Skip to content


Onyx’s family turned to Second Chance when he needed emergency surgery after getting into Christmas decorations.

EAST BROOKFIELD, MA – Fifty million pets in the U.S. experience a lack of access to even basic veterinary care. Rising costs and other barriers mean these pets struggle to access services such as spay/neuter procedures, vaccinations and critical medical and preventative care. With as many as 70% of households now including pets, this issue affects families in nearly every community.

PetSmart Charities has committed $100 million over the next five years toward improving access to veterinary care. The “Accelerator” low-cost veterinary care grant program is a key part of this effort.  These grants support the expansion of low-cost veterinary care by funding growth and operations for up to four years for nonprofit clinics looking to expand their services, serve their communities better and inspire other veterinary providers by sharing their experiences.

The grant made to Second Chance Animal Services in the amount of $1,100,000 will support the expansion over the next three years at the nonprofit’s surgical center that provides lifesaving surgeries for animals. The anticipated impact on local pets and families includes saving the lives of more pets in need of urgent or emergency care who have nowhere else to turn.

“We are so grateful to PetSmart Charities for their continued support of our work to keep pets in their homes with the people they love,” said Sheryl Blancato, Second Chance CEO and founder. “Second Chance is a place that many turn to for lifesaving surgeries to save their pets, and to keep them together with the families that love them.”

Second Chance offers a two-tiered system of subsidized rates for pet owners at their four Community Veterinary Hospitals in North Brookfield, Southbridge, Springfield, and Worcester.  Pet owners who are 150% of the poverty level received a subsidized rate lower than Second Chance’s standard rates.  Those that do not fit in this category pay the standard low-cost rate.  This helps to ensure access to care for all pets.

Overwhelmingly, people consider their pets important members of the family. Pets make a significant impact on the health and wellness of the people they love. This grant will enable more families to get the preventative and standard care that ensures their pets thrive at home and stay out of shelters.

“Our veterinary system is in crisis,” said Kate Atema, director of community grants and initiatives at PetSmart Charities.  “Rising costs are putting standard veterinary care out of reach for as much as 50% of pet-owning families. We need innovative solutions that make veterinary care affordable for the families in every community who want the best for their four-legged companions but struggle to meet the cost of vet care. We’re inspired by the incredible work Second Chance is doing to create solutions that will build strong families and a healthy community.”

Last year, Second Chance helped over 48,000 pets including a beautiful black long-haired cat named Onyx who got into Christmas decorations. Her owner had seen Onyx chewing on tinsel and noticed that Onyx had not felt well for many days and was showing signs of being in much pain. She was seen at an emergency veterinary hospital, but her owner couldn’t afford the price they quoted for surgery. Her family was grateful to learn that Second Chance veterinarians could perform the surgery at a reduced rate, allowing them to save their beloved pet. Onyx showed signs of feeling better as soon as the surgery was completed and home to celebrate the holidays with her loving family.

For more information Second Chance Animal Service’s Community Veterinary Hospitals, visit


About Second Chance Animal Services: About Second Chance Animal Services
Second Chance Animal Services is a nonprofit animal welfare organization founded in 1999.  Second Chance began as an animal shelter and grew to help more pets in need.  Today Second Chance operates Community Veterinary Hospitals in North Brookfield, Southbridge, Springfield, and Worcester providing access to the highest-quality veterinary care for all.  Subsidized rates are provided to underserved communities to ensure access to care for all pets in need. Last year Second Chance helped over 44,000 pets live better lives through full-service veterinary care, spay/neuter services, adoption services, community & educational outreach programs, training, and a pet food pantry. For more information, visit Second Chance’s website at

About PetSmart Charities®

PetSmart Charities is committed to making the world a better place for pets and all who love them. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps up to 600,000 pets connect with loving families each year. PetSmart Charities also provides grant funding to support organizations that advocate and care for the well-being of all pets and their families. Our grants and efforts connect pets with loving homes through adoption, improve access to affordable veterinary care and support families in times of crisis with access to food, shelter and emergency relief. Each year, millions of generous supporters help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities directly at, while shopping at, and by using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart® stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting more than $500 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart LLC, PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator for the past 18 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of rated charities. To learn more visit