Program Guidelines

The Veterinary Assistance Fund was created to assist low-income families with the cost of providing urgent veterinary care for their pet. The fund was made possible through a bequest from Jim and Ann Ruscigno who were animal lovers and WCGHS adopters. Donors and grants from various Foundations help to fund this program to keep pets and people together. To qualify, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a current resident in the city limits of Camas or Washougal and be the owner of the dog or cat that needs treatment.
  • You currently must receive some form of government financial assistance, such as food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, SSI, etc. You will be required to sign a form acknowledging that your monthly income meets qualifying limits, and you must provide proof of income if requested.
  • Application for the program does not imply acceptance. WCGHS reserves the right to deny an application for any reason and cannot guarantee available funds.
  • All animals in the program must be spayed or neutered, or you must agree to have your animal spayed/neutered within thirty (30) days of treatment unless your pet is medically unable to be altered.
  • The fund is limited to one pet per household, per year.
  • You must apply for Care Credit, and if approved use the available credit before funds will be approved.

Program Policies

Your pet must have an urgent medical condition that requires specific treatment, with a good chance of a positive outcome. Bloodwork or radiographs may be covered on a case-by-case basis. The fund cannot pay for cancer treatment or experimental therapies. Preventative care, such as vaccines or wellness visits, is not covered.

  • Routine dental care is not covered; however, emergency tooth extractions and/or severe mouth infections may be considered in some cases.
  • There is a maximum allowance of $1000 per pet. Depending on funding availability, you may be approved for less than the maximum allowance. You will be required to pay for any expenses that exceed the allowed amount.
  • The fund is not intended to cover the routine cost of chronic medical conditions. Should your pet develop additional medical issues while undergoing treatment, all costs must be approved in advance.
  • The veterinarian providing care to your pet will make treatment recommendations based on your pet’s illness. The decision to follow your veterinarian’s recommendation is up to you; however, WCGHS is not responsible for paying any medical expenses beyond the agreed upon amount.
  • The fund cannot be used to pay for existing medical bills, or past-due balances.
  • Payment will be made directly to the veterinarian that is treating your pet. If you do not have a current veterinarian, we will refer you to one of our partner vets.
  • WCGHS will contact your veterinarian to make payment arrangements, and may ask questions about your pet’s health and the recommended treatment. Grant funds may be approved or denied based on information we receive from your veterinarian.
  • This fund is not an emergency fund — if your pet has a life-threatening emergency, it is your responsibility to seek care for your pet immediately. There is no guarantee that the fund will provide financial assistance.
  • Treatment must begin within seven (7) days of program approval.

To Apply for the Jim & Ann Ruscigno Veterinary Assistance Fund

In most cases, applications will be reviewed within 48 hours of receipt, excluding weekends and holidays.

  • Call WCGHS and ask for a Jim & Ann Ruscigno Veterinary Assistance Application. You may be asked to leave a voicemail; your call will be returned within 48 hours. You must submit a signed grant application before funds will be authorized.
  • A WCGHS representative will contact you to review your pet’s medical history. You will be asked to select a veterinarian — if you do not have a current vet, we will refer you to one of our partner clinics.
  • WCGHS will contact the veterinarian and approve payment for an initial exam and diagnostics (bloodwork OR radiographs).
  • Once payment approval has been secured, it is your responsibility to contact your vet for an appointment to have your pet seen.
  • Once a veterinarian has examined the pet and you have been given a recommended treatment plan and estimate, you must contact WCGHS for final approval.
  • If approved, your veterinarian will treat your pet, and WCGHS will make payment arrangements directly to the clinic. You are responsible for attending any follow-up examinations.


360.835.3464 |

Thank You to our Community Partners

Thank you to Local Businesses Who Support the JAR Fund

Below is a list of businesses who currently have a JAR Fund donation jar available at their locations.

If you have a large amount of coins to donate, call us at 360-835-3464 and we’ll make arrangements to accept the donation at the shelter.

54°40′ BEER
3801 S Truman St #1, Washougal, WA 98671

All Natural Pet Supply
3425 SE 192nd Ave #108, Vancouver, WA 98683

Grains of Wrath (GOW) Brewery & Restaurant
230 NE 5th Ave, Camas, WA 98607

High Expectations Dog Training
1605 NW 6th Ave, Camas, WA 98607

K&M Drive-In
3414 NE 3rd Ave, Camas, WA 98607

Lutz Hardware
505 NE 4th Ave, Camas, WA 98607

West Columbia Gorge Humane Society
2675 Index St, Washougal, WA 98671

High Expectations Dog Training
1605 NW 6th Ave, Camas, WA 98607

Bear Prairie Kennels
3211 NE 397th Pl, Washougal, WA 98671