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Fur-Ever Friends founded the Rico Fund in 2004 to assist Rico, a retired K-9 Officer stricken with bone cancer. The eight-year-old Belgian Malinois had served five years with the Winston-Salem Police Department when he was diagnosed, but in retirement, was fortunate to find a permanent, loving home with his handler, Officer Tony Dunn.


Although Fur-Ever Friends was able to raise money for chemotherapy, Rico lost his battle in June 2004. Rico touched the lives of many people in the community and beyond, and those who donated wanted Rico’s legacy to live on.


To honor Rico’s memory, the directors of Fur-Ever Friends decided to continue raising money to assist animals with severe illnesses and injuries. Since its inception, the Rico Fund has provided medical assistance for hundreds of animals, including household pets and stray animals. Some of the animals we’ve helped have been thrown from moving vehicles, left behind in abandoned homes, and otherwise suffered at the hands of humans. 

If you need financial assistance for medical care for your pet, or a stray animal, contact us by filling out the Rico Request form.  Someone will reach out to you within 48 hours.

All requests are evaluated based on need in order to help as many animals as possible.

All requests must include all requested information to be considered.  Before you start this request please make sure you have proof of income via photo or scan.  Qualifying documents are: proof of government assistance such as EBT card, Medicaid Card, Disability Letter, School ID (if applicable), Social Security Statement, Pay Stubs or Federal Tax Return (summary page only).  Please black out any social security numbers (if applicable).

All requests are replied to via email within 48 hours.

We recieve multiple requests for help every day.  We are only able to provide a limited amount of financial assistance.  Assistance is based on income. The owner of the pet must provide requested proof of income in order to qualify.  If this is not provided, we are not able to contact you.


** Please note, we do not have a phone number for you to call you in regards to your request. You will receive a response via email from so please be sure to check your email and spam folder.

We are a non-profit, IRS approved 501(c)3 organization. Federal Tax ID # 11-3714439.
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