Emergency and Disaster Grants

The ASPCA provides emergency funding to qualified animal welfare organizations and government agencies whose communities suffer the impact of natural and other disasters.

A disaster is defined as a threatening or occurring incident of such destructive magnitude and forces as to dislocate people and animals, separate family members, damage or destroy homes, and injure or kill people and animals. A disaster produces immediate suffering, and basic animal needs cannot be promptly or adequately addressed by the affected people. Natural disasters include floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, hail storms, wildfires, windstorms, epidemics, droughts and earthquakes. Human-caused disaster – whether intentional or unintentional – include oil spills, fires, infrastructure damage, transportation accidents, hazardous materials release, explosions, and domestic acts of terrorism.

Grants will also be considered for organizations that have not been directly impacted by a disaster but are helping another organization in need, for example, the intake of animals from an impacted area Such applicants must have received a request from an Agency Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). The ASPCA will not consider applications from organizations that self-deploy.

In addition, disasters may include emergencies that do not receive an official declaration by the jurisdictional authority. Examples include animal disease outbreaks in shelters, infrastructure damage, and emergencies that directly impact the daily operational functions of an organization.

The ASPCA encourages all current and prospective grantees to help minimize the impact of disasters on their animals, organizations, and communities by engaging in Disaster Risk Reduction* planning.  Please refer to our evacuation and sheltering disaster planning templates and other disaster-related resources for further information.

Application Guidelines for ASPCA Disaster Response Grants

Applicants to the ASPCA Emergency Disaster Fund must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Nonprofit organization or government agency, such as municipal or county animal control, with an animal welfare mission or direct relationship with an animal welfare entity, and a federal tax ID (EIN/Employer Identification Number)
  • Directly affected by or providing/participating in direct response to disasters and emergencies.
    Please note that applications will not be considered from groups that respond without an official request to provide services (self-deployment).
  • In need of immediate assistance

Eligible requests from the ASPCA Emergency Disaster Fund include grant assistance for the following purposes:

  • Resources, including pet supplies and food for pet owners
  • Shelter supplies and equipment
  • Rescue supplies and equipment
  • Sheltering or temporary boarding and fostering of rescued or at-risk animals
  • Transport/transfers/relocation of animals
  • Vehicle/Trailer loss
  • Veterinary expenses and medical care for animals
  • Overtime expenses for shelter staff
  • Travel and related incidental expenses for shelter staff or staff deployed to affected disaster areas to assist with disaster response for animals
  • Infrastructure repairs/rebuilding, including outside areas, kennels, outbuildings
  • Disaster risk reduction* (see below)

How to Apply

Eligible nonprofit organizations may apply via the ASPCA's 

In order to expedite your request, please make every effort to follow the online application procedure. If circumstances of the disaster prevent or substantially inhibit your ability to apply online, email or call (212) 876-7700 x4397 for assistance. Organizations that abuse or misuse these modes of direct communication impede our ability to respond to animals in need and put themselves at risk of ineligibility to receive ASPCA funding.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

* Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) refers to the process of developing and applying policies, strategies and practices to avoid or limit (mitigate) the impact that an emergency or disaster will have on a community or population of animals. DDR is based on a community's awareness of its vulnerabilities to natural disasters and on the promotion of resilience – the capacity of a community to maintain a level of functioning following a disaster. The ASPCA recognizes the importance of planning and preparing for disasters and strongly encourages animal welfare organizations to work within the emergency management system. Grant funding is available for organizations that demonstrate a working relationship with emergency management and have disaster plans and equipment lists. Organizations can apply for funding to support planning efforts, including the purchase of equipment, training, conferences and pet preparedness programs for the animal welfare community and general public. Applicants will be asked to submit evidence of collaboration with emergency management and disaster plans.