Since we last checked in with San Francisco Aid for Animals, the fledgling group has been building a strong foundation for its lifesaving work. As we reported then, hard economic times often put families in a terrible position when their pets need urgent, costly medical care. All too often, the only apparent options that exist for the frantic people are to euthanize their companion for lack of funds, or surrender him to the local shelter, which will probably euthanize him anyway if it considers his condition too costly to treat. It's a catastrophic loss for everybody.
In the last year, SFAfA launched its first round of 61 grants to help everybody win instead. Participating vets, who received a grant of $350 each and agreed to match the funds with an in-kind contribution, were able to use the funds to help clients in need. Among the dogs who are alive and well today thanks to this assistance: a homeless family's dog who needed urgent surgery, saved when multiple vets pooled their grants and rushed to the rescue; a dog with bladder stones whose underemployed folks couldn't afford treatment; a little dog with neurological problems who got the testing he needed and is now doing fine.
It's a promising beginning, but the vets know the need is much greater. "We're trying to make the grants more substantial," says SFAfA's Dr. Alan Stewart. "Meanwhile, you make a difference where you can." Currently Sports Basement is offering a chance to support the group's lifesaving work while you shop during their March Madness promotion, ending March 29.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of other ways you can help, says Dr. Anne Marie Benfatto. "People can help by volunteering their time, sending us donations (instructions on our website), participating in our fundraisers (watch for another event in May or June), spreading the word about us to friends and family, keeping their pets healthy and well-loved, and getting regular veterinary care so that they don't need our help."