Ellie's Rainy Day Fund protects the love shared between Miami Valley families and their pets by funding emergency and specialty veterinary care.


Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund envisions a society that supports and celebrates the vital role companion animals play in the lives and well-being of humans—where the lack of financial resources needed to provide medical care never threatens to separate people from their beloved animal companions.


Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund was inspired by a sweet mutt who suffered from a chronic, life-threatening lung condition. We adopted her at 5 months old, after she had been found wandering the streets, barely breathing and terribly shy. Within 3 months after adopting her, she was hospitalized three times with pneumonia. It was discovered she had a rare lung condition, which required that she have treatments for the rest of her life. While we were fortunate to have been able to afford her extensive medical treatments, it was heartbreaking to sit in ER waiting rooms and watch many people-- who loved their pets as much as we did—who could not. They were forced to make devastating decisions because they were unable to afford necessary medical care. To address this tragedy, in 2015 Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund was created. Our companion animals give us an unconditional love that we get nowhere else. They are an integral part of our families. No one should be put in a position where they must decide to euthanize or surrender a member of their family. Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund was established as a legacy tribute to Ellie, in recognition of the special bond we shared. Though she passed in 2021, her loving spirit lives through every beloved pet who is saved and every family that is kept together.
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  • We are the ONLY organization in the Miami Valley that focuses strictly on funding emergency & specialty veterinary care. Since these services are the highest in cost, they frequently result in economic euthanasia.
  • 100% of your donations are spent on veterinary care. All administration costs are covered by an anonymous guardian angel. Funding is set up to continue this arrangement in perpetuity.
  • Pets can be especially important to: Elderly folks needing companionship, children with mental and physical challenges, people struggling with debilitating emotional or physical disorders. We are a human services organization as well as an animal welfare one.
  • We keep a pet with their original loving family, avoiding the need to rescue and rehome them.
  • We provide a means of stress relief for veterinarians—caring individuals who are often financially restricted from performing the lifesaving services they wish to provide.

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How Ellie's Rainy Day Fund Works

Saving Pets | Saving Families

Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund partners with veterinarians in the Miami Valley area to assist with funding of emergency and specialty services.  We recognize that our member practitioners are best qualified to determine which clients require support, so Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund is administered ONLY through our partner veterinary practices.


This way prognosis, record of prior care, verified need, and importance of the pet to the family’s functioning are all assessed by a professional with direct knowledge of the situation.  This also assures an already established veterinary relationship for follow-up care.

Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund works as a true partnership where:

The pet’s family pays what they are able

The treating veterinarian discounts their fees

The donors to Ellie’s provide the remainder

Executive Director

Saving Pets | Saving Families

I have always been drawn to animals.  Growing up, I constantly nagged my parents for a dog.  I am an only child and I just KNEW my loneliness would vanish if I had a pet.  Though I never prevailed as a child, as soon as I got out on my own, my family grew with the adoption of two cats.  And I was right, of course.  My life has been forever richer through sharing it over the years with 9 cats and 3 dogs.  I have been privileged to support several efforts to protect and celebrate this unconditional love for other pet guardians in our area.  I loved being a part of creating the Scout Dog Park in the Greene County Parks and Recreation system .  In founding Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund,  I am honored to now partner with so many kind and generous people who save pets and families


Juli Burnell


Ellie’s Rainy Day Fund Founder
Psychologist, University of Dayton, Retired


Board of Directors


Paul Moyer


Dayton Eye Associates

Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine
Ohio State University


Arthur Helmstetter


Nonprofit Consultant
MBA University of Dayton


Sue Wagner


Adjunct Faculty
The OSU College of Veterinary Medicine


Ashley Wiese


Regional Medical Director
MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets

Our Council of Advisors

Our thanks go to these individuals for generously giving their time as needed as consultants.

Scott R. Gindlesberger

Sr. Vice President
Stifel Nicolaus


Perk Reichley, CIC

Reichley Insurance Agency, Inc.


Lisa Rismiller

Secretary of the Board of Trustees
University of Dayton


Show area pet lovers you care. Get recognition for your business while saving pets lives. If you are interested in becoming a corporate sponsor, please Contact Us to find out the many ways you can help.

We are beyond grateful for the amazing businesses, foundations, and grantors that enable us to keep families together by saving their pets. Please show your support for these organizations by using their services, buying their products, donating to their causes or referring them to your friends. Without them, we would not be able to save nearly as many lives.

Saving Pets | Saving Families