Keeping People and Pets Together


The Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF) recently received a $20,000 grant from PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, designed to help keep more homebound seniors and their pets together through the TVMF PALS program in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Bryan/College Station, and Abilene.

For many homebound seniors, pets provide essential love and companionship.  But, having a pet can also add an extra layer of complexity and concern as they struggle to make ends meet and provide adequate care to their pets. Many seniors in these situations often feel that they have no other option but to surrender their beloved pets to local animal welfare organizations.

But with the help of this new grant, TVMF is committed to providing assistance that will help pets to stay within their loving homes and families. With the partnership of Meals on Wheels (MOW) organizations in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Bryan/College Station and Abilene, as well volunteer veterinarians in these communities, the TVMF PALS program is providing veterinary care free of charge to the pets of homebound Meals on Wheels clients.  Since launching in 2012, the TVMF PALS program has served more than 350 pets belonging to 200 MOW clients throughout Texas.

“Through the TVMF PALS program, TVMF is intervening before rehoming becomes a necessity,” said Dr. Chad Harris, TVMF President. “By providing much needed veterinary care, we are relieving the emotional burden that many seniors face when they feel they cannot provide for their beloved pet.  This program is keeping these families together, and ensuring that homebound seniors will be able to enjoy the love and companionship of their pets for years to come.

“At PetSmart Charities, we believe the human-animal bond is special, and this is especially true of those who are homebound,” said Kelly Balthazor, regional relationship manager at PetSmart Charities. “We know that when there is a financial hardship, people will often forgo their own resources to provide for their pet. We are proud to support the Texas Medical Foundation and its work to ensure pets throughout Texas have the resources they need to remain with families in loving homes.”

Pet retention is just one of PetSmart Charities’ seven grant categories.  Funding from PetSmart Charities supports animal welfare organizations and non-profits committed to reducing pet homelessness and enhancing the human-animal bond. For more information, visit


About PetSmart Charities®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is committed to finding lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps to find forever homes and families for more than 500,000 shelter pets each year.  PetSmart Charities also provides grant funding to nonprofits aligned with its mission under four key areas of support: Preventing Pet Homelessness; Helping Shelter Pets Thrive; Supporting the Bond Between People and Pets and Providing Emergency Relief and Disaster Support. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores.  In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting almost $340 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart Inc., PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator, a third-party organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 15 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization. To learn more visit