Picasso Veterinary Fund By Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals


The Picasso Veterinary Fund, a program of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, provides financial assistance to help pay for extraordinary life-saving medical treatment for sick and injured animals that come into NYC’s Animal Care and Control (AC&C). Most of the animals who receive treatment paid for by the fund are then adopted into permanent homes by Alliance member shelters and rescue groups.

Prior to the creation of the Picasso Veterinary Fund, most of these sick or injured cats and dogs would have been euthanized rather than be treated and allowed a second chance at a good life. Since 2003, hundreds of cats and dogs have received treatment paid for by the Fund.

The Need

In 2005, close to 44,000 animals entered the New York City shelter system. More than half of these animals were returned to their owners, adopted, or transferred to no-kill shelters and rescue groups for placement into permanent homes. Still, approximately 20,000 animals were euthanized ” many simply because new homes could not be found quickly enough, or because they were severely injured without any financial assistance to receive appropriate medical treatment. The cost of meeting the special medical needs of animals that come into Animal Care & Control, notably life-saving medical attention, is tremendous. The Picasso Veterinary Fund relies completely upon private donations to continue its life-saving work.


The Picasso Veterinary Fund helps to pay for special, urgently needed veterinary costs for animals taken in by Animal Care & Control (AC&C) in New York City and transferred to other Alliance Participating Organizations (shelters and rescue groups) that will find them permanent homes.


The fund, administered by the Mayor’s Alliance, was created in 2001 by Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters, actresses and animal activists. They founded “Broadway Barks.” They were motivated by a unique pit bull mix dog, born with a beautifully twisted muzzle (hence the name, Picasso), that was picked up by the city’s AC&C. Picasso was cared for temporarily by Brooklyn’s BARC Shelter, and then adopted by a loving family. Although Picasso died of congenital kidney problems after a relatively short, but happy, life, his memory lives on, thanks to the fund.

It was Picasso’s story that inspired the creation of the Picasso Veterinary Fund to help similarly distressed animals live healthier and happy lives.


The Picasso Veterinary Fund, a program of The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, is supported by private donations from individuals and businesses.

Among the veterinary practices that have provided medical care for animals paid for by the fund are Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists, Murray Hill Pet Hospital and Gramercy Park Animal Hospital in Manhattan, and Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group in Brooklyn.

Further Information

Visit The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, (www.animalalliancenyc.org). Out of the Cage!, the Mayor’s Alliance e-newsletter, features stories of some of the animals that have been helped by the Picasso Veterinary Fund.

Contributions to the Picasso Veterinary Fund may be made through the website at www.animalalliancenyc.org/picasso.htm or by sending a tax-deductible check or money order, made payable to Mayor’s Alliance/Picasso Veterinary Fund to: Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, Attn: Picasso Veterinary Fund, 244 Fifth Avenue, Suite R290, New York, NY 10001-7604.

Veterinarians interested in getting involved with the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animal’s work should contact the organization at (212) 252-2350 or visit www.AnimalAllianceNYC.org


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