The Partners in Caring (PIC) grant program provides life-saving veterinary care and other resources to low income pet owners in New York City. By partnering with the local veterinary community, the CIA program makes grants directly to service providers on behalf of the animal in need, preventing surrender or euthanasia. Grants are made to cover the cost of diagnostics and treatment of acute, one-time medical conditions and injuries. These vet visits are often the first time a pet has been evaluated and treated by a veterinarian, and the CIA team takes advantage of the opportunity to provide comprehensive wellness packages that include vaccines, micro chipping and spay/neuter procedures. Pet owners referred to the PIC program typically want to keep their pets and can to provide basic care, but are unable to afford the costs of emergency care and treatment. Typical conditions include broken limbs from being hit by a car or falling out of a high rise, foreign bodies that were ingested, parvovirus or panleukopenia. The program is geared toward pet owners receiving public assistance, and situations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Many of the illnesses and injuries treated with PIC funding are preventable, but low income pet owners lack resources to treat them. In addition to providing a safety net for animals in need, the CIA team takes proactive initiatives to prevent these conditions. In September 2013, after an outbreak of parvovirus cases on Staten Island, the team partnered with local veterinary clinics to host a series of free vaccination clinic events in affected neighborhoods. Nearly 400 dogs, as well as some cats, were vaccinated and microchipped during the events in the Stapleton and West Brighton sections of Staten Island.