The Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association Charities, Inc. provides assistance to a variety of animal welfare programs both in Massachusetts as well as internationally.
The MVMA Charities currently supports a stray animal assistance program, an emergency and disaster program and two international programs.

Under the MVMA charities, the Stray Animal Program, provides financial assistance for emergency and routine care of unowned or unclaimed stray animals. Registered Massachusetts animal control officers can apply for funds for medical, surgical, or behavioral treatment for stray animals.

The Emergency and Disaster Program provides funds for disaster and emergency response, recovery, mitigation and planning. In addition, pet oxygen masks are being distibuted to Massachusetts fire stations.  (If you are a Massachusetts Fire Department that has not received a pet oxygen mask kit, please contact the MVMA Charities, Inc. office at 508-460-9333.)

International Programs are:
Project Samaná in the Dominican Republic where veterinarians and support staff treat large and small animals and teach proper husbandry and care and Project Mazunte in Mexico where veterinarians spay and neuter dogs to help reduce overpopulation while protecting wild turtle populations that are preyed on by stray dogs. The turtle population includes Olive Ridley, Green (Black subspecies), Leatherback and Pacific Hawksbill sea turtles.
If you are interested in volunteering for any of the MVMA Charities, Inc. programs (domestic or international) please contact the office at 508.460.9333.


Forms for the Stray Animal Program:

The officers and directors of MVMA Charities, Inc., are
  • Suzanne Starr, DVM, President and Director - Paws in Motion
  • David Schwarz, DVM, Clerk - Ashland AnimalHospital, Ashland, MA
  • Seymour Bigman, DVM, Director - Needham, MA
  • Debbie Gehrke, DVM, Director - Pet Partners
  • Emanuel Maciel, Director - Animal Control Officers Association of Massachusetts, New Bedford, MA
  • David McGrath, DVM, Director - Wignall Animal Hospital
  • Richard Rodger, DVM, Director - Grafton, MA


We appreciate your donations. Contributions to these charitable programs are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law; consult your tax advisor if you have questions. If you have questions, contact us at:


Send your check and a completed donation form (the form will open in a new window for you to print) to:

MVMA Charities, Inc.
163 Lakeside Ave
Marlborough, MA 01752


Thank you!


MVMA Charities, Inc. and MVMA Programs

MVMA Charities, Inc. Project Samana

Project Samana integrates medical care, health and animal care education, training opportunities for U.S.-based and local veterinarians and students, and public health measures.

Our mission is simple:

- provide necessary surgical and medical services to the animals of Samana;
- educate animal owners in the health, care, and proper use of work horses and mules;
- provide training in medical and surgical procedures to local veterinarians and students from Dominican schools; and
- expand our team of veterinary students from the U.S. to experience firsthand the problems plaguing animals of Third World countries.

Named after the town in which it’s based, Project Samana is an outreach program that assists the people and animals of the Dominican Republic, the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere. In a remote area where medical resources are scarce, unwanted pets and genetically-deficient work animals are both a burden and a source of disease. With no veterinarians in the area, domestic animal population control was performed by mass poisonings, which indiscriminately affected both stray animals and pets. Besides being inhumane, this approach did not solve the problem of un-owned animals roaming the streets, spreading diseases to animals and people and affecting the quality of life for the community.

Project Samana is a semi-annual expedition consisting of two, weeklong trips each year, bringing veterinarians, technicians, students, translators, and other volunteers, along with occasional filmmakers helping to document this important work. Volunteers bear the cost of their journey, including providing assigned medical supplies.

Over the life of the Project, our teams have spayed more than 2,400 dogs and cats and castrated several hundred stallions. At our recommendation, the ecotourism cooperative sponsors seminars, keeps records of horses and arranges for medical care. Project Samana has also convinced farmers to start a mule breeding program. Mules are recommended as they are strong animals, are resistant to disease, adapt well to the local climate and living conditions, and after they are gelded, seem very placid and work steadily for the rest of their lives. This program is gaining momentum as more locals see its success.

To establish a veterinary clinic, in conjunction with the National University Pedro Henriquez Ureña, in this poverty stricken, underserved area of the Dominican Republic.

MVMA Charities, Inc. Mazunte Turtle Project

In Mexico, our veterinarians help with Project Mazunte. This program works with local veterinarians and personnel from the Mexican Turtle Center to spay and neuter dogs in towns adjacent to the important sea turtle beaches. This reduces dog overpopulation while at the same time protects the sea turtle population from canine predation. A companion program, the Palmarito Project, protects turtle nests from predators and then monitors the hatching and release of the hatchlings to maximize their survival. This project has enhanced the survival of the Black, Olive Ridley and Leatherback sea turtle populations.

The MVMAC’s most recent trip to Mazunte in January of 2013 saw 280 dogs spayed and neutered. In addition, the MVMAC team assisted in the evening release of over 600 hatchlings. By releasing the hatchlings in the evening or at night, both bird and canine predation are prevented.

To maintain low numbers of stray dogs, protect turtle eggs and create a fellowship program in conjunction with the University of Oaxaca. This fellowship program will train students in the very specialized field of turtle care and medicine, continue the protection of sea turtles and ensure the sustainability of the Palmarito Project. 

MVMA Charities, Inc. Pet Oxygen Mask Program

In one year alone, nearly 30,000 fire incidents were reported in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with almost half happening in residential homes. In order to ensure the proper care and safety of pets during these unfortunate occurrences, the Pet Oxygen Mask Program has been established by the MVMAC to donate pet oxygen mask kits to every municipality in Massachusetts. The most enticing and special aspect of the Pet Oxygen Mask program is that it benefits your town, your community, your neighborhood and, potentially, your pet. Knowing that your fire station is equipped with a device that could save your pet’s life is a great comfort to a pet owner and may one day save your loved furry friend.

To date 262 communities throughout Massachusetts have received a pet oxygen mask kit.

To ensure that all remaining communities receive at least one pet oxygen mask kit.




MVMA Charities, Inc. Stray Animal Program

The MVMA Charity provides financial assistance for emergency and routine care of unwanted and unclaimed stray animals. By creating partnerships between local Animal Control Officers and veterinarians, the MVMACI plays an important role in getting these animals the medical care they need. Currently, funds are made available to every town and city in the state. Once registered with the Stray Animal Fund, ACO’s can apply for these funds for medical, surgical, and/or behavioral care of the stray animals in their care.

Currently 70 communities across Massachusetts have registered for the Stray Animal Fund and are receiving as much as $3,000 per year to offset the medical and surgical care of their stray animals. In 2012, the MVMAC’s financial commitment to these communities exceeded $30,000.00.

It is the goal of the Stray Animal Program to enlist all 351 cities and towns throughout the commonwealth.