Blackie's Senior Friends

Dr. Jean Langenheim understands that age is just a number, and that animals, like humans, have plenty of love to share at any age. That’s why, to honor her cat Blackie, she generously established Blackie’s Senior Friends here at the Santa Cruz SPCA.

What makes senior people and senior animals a great combination?

  • Pets make us healthier and happier. Animal companionship can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, promote healing, reduce social isolation, ease the grieving process, and give us a sense of security amidst the challenges of aging.
  • Animal companions keep us active. Walking, grooming, even petting — all can strengthen the heart, improve circulation, and slow the loss of bone tissue.
  • A senior animal can be a better match for the pace of a senior human. An energetic puppy or kitten can be overwhelming for older people with more relaxed lifestyles.
  • A senior companion animal is typically easer to train, requires less rigorous exercise, and needs fewer routine vaccinations. Many senior animals want nothing more than a warm pair of feet to lie on or a lap to snuggle in.
  • Because senior pets are often the last to be adopted, bringing home a senior cat or dog often means saving a life.

What does Blackie’s Fund do?

Blackie’s Fund is a two-part program where recipients can benefit from one part or both!

Part one connects senior people with senior pets and provides a waived adoption fee when a great match is found!

Part two provides veterinary care assistance to seniors living on a low fixed-income through our twice-yearly preventative care Wellness Days or through private diagnostic and treatment appointments available all year long. *Blackie’s Fund is no longer able to fund dental procedures.

Read the tabs below for more information!

Blackie’s Senior Friends is the part of Blackie’s Fund that encourages senior people to adopt senior pets by waiving adoption fees when a senior-to-senior match is made!  Adoption includes the first set of vaccinations, spay/neuter, microchip, a free vet exam, and educational literature.

To qualify as a Blackie’s Senior Friends adopter, you must be over the age of 62, on a fixed or low income, live within Santa Cruz county, and submit an approved adoption application. Dogs and cats adopted through the program must be 6 years of age or older.

To learn more or apply for adoption through Blackie’s Senior Friends, email or call 831-465-5000.

Are you a Santa Cruz County senior struggling to keep your pet healthy while making ends meet? The Santa Cruz SPCA is here to help! If your dog or cat, of any age, needs care you cannot afford, you may qualify for financial support for a veterinary visit through Blackie’s Fund.

Blackies Fund offers two annual Wellness Days, preventative care clinics that can help you keep your pet up to date on vaccinations, parasite management, nail trimming, ear cleaning, and yearly exams.

For seniors who are facing more significant health challenges with their pets, Blackie’s Fund provides the opportunity for a veterinary care assitance grant of up to $500 to help with diagnostics and treatment.  *Blackie’s Fund is no longer able to fund dental procedures.

To benefit from Blackie’s Fund, you must be: 62 years of age or older, on a fixed or low income, able to provide proof of income, and willing sign a contractual agreement.

To receive assistance from Blackie’s Fund Wellness Day preventative care clinics, simply call Mandi Hart at 831-465-5000 and find out about upcoming clinics and available appointment slots. (Upcoming Wellness Day clinics will be listed on our Events page when scheduled).

To apply for a veterinary care assistance grant, please print and fill out the application and contract (see buttons below), make a copy of your Driver’s License or ID, as well as proof of income (bank statement, SSI stub, etc.) and email all documents to or mail them to Mandi Hart, 2601 Chanticleer Ave. Santa Cruz, CA 95065.

Questions? Please email us or call 831-465-5000.

Blackie’s Fund is a Santa Cruz SPCA giving program that provides financial support for Blackie’s Senior Friends adopters as well as qualified senior pet owners. 

Your support of Blackie’s Fund makes it possible for us to waive adoption fees for qualified senior people adopting senior animals from our shelter. Additionally, your generosity also enables Blackie’s Fund to provide veterinary care assistance to senior pet owners living on a fixed or low income. 

The more Blackie’s Fund contributions we receive each year, the more seniors and pets we are able to help! To make your gift to this vital fund, you may donate online and select the Blackie’s Fund option when prompted. If sending a check, please note Blackie’s Fund in the memo section. To learn more about Blackie’s Fund, email us or call 831-465-5000.

How do I apply to receive assistance from Blackie’s Fund?

If you are a senior pet owner, aged 62 years or older and live on a fixed income, you may be eligible to receive assistance from either Blackie’s Fund Veterinary Care OR attend one of Blackie’s Fund twice annual Wellness Day preventative care clinics.

To apply for the Veterinary Care fund, please print and fill out the Blackie’s Fund Veterinary Care Application and Blackie’s Fund Veterinary Care Contract, make a copy of your Driver’s License or ID, as well as proof of income (bank statement, SSI stub, etc.) and email all documents or mail them to Mandi Hart, 2685 Chanticleer Ave. Santa Cruz, CA 95065. 

To receive assistance from the Blackie’s Fund Wellness Day clinics, simply call Mandi Hart at 831-465-5000 and make an appointment. (Upcoming Wellness Day clinics will be listed on our Events page when scheduled)

Once I’ve applied for assistance, how long until I hear back?

On average, you should typically hear back within 48 hours of application submittal as to whether your application has been accepted or denied. Unfortunately, we are not able to accept every application that comes to us due to limited funding. Our decisions are based on the severity of the pet’s illness(es) and the likelihood of a positive outcome.

What kind of medical care does Blackie’s Fund cover?

Blackie’s Fund Veterinary Care is designed to assist in the costs associated with the diagnostics and treatment of injury or illness. This part of the fund does not cover the costs associated with general preventative care (annual vaccines, deworming, flea treatment, general dental cleanings etc.).

Blackie’s Fund Wellness Day clinics are held twice a year and are designed to assist pet owners with the administration of basic medical exams and preventative medicine, such as annual vaccines, flea preventative, deworming, nail trimming, anal gland care, and microchipping. These clinics do not address diagnostics or administer treatment for injury or illness.

Can I choose the vet?

Blackie’s Fund clients must use the veterinarian contracted by the SCSPCA. These veterinarians have agreed to discounted pricing which will allow the $500 limit to go further!  All appointments associated with the initial application will be made by SCSPCA staff, however, we will work hard to make sure appointments work well with the applicant’s schedule.

What if the care costs more than the $500 limit?

Our partner veterinarians work hard to keep the cost of necessary diagnostics and treatment to a minimum, but there are times when the quoted cost of treatment exceeds $500. It is important for the applicant to understand that the SCSPCA can only commit to the $500 limit and will be unable to cover anything above that amount. If the applicant chooses to move forward with a more expensive procedure or treatment, the remaining balance is their responsibility and must be paid prior to retrieval of the animal.

Shelter Location

2601 Chanticleer Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95065
(P) 831-465-5000
(F) 831-479-8530

Hours of Operation

Mon & Tues - CLOSED 

Dog Browsing
Wed to Fri 2pm - 6pm
Sat & Sun 11am - 3pm

Cat Browsing
Wed to Sun 11am - 6pm




*PET FOOD PANTRY - Fridays 3:00pm - 5:00pm

The Santa Cruz SPCA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of animals. We receive no government funding, and depend solely on financial support from our friends. Our organization is not affiliated with any other SPCA or Humane Society.

Tax ID: 94-6171565

© 2017 Santa Cruz SPCA