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Criteria for P.A.W.S. Fund Requests

The following policies and procedures are meant to identify incidents and items that are covered by the Prince William Humane Society Poor Animals Welfare and Surgical (P.A.W.S.) Fund and to itemize the criteria and procedures required for the consideration and approval of each requested disbursement.

The P.A.W.S. Fund has been established to assist homeless animals in need of medical services and treatments in emergency and non-emergency cases.  Each case will be considered separately and by the P.A.W.S. Fund Committee which consists of at least three individuals and includes at least 1 board member and 1 P.A.W.S. Fund Committee registered veterinarian. 

P.A.W.S. Fund Case Qualifications

  1. Only eligible animals shall be accepted for coverage through the P.A.W.S. Fund.  Eligibility is as follows:

    1. Pets that are in the custody of an “Affiliate Partner” of P.W. Humane Society or municipal shelter

    2. Pets that have diseases or ailments that can be treated allowing the pet to become adoptable

    3. Pets that are strays to the Shelter and require critical care as determined by the Shelter veterinarian

    4. Pets received as strays that have exceeded their holding period and have become property of the Shelter and are in need of medical care

    5. Pets who are considered behaviorally sound enough to become adopted

  2. Only cases submitted by the P.A.W.S. Committee liaisons or the Shelter veterinarian shall be accepted.  No other Rescue or Shelter personnel shall request admittance of pets to the program.

  3.  Any and all medical history, case history, reason for pet release, and initial evaluation by either an owner’s veterinarian or Shelter veterinarian shall be emailed or faxed to the P.A.W.S. Fund veterinarian.

  4. A P.A.W.S. Fund Intake Form and copy of the Animal Custody Record must be submitted prior to acceptance.

  5. All P.A.W.S. intakes shall be evaluated by a registered P.A.W.S. Fund veterinarian who will then consult with the P.A.W.S. Committee.  Based upon that evaluation, the P.A.W.S. Committee reserves the right to approve or deny treatment.

  6. Once pets are accepted for P.A.W.S. Fund coverage and their bills have been paid, they will not be available for adoption to any previous owners.  

  7. Affiliate Partners agree to assist and participate in raising funds and accepting donations for the P.A.W.S. Fund through appeals & campaigns on their Social Media pages and at events. Affiliate partners will be responsible for 20% of the medical fees unless other arrangements have been approved.

  8. All P.A.W.S. Fund case fees will be paid directly to the veterinary facility and not to the rescue or Shelter.


P.A.W.S. Fund Intake Policies and Procedures

  1. Once a pet has been deemed “Qualified” for the program and accepted by the P.A.W.S. Committee, the pet shall be evaluated by  a registered P.A.W.S. veterinarian 

  2. The P.A.W.S. Committee may request more than one approved veterinarian to submit an estimate of costs and treatments for consideration prior to accepting the case. 

  3. Affiliate Partner organizations agree to identify and negotiate with local veterinarians to obtain the best pricing for the procedures needed. Example: ACL surgery can be done by a local vet, VA Tech Animal Clinic, a discount veterinary surgical center or other vet clinics/hospitals depending on the fees charged. 

    1. Any follow-up care not performed by the treating veterinarian shall be administered by the approved veterinarian facility or the Shelter veterinarian.

    2. Any other medical costs incurred at non-registered or approved veterinary facilities will not be covered by the P.A.W.S. Fund.

  4. In the case of an emergency, any pet that is deemed “critical” can be evaluated immediately IF and ONLY IF a P.A.W.S. Committee member can be reached and approve the emergency evaluation as well as find an approved P.W.H.S. veterinarian who is available.

    1. Emergencies are defined as

      1. Hit by a car and initial evaluation shows more damage than just abrasions or broken legs/jaws

      2. Critically ill such as severe anemia, severe infections, diabetic ketoacidosis, pancreatitis, jaundice, severe dehydration (unless caused by end stage kidney failure or cancer), heat stroke, severe active bleeding, severe dog fight wounds (complete chest punctures, jugular injuries, large amount of blood loss), pyometra, C-sections, or Bloat

  5. Non-emergency intakes must follow the guidelines set forth for consideration of intake.

    1. Patients shall be stabilized and housed appropriately until the Intake Form has been submitted for approval by the rescue liaisons or Shelter veterinarian.

    2. Requests by anyone other than the P.A.W.S. liaisons or Shelter veterinarian shall not be considered.

    3. Once intake is approved, the Rescue/Shelter shall transport the pet to the approved facility for treatment, but not before all paperwork has been submitted and a P.A.W.S. Committee member has approved treatment.

  6. Only an approved P.A.W.S. liaisons or Shelter veterinarian may request an animal be accepted for intake or any update information regarding the case.

  7. No information shall be released to any other Shelter personnel, owners, or persons except for the approved P.A.W.S. liaisons or Shelter veterinarian.  

  8. Once the patient has been evaluated by an approved P.A.W.S. veterinarian and accepted to the program for treatment, the evaluating veterinarian shall submit an update to the P.A.W.S. rescue liaisons or Shelter veterinarian within 24-48 hours and an estimate to the P.A.W.S. Committee for estimated treatment costs and possible diagnosis.  No other veterinarians shall be brought on the case unless requested and approved by the P.A.W.S. Committee. 

  9. The Affiliate Partner agrees that once adopted, the new owner bears the responsibility for the cost of any ongoing or future medical costs and P.W.H.S. has no further financial obligation for that pet.

  10. Any funds received by P.W.H.S. on behalf of a PAWS Fund Appeal shall be deposited to the P.A.W.S. Fund for use on any medical case.


Request for Medications, Treatments and Test Kits

  1. Any request for financial assistance in the form of medications, treatments or test kits will be submitted on a P.A.W.S. Fund Request Form by the liaisons or Shelter veterinarian for consideration by the P.A.W.S. Fund Committee.

  2. All requests must state the purpose of the item requested and its potential or proven benefit to the homeless animals

  3. All requests are subject to the discretion of the Committee and the Committee may suggest a substitution of brand if warranted. 

    1. The requestor may appeal that substitution by providing compelling evidence why the requested item is required instead of the suggested substitution.

  4. Medications, Treatments and Tests Kits are considered a non-emergency need and will be considered on an individual basis.



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