The Helping Friends program gives seniors, people with disabilities, terminal illnesses, and individuals on fixed incomes the extra support they need to care for their animals, who often are their only companions.
Our deepest appreciation goes to the individual donors whose generous support makes this program possible.
If you need assistance from the Helping Friends program, call our Hotline at 310-392-5153.
Click HERE to download an additional list of resources we have compiled for pet owners in need.
In Memoriam of Snowball
Snowball and Misty are two cats who became part of VFTA’s Helping Friends program in 2006 when their owner had to go into a psychiatric hospital. If VFTA had not been able to take them in, Snowball and Misty would have been taken to the city “shelter” where they most likely would have been euthanized. That is a heartbreaking scene that was thankfully spared.
Because both cats were elderly (about 13 and 18 at the time), finding someone to adopt them was no small feat (sometimes you can find that special person with both the love in their heart AND the money in their wallet to take in older rescue animals, but it’s rare).
After a lot of hard work, a long-term foster home was found for Misty and Snowball. It was a happy day when they were moved into a home with a nice couple and their four other cats. They finally got to sleep in a real bed and get all of the loving attention that they so deserved!
Unfortunately, about a year later, Misty, the older of the two, developed cancer and passed away. She was a wonderful cat who carried around with her a sweet and loving energy. She is still missed terribly by her foster mom.
Snowball, the more outgoing and social of the two, obviously missed Misty very much, but continued to have a good quality life because of the generosity of the Helping Friends program and his loving foster home. After five years, at the age of 18, Snowball’s health began to decline due to the many ailments that come with age, such as osteoporosis and renal failure. He passed away in June and while everyone at VFTA is very sad to see him go, we are comforted knowing he had the opportunity to live out his life happily and knowing that he was loved, thanks in large part to his loving foster, Missy.
“VFTA donated $50 for the cat Eboneezer who was blocked and treated at Moreno Valley Animal Hospital. Eboneezer is home and doing well. He will have to be on special food for the rest of his life to make sure he does not get a blockage again, but so well worth it. He is such a sweet boy. He is happy to be home. I went to visit him while he was in the hospital and was so hard for me to leave him there, but had to visit so he knew Mama didn’t abandon him. He is my love bug. Major snuggeler, pumper and purrer. His nick name is “The Bee’s Knees,” the sweetest of the boys.”
-Dorothy Halldorson and Eboneezer “The Bee’s Knees”
“Raven is a beautiful 12 year old Russian Blue, who was given to me as a kitten when a friend was unable to care for her. We are originally from NY. She traveled cross country with me twice and we’ve moved around quite a bit in the last year while in LA. Raven and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us towards the cost of surgery for Raven with your pledge. When I got the call that you were willing to help, I almost cried. I’ve been applying to all sorts of foundations and calling Societies with very little luck. Thank you for your generousity. I hope one day, I can pay it forward.”
“I can’t thank you enough for your financial pledge for my Stevie’s (female lab-mix blonde on the left) medical surgery. I couldn’t even imagine how wonderful, compassionate, generous with your big heart your organization is not to mention most of the animal lovers in general. On behalf of Stevie, she wants to thank you for all of your help and kindness to resolve her medical condition. We love you and hope to support your wonderful work as a tolken of appreciation in the future.”
-Rosa A. Fabian
“Blueberry was run over by a truck, and it was a tragic accident. I took the trash out and didn’t notice Blue was behind me until I saw a cat across street, saw Blue next to me and the truck coming. I shouted: “Stop Blue!” But it was too late, and the truck didnt stop. I took Blue to the Emergency hospital, were she was very well treated but I didn’t have enough funds. She is now under observation and geting ready for Surgery Monday. Blueberry is a lovely and tender dog. Thank you, thank you very, very much. You and your support group are angels.”
“I received a call from a friend of friend that a dog had been left behind at a foreclosed home. I went to the property last night and retrieved it. It was limping badly so I took him into a vet clinic for evaluation Tuesday morning. They x-rayed his front leg and diagnosed that his right front elbow was broken, probably having occurred 3-4 months prior. I paid for the exam, x-rays, and vaccinations at a total cost of $170. The estimate for surgery to repair the broken elbow is $1794.40. I volunteered to pick up the dog and keep him in foster care until a permanent home could be found. Thankfully, our combined efforts and the surgery will keep the dog from being put down. Thank you again for your timely reply. Your pledge is greatly appreciated.”