San Francisco Aid for Animals provides lifesaving funds for medical emergencies—helping to keep pets and their families together.

Earlier this year, San Francisco Aid for Animals received a generous donation from the Ingrid D. Tauber Fund for the creation of our Ingrid Tauber Fund for Animals (TFA). The TFA is intended for high-cost veterinary cases where SFAfA’s Grant in Aid program may not provide enough relief for a pet guardian in need. We are highlighting one very special story where our Grant in Aid program and the Ingrid Tauber Fund for Animals saved the day!

Six-year-old Enrique was on vacation with his family in Guerneville, California when he announced that he wanted a black Lab. Soon, the family was told that the local Sonoma County Animal Shelter had a two-year-old female black Lab mix and that they should come meet her. They took her home and Enrique and Luna have been inseparable ever since.

Enrique has epileptic seizures at least once a month that require constant adult supervision so he sleeps in his parent’s bedroom. Several weeks after Luna’s adoption, Enrique’s parents were awakened in the middle of the night by Luna, who was blowing in their faces and nudging them with her nose. This untrained dog had realized that Enrique was in the early stages of a seizure and instinctively knew to seek help! Since then Luna has quietly alerted adults of the onset of every seizure at home or at school; she is a truly remarkable dog.

All was well for three years until this past July when Luna injured her right rear leg while playing in a park. A quick trip to the SF SPCA veterinary hospital revealed a ruptured cruciate ligament in the right knee and so they were referred to the orthopedic surgeon at SF Veterinary Specialists. 

Labrador Retrievers are prone to having weak knees as they were bred to be excellent swimmers, not runners. The cost for the surgery to repair the ruptured ligament and strengthen the weak knee was over $4,000, which greatly exceeded Enrique’s family’s budget. Fortunately, the surgeon was able to combine grants from SFAfA’s Ingrid Tauber Fund for Animals Grant in Aid program and that altogether reduced Luna’s bill by almost 85%, to a level the family could afford. Luna had her surgery, has healed very well, and is being kept on a short leash by Enrique as her knee - and the bond between this boy and his dog - becomes ever stronger.

Elvira told us: We were stunned at Luna’s diagnosis and more so when we received the cost estimate for her surgery. Our share of medical costs for Enrique did not allow us to have funds for this type of emergency. Honestly, we cried when Dr. Mehl told us about the grants from SF Aid for Animals. The grant covered her surgery and all her follow up appointments. Random acts of kindness are rare and Enrique and our family will never forget this one.
What could be better than watching fun movies while helping animals? The Bow Wow Film Festival celebrated our beloved canine companions while providing support for SFAfA’s veterinary emergency fund. THANK YOU so much to our sponsors, and to everyone who joined us to laugh and cheer and maybe tear up a little... we loved seeing you there, and we are so grateful you came!
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We thank you for your support and hope that you will continue to support us in this important work. You can donate to us either online at or by mailing a check (made to Community Initiatives/SFAFA) to 354 Pine Street, Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104-3229.

We helped 72 pets in 2017 so far—pets that might otherwise have been euthanized or left untreated due to their guardian’s ability to afford necessary veterinary care.

San Francisco Aid for Animals - SFAfA

Founded by San Francisco Veterinary Medical Association
A fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives, 501(c)(3)
354 Pine Street, Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94104-3229 •

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San Francisco Aid for Animals · 354 Pine Street · San Francisco, CA 94104 · USA

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