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

If you need financial assistance for medical care for your pet, or a stray animal, contact us with your name, phone number, pet's name, and what you need help with, and someone will reach out to you within 48 hours. You can reach us via email at or by sending a request through our Rico Requests page



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