Driven by social justice

The Pets for Life (PFL) philosophy recognizes that a deep connection with pets transcends socio-economic, racial and geographic boundaries and no one should be denied the opportunity to experience the benefits and joy that come from the human-animal bond.

Tika Johnson, right, and Sharonda Byrd, left, pose for a photo with their dogs, Treasure and Fat Daddy, and their sons, Dre and Trae
Pets for Life saves the day

Sharonda and her family feared they were losing their two-year-old dog: Treasure (left) had begun to lose weight and fur. She developed sores across her skin. She had to be carried outside to use the bathroom. And she wouldn’t leave Sharonda’s side. Without a car to take Treasure across town to a veterinarian, they found the city’s center for Pets for Life where the staffers jumped in to help. Two days later, Treasure was back home and recovering from intestinal parasites. PFL covered transportation and treatment costs, for which the family is eternally grateful. “It meant the world to us,” said Sharonda’s partner, Tika. “Pets for Life gave her back to us when we thought we were going to have to put her to sleep.”

Serving communities—and their animals

Everyone’s lives can be enhanced by a pet and those who choose to should have the opportunity to experience the unconditional love and meaningful relationship a pet brings. At its core, PFL challenges the institutions that create and perpetuate divisiveness, unjust policies and a stark imbalance in resource accessibility.

Poverty and structural inequality create obstacles to affordable veterinary and pet wellness services similar to the challenges and barriers to accessing healthy food, education, jobs, health care and housing. With tens of millions of pets living with families in povertyat least triple the number of dogs and cats entering sheltersthe extreme lack of access to pet resources is a national crisis overlooked by most. Pets for Life is transforming the lives of dogs and cats by honoring the love people have for their pets, closing the service gap that exists for people and pets in underserved areas and bringing awareness in a new way to the larger system imbalances and injustices.

Milestone: PFL achieves 100,000 spay/neuter surgeries


People waiting in line with their pets for free pet services at a Pets For Life event
The three prongs of PFL's community outreach methodology
Direct Care

Delivering pet services and information to pet owners in underserved communities.

Mentorship & Training

Guiding and supporting local organizations in implementing strategic and sustainable community outreach programs.

Policy & Enforcement Reform

Influencing organizations and agencies to be focused on pet owner support and less on punishment.