Public Assistance FAQ

I want to get my pet fixed but can’t afford it. 

HSWC has two spay/neuter voucher programs for Washington County, MD residents only. Please call 301-733-2060 to see if there is funding available before making an appointment. Once confirming funding is available, please make an appointment with one of the participating veterinarian hospitals below, then come into the HSWC during our normal business hours for the voucher. The staff will need to see photo ID and proof of current address confirming you are a Washington County, MD resident in order to process your application. You will then take the voucher with you to the spay/neuter appointment and hand it to the veterinary hospital when you drop off your pet(s) for their surgery.

Veterinary participation varies so please check with your vet when you make an appointment to ensure they will accept the voucher.

SNAP Program

Discount voucher which will cover $80 toward spay/neuter of a dog, $60 toward the spay of a female cat, or $30 toward the neuter of a male cat. Additionally the voucher also includes up to $10 toward post-operative pain medication for the pet. Most veterinarians charge more than this amount so the owner is responsible for paying the balance to the hospital.

Limit per person: 3 cats and 2 dogs per fiscal year (HSWC fiscal year is July-June)

Funding for the SNAP program is through generous donations and the dog licenses sold in Washington County.

SNIP Program

This program is available to citizens who are receiving county, state, or federal government financial assistance, Social Security, or disability benefits, and also for citizens who are managing feral colonies whether or not they are otherwise receiving financial assistance. There is a $40 copay for each dog spay/neuter and a $20 copay for each cat spay/neuter which is paid at the time of applying. The voucher covers basic surgery cost, pain medication, rabies vaccination, and (dogs only) a Washington county dog license.

Limit per person: 5 cats per person per fiscal year. No limit on dogs.

Funding for the SNIP program is through generous donations. If you would like to donate, please click here and indicate in the Comments that you would like your gift directed to SNAP or SNIP.

Participating Veterinarians 

Animal Health Clinic of Funkstown - SNAP

Antietam Valley Vet Clinic (Dr. Wagner) – SNIP & SNAP

Boonsboro Veterinary Hospital – SNAP

Cumberland Valley Vet Clinic – SNIP & SNAP

Hancock Animal Hospital – SNAP

Longmeadow Animal Hospital – SNIP (current clients only) & SNAP

Mid-Atlantic Animal Hospital – SNIP (current clients only) & SNAP

Park Circle Animal Hospital – SNAP

Smithsburg Veterinary Clinic – SNAP

Stone Marsh Mobile Vet – SNIP & SNAP (cats and small male dogs only)

The veterinarian may have extra charges for necessary services. Please discuss those charges with the vet prior to your appointment.

I need help feeding my pet. Do you have free or low cost pet food? How do I get some?

The HSWC has a Pet Food Bank program that is available to Washington County residents. Supplies are generously supplied by companies such as Petsmart, Petco, Walmart, and Tractor Supply as well as private donations. 

The Pet Food Bank is designed to help families in Washington County (MD) keep their pets when times are hard and when the only alternative might be to give them up by surrendering them to a shelter or rescue.  The program is not intended to be a permanent source of pet food. The food bank operates Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am - 1 pm. 

Wet and dry cat food and dog food will be provided, and cat litter will be provided when it's available. Individuals can come once per week to obtain food. You must be a Washington County resident and show a valid state-issued ID to receive benefits.

Donations of food or money for the Pet Food Bank can be submitted at any time in the shelter during normal business hours.

I need financial help to get my animal seen by a veterinarian.

The H.E.L.P. program at HSWC is for Washington County residents who are receiving government financial assistance or in financial hardship such as unemployment, and need immediate financial assistance to take their pet to a veterinarian. Vouchers are for up to $100 per person per animal. Those applying will need to bring photo ID, proof of residence in Washington County, and proof of needing financial assistance (unemployment funds, government assistance, disability, etc.). Please check with your veterinarian to make sure they will accept the voucher when you make your appointment.

For those who do not qualify for the H.E.L.P. program we have contact information for other programs and organizations that may be able to help no matter where you reside. Please call 301-733-2060 for more information.

What is Silver Lining for Seniors? 

Silver Lining for Seniors is available to Washington County residents 65 years of age or older to assist with adopting from the HSWC or to help with medical care for an animal adopted from the HSWC. You can view the brochure here.