About Us

How We Started

Pet Fund About Us

The Pet Fund was founded in 2003 as a national nonprofit dedicated to funding veterinary care for those who could not afford it. Animal shelter statistics across the country demonstrated a constant increase in the  number of animals dropped off at shelters because of treatable medical conditions. Thanks to the generosity of the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers, The Pet Fund  incorporated as a 501(c)3 and began raising funds to address this growing problem. The staff and board members of The Pet Fund work constantly to develop resources for pets and their families to fund critically needed veterinary care, keeping animals out of shelters and helping pet owners to become skilled at preventative care practices. Since medical
treatment costs for animals (as for people) are also on the rise, this is an ongoing funding challenge. 

Where We Are Now

As a registered 501(c)3, all donations to The Pet Fund are tax-deductible, and The Pet Fund strives to use the largest percentage of donations possible for animal veterinary care above our operating costs, which are minimal and are funded through restricted grants.
The Pet Fund has a very small staff and depends on full-time volunteers to carry out our mission. Our primary focus is on the care category of non-basic, non-emergency care. For example, we work on cancer treatment, heart disease, endocrine disorders, kidney disease, cataract surgery, and chronic conditions. You can see a longer list of examples of the kinds of treatment we fund on the Donor Resources page of the website. Our financial information is available at www.guidestar.org, and we welcome questions about our funding, application process, and nonprofit development at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New Directions

The Pet Fund currently receives hundreds of requests from pet owners daily for veterinary assistance and we are working towards adding to our staff to handle the increasing level of requests for help. We are currently moving towards endowment funding to increase the level of support available to pet owners in need. We are also building a larger database of resources available to pet owners for both financial assistance and preventative care needs. Finally, we are working with both research firms and universities to increase access to clinical trials for eligible pet owners whose animals may benefit from progressive research and new treatments. We look forward to sharing our new developments with you as well as updates about animals who were helped.

We thank you for your ongoing support and generosity.

Our Board Members:

President: Erin Havey. Erin Havey works as an analyst for the State of California. She has a B.A. in International Relations from the University of California at Davis and is continuing her graduate education. In her spare time, she is a ballroom dance enthusiast and she also has three pampered cats of her own.

Secretary/Treasurer: Jill MacCartney. Jill MacCartney has a degree in English from Washington State University and works as a freelance reporter. She is married with one child, one dog, two cats, and two rabbits.

Executive Director: Karen Leslie. Karen Leslie has an M.F.A. from Columbia University and has worked in nonprofit fundraising for over eighteen years. She has two cats as well.


Dr. Dana Ness: Dr. Ness received her DVM from the University of California, Davis, and she has a private practice in Washington. Dr. Ness is married with one child, two dogs, three cats, one sheep, four goats and many chickens.

Dr. Linda Wallace: Dr. Wallace received her DVM from the University of California, Davis, and she has a private practice in California. Dr. Wallace is married with one child, three dogs, one cat, two donkeys and five sheep.

Special Thanks to the Law Firm of O'Melveny & Meyers

The Pet Fund wishes to gratefully acknowledge the pro-bono work of the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers. We would like to extend very special thanks to Scott W. Pink, Lisa Agueda, Madeleine T. Patton, and Alan Delamora.

And Thanks to Other Friends of The Pet Fund

Jill Matichak, Mark E. Miller, Leah Bishop, Annie Jeong, Scott Sanford, Laura Zeigler, Helen Bainbridge, Marianne Merrill, Susan Billheimer, Michelle Watts Zagazeta, Jodi Shepherd, Trey Rees, Shabnam Malek, Kristin M. Hall, Amanda Conley, Alexandra Echery, Jesse J. Koehler, and Elysa Q. Wan.

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