Velvet Assistance Fund

Dove Lewis

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A DoveLewis experience is not only emotional, it can be very expensive.

The donor–supported Velvet Financial Assistance Fund reaches out to qualified low–income clients to help ease their burden, cushion their pain.

DoveLewis is proud to offer financial assistance to qualifying low–income clients who visit our NW Portland hospital to help cover the cost of medical treatment in an emergency. As you might imagine, the demand on this donor–funded program is enormous.

The Velvet Financial Assistance Fund has fewer donors yet gives out more money more often to local families than any other DoveLewis program. No one else in the region helps people with their pets’ medical bills more than DoveLewis.

How Does the Velvet Assistance Fund Work?
Not everyone who applies for help from the Velvet Fund will receive it.
Only DoveLewis staff determines who will receive help from the Velvet Fund.
Help is given on a case-by-case basis.
Before they may apply for help from the Velvet Fund, DoveLewis clients must first fill out a Care Credit application. If clients receive Care Credit, they must first use up that money before using any money from the Velvet Fund.
Cases being considered for Velvet Fund money must meet three criteria:
1. Must be an emergency
2. Patient must have a fair to good prognosis
3. Owner must have financial need

The Velvet Fund covers a maximum of $750 per case. Anything above that must be paid by the owner at the time of service. DoveLewis does not bill or set up payment plans.

In order to remain viable, the Velvet Fund carries a $10,000 monthly cap. Once that cap is reached, Velvet Fund money is not available to anyone until the next month. The cap allows us to manage The Velvet Fund and stretch its money based on donations to the fund. Our $120,000 in annual assistance is one of the highest totals provided in the entire country.

Velvet Fund money recipients will never be asked to pay the money back. The Velvet Assistance Fund relies only on donations, not payments. We have had some recipients of Velvet Fund money tell us they would like to give back in some way. Some have made donations to the fund when their financial situation improved, but there are many options. DoveLewis welcomes volunteers in many capacities. For more information about volunteering, visit Again, donations and volunteering at DoveLewis are not required if DoveLewis clients receive money from the Velvet Assistance Fund.

Dove Lewis

The Velvet Fund was named after a dog who showed remarkable loyalty, bravery, and intelligence. Stranded with her human climbing partners on Mt. Hood during a February 2007 storm, Velvet took turns cuddling with each of her companions, keeping them alert and warm, lifting their spirits, and making the wait for rescuers that much more tolerable.

A donor who gave a generous gift to the assistance fund asked that we name the fund after Velvet. We are honored to immortalize Velvet’s bravery, as well as our donor’s generosity. The Velvet Financial Assistance Fund will help many DoveLewis clients through one of their toughest experiences, just as Velvet helped her fellow climbers through one of theirs.

Note to Veterinary Professionals

In this current economy, DoveLewis has been getting requests for this fund daily. Our guidelines are strict to ensure that only truly needy pet owners with animals in emergencies qualify. Please have clients who are looking to receive assistance from the Velvet Fund call 503.228.7281 prior to visiting DoveLewis to ensure funds are still available for the month.