Need affordable medical care for your dog or cat? If you are a Contra Costa County resident facing serious financial crises, the ARF Emergency Medical Fund® may be able to provide affordable, non-urgent veterinary care for your pet at our clinic in Walnut Creek, California. Since 1995, EMF has been a lifeline for thousands of dogs and cats.

Tabby, an elderly cat, was having trouble eating. She needed teeth extracted that were causing her pain. EMF completed the dental procedure so Tabby could eat comfortably again.

EMF treatment cannot be used for routine, exploratory, elective, preventative, or specialty veterinary care. The term “emergency” in EMF refers to the financial crisis of a guardian unable to access affordable veterinary care.

Qualifying for EMF

  • You and your pet(s) must reside in Contra Costa County, California.
  • Household income must be at or below the U.S. Department of Housing and Development’s (HUD) definition of very low income limits.
  • We require proof that you are the regular caretaker of the animal, household income, and residency.
  • Pet must be spayed or neutered. If pet is not spayed or neutered, we offer discounted spay/neuter services if you qualify.

Apply for Assistance

Our EMF program has seen an increase in applicants recently. We have limited appointments available and are currently booked up to six weeks in advance. We are scheduling appointments based on medical need and urgency.

If you meet the requirements listed above, you may apply for discounted veterinary care by submitting an application. Please view additional financial assistance options or see the list of resources below.

After an application and qualifying materials are submitted, you will hear from a representative within five business days. If approved for services through the EMF program, a $30 deposit fee will be collected at the time of scheduling your pet’s appointment. This fee will be applied towards the cost of your pet’s appointment.

emf ladies volunteers
Volunteers Bev Greenbaum, Dorothy Bullard, Elvira Clark, Enid Schlichtman, and Dolores McCoskey — the EMF Ladies

History of EMF

Inspired by calls they received from the community, ARF volunteers Bev Greenbaum, Dorothy Bullard, Elvira Clark, Enid Schlichtman, and Dolores McCoskey — the EMF Ladies — began making and selling crafts to raise dollars to help caregivers who couldn’t afford veterinary care. The ARF Emergency Medical Fund® was formed in 1995, and is now funded by proceeds generated by the ARF Thrift Store and generous donations from the public.

Additional Resources

We want to help families and pets stay together. If you need help, please check out these additional resources for low-cost veterinary care:

You Can Provide Care to the Pet of a Caregiver in Need

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People Rescuing Animals … Animals Rescuing People®

Goliath receiving medical treatment


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