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Public Assistance

There is a limit of one voucher per month, per household.

To obtain a voucher, first you must have an appointment at a participating veterinarian scheduled for no further than 30 days out. Then, please call HSWC at 301-733-2060 to inquire about availability of public assistance funds.



Washington County residents who are receiving county, state or federal government financial assistance, Social Security or disability benefits may qualify for our DOGSNIP or CATSNIP programs. Both of these programs are funded through grants and donations. DOGSnip has a $40.00 co-pay for each dog spay or neuter surgery. CATSNIP has a $20 co-pay per cat. To qualify, applicants must have an approval letter from appropriate government agency indicating receipt of public assistance, Social Security or disability benefits. Assistance is also available for individuals caring for stray cats; however, there is a limit of five (5) cats per fiscal year.

The SNAP Program

The SNAP program (Spay Neuter Assistance Program) provides a discount voucher redeemable at any participating Washington County veterinarian for spaying and neutering. It is funded by the Washington County Dog Licensing Program. SNAP covers $80 for a dog spay/neuter plus $10 per animal for pain medication, $60 for a female cat spay plus $10 per animal for pain medication, $30 for male cat neuter plus $10 per animal for pain medication. All residents of Washington County qualify. Additional program requirements are proof of a current dog license and rabies vaccination. If unavailable, the client will be required to pay for them when they drop off their pet at the clinic for surgery. There is a limit of three (3) cats and two (2) dogs per fiscal year.

There is no co-pay to the HSWC. Note: Additional expenses may be incurred at the veterinarian’s office.

Wellness Clinics

HSWC offers Wellness Clinics to owned pets in Washington County. Held at the shelter's Veterinary Center, no appointment is necessary. Click here for more information on schedule, services and fees.

To qualify for Wellness Clinics, individuals must reside in Washington County and earn $30,000 or less annually. 

The H.E.L.P. Program

H.E.L.P. (Humane Emergency Link-Up Program) assists owners in retaining ownership of their pet. For emergency situations the program can assist with veterinary costs, temporary boarding of pets, pet deposits, etc. ($100 limit). Any Washington County resident who is currently experiencing a hardship due to the economic climate may qualify. Additional requirements are proof of financial hardship, such as unemployment benefits, proof of pending foreclosure, notice of bankruptcy, or workers’ compensation benefits. This program is dependent upon available funding.

Temporary Pet Food Bank Assistance Program

HSWC’s Pet Food Bank is designed to help families in Washington County (MD) keep their pets when times are hard and when the only alternative might be to give them up by surrendering them to a shelter or rescue.  The program is not intended to be a permanent source of pet food. The Pet Food Bank is a free service driven by donations from individuals and businesses in the community. This program receives no funding from state or local government. The food bank operates Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am - 1 pm. 

Wet and dry cat food and dog food will be provided, and cat litter will be provided when it's available. Individuals can come once per week to obtain food. You must be a Washington County resident and show a valid state-issued ID to receive benefits.

If interested in donating food or litter towards our Pet Food Bank Program, please bring donations to the Receiving/Lost & Found entrance of the building. Donations are always appreciated!

Silver Lining for Seniors

Silver Lining for Seniors is a program established by local Washington County resident, certified professional dog trainer and owner of BPWSITV Karol Kennedy, along with brothers John and Michael to honor the memory of their mother Marie. The program provides financial assistance to enable Washington County senior citizens to adopt animals from the HSWC!

Scooby at the Washington County Humane Society