed procedures.
  9. Consider meeting with a credit counseling service if your credit rating is poor to reduce your debt and arrange an affordable payment plan with creditors
  10. Temporarily reduce the amount of your paycheck going to employer contributions/retirement accounts if you are currently employed.
  11. Evaluate your monthly budget-cutting extras like cable TV fees, eating out, etc. to help raise funds.

Helping Hands Assistance Application