ASPCA Grants $2 Million to Animal Welfare Organizations Impacted by the COVID-19 Crisis

ASPCA COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Initiative provides emergency relief to help organizations fund essential lifesaving services
June 12, 2020

NEW YORK —The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) has awarded $2 million in emergency grant funding as part of its national ASPCA COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Initiative to help more than 50 animal welfare organizations whose programs, operations, or fundraising capabilities have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The emergency relief grant funding is made possible in part by The Alex & Elisabeth Lewyt Charitable Trust, which donated $500,000 to support the ASPCA’s efforts. 

“The COVID-19 crisis has not only created unprecedented challenges for pet owners, but also put homeless animals at risk by straining essential shelter resources,” said ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker. “This lifesaving funding will help shelters and rescue organizations sustain crucial animal welfare services including basic operations, remote foster and adoption programs, and veterinary care. We are proud to support the animal welfare community and grateful to them for stepping up, thinking creatively and courageously, and forging new paths to meet the needs of their communities during these challenging times.”

The ASPCA COVID-19 Relief & Recovery grant funding has been awarded to a range of animal welfare organizations across 30 states, including private humane societies, municipal animal shelters, animal rescue and transport groups, spay/neuter clinics, and organizations focusing on the adoption of dogs, cats, equines, and farm animals. The average grant each organization received totaled nearly $40,000.

"Acadiana Animal Aid is extremely grateful to the ASPCA for the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant funding,” said Jeanine Foucher, Executive Director of Acadiana Animal Aid. “Like so many animal welfare organizations, our shelter had to completely reconfigure operations, postpone fundraising events, and in our case, suspend our lifesaving transport program. This grant provides critical, general operating funds to ensure we can continue pulling animals from area municipal shelters and provide veterinary and sheltering services until we can find an adoptive home.”

"We are facing unprecedented times in the animal welfare field,” said Rita Hoch, President and CEO of Nexus Equine. “Although animal welfare professionals are accustomed to challenging times, the coronavirus pandemic had the potential to destroy the lifesaving systems all of us have worked so hard for on behalf of vulnerable animals. Due to the need for land and the higher costs of feed and care, horses tend to be more vulnerable during times of financial crisis than other pets. With this financial support from the ASPCA, Nexus Equine will be able to keep our intake programs operating and continue to provide crisis relief for the horses of Oklahoma." 

In addition to providing $2 million in emergency grant funding, the ASPCA COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Initiative includes assisting more than 100,000 animals through the creation of regional pet food distribution centers which give dog, cat and equine owners free access to critical food and supplies. The $5 million COVID-19 relief response speaks to the ASPCA’s longstanding commitment to the animal welfare community and people and their pets. By successfully providing access to free pet food, supplies, veterinary care, emergency boarding, and lifesaving funding, the ASPCA has comprehensively addressed the most urgent needs of pet owners and animal shelters across the country, helping to keep animals safe and healthy.

For more information on the ASPCA’s efforts to help at-risk animals, please visit