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Emergency Medical Fund®

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ARF’s Emergency Medical Fund® (EMF) provides low-income residents of Contra Costa County, California with low cost veterinary care for their pets at ARF’s clinic. ARF believes caregivers should never be forced to choose between self care and pet care.

Since 1995, ARF volunteers have been raising life-saving dollars for EMF to help animals whose caregivers do not have the resources to provide medical care. Since its beginning, EMF and its founding “EMF Ladies” have helped thousands of people and their cherished companions.

The EMF program provides low cost non-emergency veterinary care to qualified Contra Costa county residents. The term “emergency” in EMF stands for the financial crisis of an owner unable to access affordable veterinary care.

For many, EMF is their last hope:

  • Shelby, an 8-year-old Rottweiler, suffered from a life-threatening infection. Shelby's owner could not afford this costly procedure, so her vet referred them to ARF, where staff quickly processed the paperwork to confirm Shelby's eligibility. Life-saving surgery was performed and Shelby recovered at ARF’s clinic.
  • Striper the cat had ear troubles and was brought to ARF’s clinic by his guardian, who was on permanent disability. Striper received ear medicine, and an infected tooth was also removed. His guardian was very grateful EMF was there to help.
  • A homeless man sought help for his little dog, Mindy, a Jack Russell Terrier mix, who was sick from drinking salt water at the beach. To her guardian's relief, the ARF veterinarian provided medicine and special food for Mindy. She is now happy and healthy again.
  • Steffan the cat had an undescended testicle, a risky condition which also increases the chance for testicular cancer. His 85-year-old guardian could not afford the surgery, which is more complicated than a regular neuter procedure. The guardian was referred to ARF, and Steffan received the necessary treatment.
  • Stella the cat had swallowed an object which became trapped in her intestine. However, her guardian couldn't afford the costly surgery to remove the object. Through EMF Stella was quickly approved for surgery and during the procedure ARF’s veterinarian discovered the object had broken through Stella’s intestine. Thankfully, Stella’s life was saved with surgery and she’s back at home.

Thanks to EMF, its volunteers, and the dedicated and tireless work of EMF’s founding members, Elvira Clark, Bev Greenbaum, Enid Schlictman and Dolores McCoskey, EMF’s service to the community will continue to grow.

EMF is supported through proceeds generated by ARF’s Thrift Store as well as generous public donations. ARF’s Thrift Store is located at 1950 Market Street in Concord, California. Hours are 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Saturday. Donations gratefully accepted 10 a.m. - 2.p.m. Volunteers, donations and shoppers are always welcome.

Individuals who qualify for ARF’s EMF financial assistance should contact ARF at 925.256.1273 or

To qualify:

  • Guardian and pet must reside in Contra Costa County, California
  • Household income at or below the U.S. Department of Housing and Development’s (HUD) definition of very low income limits
  • Pet must be spayed and/or neutered
  • Proof the applicant is the regular caretaker of the animal
  • Care needed is non-emergency but life-saving (non-cosmetic, routine, exploratory, or elective)

Please be aware that although a household may quality for EMF services, the ARF clinic can’t help perform all medical services. We will let you know if your medical need is one we can help with when we talk to you.

After the application and qualifying materials are submitted it may take 1 - 2 business days, or longer to approve the application. 


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