Animal Relief Fund (ARF) – Orange County SPCA DBA OC Animal Allies

Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Hannah Stevens

You can also take a look at the pet grants from all the other states.

Animal Relief Fund (ARF)

Animal Relief Fund (ARF) provides emergency veterinary care to assist low-income pet owners, and they offer low-cost spay/neuter assistance to Orange County residents who need their pet spayed or neutered.

Spay/Neuter Discount Vouchers

This program is only for domestic pets (family pets). If you would like to apply for a feral (community) cat(s), please submit your application here.

If you cannot afford the cost of spay/neuter treatment, OC Animal Allies offers a voucher program for low-income individuals and families in Orange County, California.

There are many affordable animal clinics and hospitals in Orange County that offer spay and neuter surgery at very reasonable prices. Spay surgeries for female cats cost less than $175 barring complications, while complete neuter surgeries for male cats can be had for as low as $100. Prices for dogs depend on their weight and age. Prices for small dogs (0-20 lbs) start at $165 for males, and $195 for females. This excludes complications and any required additional costs such as blood tests, pain medication, etc. Prices for veterinary procedures can change at any time, so you should call to verify current prices and additional costs to ensure you get the “out the door” or complete cost of the procedure.

If you are still unable to pay for the surgery, you can apply for help with one of the discount vouchers using one of the options below.

Keep in mind that these discount vouchers:

  • are ONLY accepted in hospitals that have signed contracts with ARF and are not transferable
  • cover most of the payment for basic spay or neuter procedure; basic spay surgery is when the pet’s reproductive organs are removed while the pet is under anesthesia
  • do NOT cover any added costs incurred due to conditions that may complicate surgery, such as the pet being in heat, has an undescended testicle, or is obese
  • additional charges will be applied for surgery and anesthesia for larger dogs, particularly if they are over 50 pounds.
  • additional fees will also be applied for anesthesia to brachycephalic dogs such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers and other breeds.
  • do NOT pay for extra services, procedures, or tests that may be recommended or required by the veterinarian; these include but are not limited to office visits and deposits, pain and antibiotic injections, IV catheters, take-home pain medication, and/or an e-collar.
  • do NOT cover the costs of the pre-surgical blood tests or senior CBC bloodwork, which the hospital may require, to make sure your pet is well enough to undergo surgery.  

For qualified applicants, voucher applications will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The maximum number of vouchers per household is 2, and they are not available for rescue groups or animals adopted through shelters or rescue organizations. If you have an unaltered pet from a shelter or rescue, please contact the rescue group or shelter for help. It is their responsibility and obligation to help.

You may partner with OC Animal Allies if you own a veterinary clinic in Orange County to help grow the Spay & Neuter programs. Please contact them at (714) 964-4445 or email them at [email protected]

Financial Assistance for Critical Veterinary Care

OC Animal Allies can provide financial assistance through the ARF (Animal Relief Fund) provide. This is for low-income Orange County pet owners, such as the elderly and disabled people whose pets require emergency veterinary care.

Financial assistance can only be used for emergencies, critical care (typically, life-threatening) pets of those living in Orange County, California. If you qualify for a pledge to pay for vet treatment, it is an aid towards the cost of treatment. They are, however, unable to pledge for elective procedures like TPLO, FHO, or any other orthopedic corrective surgeries and treatments. They are also unable to cover the costs of chronic, ongoing conditions, or routine care.

Application Process

These steps are required to receive financial assistance for emergency veterinarian care:

STEP 1: Apply for Care Credit

It is crucial that you seek out a payment plan to cover your current and future vet care. You may send an application at, or you may call Care Credit at 800.677.0718 (callers must be at least 21 years of age). It is recommended that you request, at minimum, twice the vet estimate amount. If you are denied, you will need to provide the reference, application key, or denial code.

STEP 2: Get an Estimate from Your Vet

You are required to present the vet’s treatment plan and the exact amount for the work they want to do. If a bill has already been paid, or if the balance remains unpaid, they cannot reimburse you.

For a referral to a lower-cost veterinarian for diagnosis and an estimate, please visit the Veterinary Hospitals webpage. To be eligible for a pledge, the veterinarian must send the organization the estimate BEFORE any care is rendered.

STEP 3: Submit an OC Animal Allies Application

While you work on the required steps, you can submit an application to OC Animal Allies for assistance. Keep in mind that you must have an estimate before they can provide care. You can also download the application (in Spanish) and email or fax it to them. However, this will delay the processing of your request.

They will contact you via phone or email to discuss your case once they have received your application and the estimate.

What to Expect

After you have submitted the application and provided a copy of the treatment plan, you will hear back from them to discuss your case. Make sure you answer your phone to avoid missing calls. Priority is also always given for life-threatening and critical cases. Other organizations may also be able to assist you. If your case is eligible, organizations will offer a pledge of $50 to $200. So, it is recommended that you ask family and friends for assistance as well. For larger surgeries, you can also fundraise via sites such as GoFundMe or Waggle.

See the complete list of organizations you can contact on the Financial Aid Groups page. You should keep a notebook on hand so you can keep track and jot down important information and names of groups that you have contacted.

Its also worth taking a look at BirchBark Foundation and Senior Citizen Pet Wellness – Jameson Humane.