The Second Chance® Fund


Although some of the images in this film may be disturbing, they accurately reflect what these poor animals have suffered -- and how far they’ve come.


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Each day, an alarming number of animal abuse or neglect cases occur across the country. Many times, local shelters and humane societies are forced to cover the cost to medically treat these abused animals, and, as a result, shelters accrue high -- sometimes overwhelming -- medical bills.

American Humane Association's Second Chance Fund helps offset the cost of treating homeless animal victims of abuse or neglect. Through the Second Chance Fund, American Humane Association is able to financially assist agencies that rescue, care for, and re-home abused or neglected animals. In 2009, thanks to our generous donors, American Humane Association was able to provide Second Chance financial assistance to 85 organizations to assist with the care of 974 animals, including cats, dogs, horses, donkeys, goats, pigs, parrots, cows, sheep and llamas. 


Due to the overwhelming number of abuse cases nationwide, the Second Chance® Fund is offered only in select cases of animal abuse or neglect. Funding is awarded on a case-by-case basis.

General guidelines of the Fund include:

  • Only animal sheltering agencies (public or private) and rescue groups are considered for the Second Chance® Fund.
  • individuals, businesses and corporations are not provided for in the guidelines of the fund.
  • Funding may be used only to cover medical procedures for animals that have been victims of abuse or neglect and require medical treatment before being placed for adoption. Routine medical procedures -- such as vaccinations, heartworm testing, behavior modification and/or training are outside the scope of this fund. Spay/neuter surgery, if listed in the itemized costs of care, even if not medically necessary for treatment, are eligible.
  • Medical procedures covered under the fund will allow animals to medically recover and live a relatively pain-free life.
  • Animals involved can be successfully placed in new homes.
  • Funding to any one agency is limited to $2,000 per fiscal year.
  • Applications must be received no later than 6 months following the date of intake of the animal(s).
  • Only applications received through the appropriate online submission process will be eligible.

Before submitting an application, applicants must ensure that it includes all of the following documents or their request will be considered incomplete and may be discarded:

  • Copy of 501(c)(3) determination letter
  • Completed application
  • All itemized veterinary receipts* (must be issued by veterinarian’s office)
  • Signed general release (Revised version includes the photo and media release)
  • Before and/or after digital photographs of animals

*If services are/were provided by on-staff veterinarian, itemized receipts must reflect out-of-pocket expenses only -- not retail value.

Click here to read about some of the cases American Humane Association has funded through our Second Chance® Grants.


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