Animal Control is typically a municipal agency much like the water and fire departments. As such, it is ineligible to receive grant funds directly from the government. While the monies used to operate the local animal control facility may have originated on the federal level as a block or special program grant to the state, it is dispersed through budget allotments. There are, however, private sector grants available to assist private non-profit as well as public animal control organizations.

The Basics

Most foundations that provide funds for animal control offer grants designed to meet a wide variety of needs and the guidelines are usually specific and narrow. For example, monies for facility improvement are unlikely to be included in a grant for crisis services. For this reason, you must detail the animal control service’s specific financial needs and define what the fund will be used to achieve prior to starting a grant search. Applications that do not conform are typically rejected.


Around 1,100 animal control organizations received more than $17 million in grants in 2013 from ASPCA. The foundation funds shelter operations, spay/neuter clinics and more. ASPCA does not accept unsolicited grant requests via mail or email and requests that all interested parties complete the preliminary process via the organization’s website. The organization reports that incorrectly completed applications as well as those that do not comply with a particular program’s rules are major reasons for application rejection.

American Humane Association

This organization provides small grants of $2,000 to $4,000 to 501 c 3 organizations as well as to government agencies. The $4,000 Meacham Foundation Memorial Grant can be used for things like facilities improvements and equipment purchases that have a direct beneficial effect on the quality of life for animals in shelters. The Second Chance® Fund for abused animals awards funds for their care, rehabilitation and ultimate adoption. Applications for both are accepted year around and may be downloaded from the organization’s website. Applicants are eligible for only one award annually.

Pet Stores

PetCo and PetSmart, as well as the latter’s in-house veterinary service Banfield, provide funding for a wide variety of animal control efforts. Banfield assists programs designed to keep people and pets together through crises. Its offers include the Pet Peace of Mind program grant, which cannot be utilized for direct animal services like behavior modification or spay/neuter clinics. Both retail store foundations have grants for direct care, including emergency relief and adoption services. All require applicants to have 501 c 3 tax status and complete their application online.