CancerCare® and the Patricia A. O’Callaghan Animal Care Foundation Announce $1 Million Grant from the Foundation to Help Cancer Patients and Their Pets Stay Together

Advocacy Groups | <b>CancerCare</b>

September 6, 2022 - CancerCare®, the leading national nonprofit organization providing free, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer and the Patricia A. O’Callaghan Animal Care Foundation, a New Jersey charitable foundation dedicated to promoting animal welfare, are excited to announce a significant donation from the O’Callaghan Foundation to help people undergoing cancer treatment care for their pets.

With this grant from the O’Callaghan Foundation for CancerCare’s Pet Assistance and Wellness Program, CancerCare will not only be able to provide much-needed financial assistance in the short-term for people with cancer to offset some of the expenses associated with their pets, but it will also establish CancerCare’s first endowment fund, with the goal of ensuring the sustainability of the program over the years to come.

Launched in 2019, the CancerCare Pet Assistance and Wellness (PAW) Program currently provides financial assistance, educational materials and support services to those affected by cancer who face challenges related to caring for their pets. This helps enable individuals undergoing treatment to keep their pets when they might otherwise be forced to give them up due to financial or practical challenges related to their cancer diagnosis. Limited financial assistance is made available to qualified individuals who are in active cancer treatment and share their home with a cat or a dog. This financial assistance offsets some of the expenses associated with their pets including pet food; pet walking/sitting and other pet caregiving services; pet boarding fees; veterinarian expenses including vaccinations and appointment fees; flea, tick and heartworm prevention medications; and lab fees.

Since the inception of CancerCare’s PAW Program, the Patricia A. O’Callaghan Animal Care Foundation, which supports organizations that provide services including animal rescue, shelter, adoption and general animal care, has been a valued supporter of the PAW Program. As the PAW Program’s first supporter, the O’Callaghan Foundation witnessed firsthand CancerCare’s important and unique work during the early years of the program to help cancer patients keep their pets. To ensure this essential work continues, the O’Callaghan Foundation has made a $1 million grant to the PAW Program. The grant is structured to support the financial needs of cancer patients and their pets through 2030 and to seed CancerCare’s first endowment with $500,000. The O’Callaghan Foundation’s commitment to CancerCare is a momentous step to attracting new donors to ensure the PAW Program’s financial sustainability for years to come.

“It was during my diagnosis and treatment for cancer that I realized just how critical a pet can be when you are being treated for cancer. That’s why I felt it was so important for CancerCare to create a program to help our clients undergoing cancer treatment continue to care for their pets, who are often their sole form of support at home during their cancer diagnosis and treatment” says CancerCare’s Chief Executive Officer Patricia J. Goldsmith. “Since 2019, the Patricia A. O’Callaghan Animal Care Foundation has believed in and supported CancerCare’s PAW Program’s mission to assist cancer patients in keeping their pets at home. I am so thankful for the Patricia A. O’Callaghan Foundation’s most recent gift to CancerCare’s PAW Program that will pave the way to sustain the PAW Program for years to come.”

Eileen Kelly, Trustee of the Patricia A. O’Callaghan Animal Care Foundation, adds, “When Patricia O’Callaghan established her Animal Care Foundation, her strong desire was to help people and their pets stay together. I can think of no better way to meet this need than to help people undergoing treatment for cancer keep their pet by their side when they need them the most. The PAW Program is unique as it recognizes the very special role that pets play in people’s lives.”

Since its inception in 2019, the CancerCare Pet Assistance and Wellness Program has helped thousands of people undergoing cancer treatment continue to care for their pet and benefit from the special relationship they share. For more information on CancerCare’s Pet Assistance and Wellness Program, visit here and be sure to follow us on Instagram @CancerCarePAW.