Hobo's Healing Heart is a South Dakota chartered not for profit serving Butte, Custer, Lawrence, Meade and Pennington Counties in South Dakota and Crook County in Wyoming. All donations are 100% tax deductible (unless otherwise noted) in accordance with the US Tax Code 501(c)3, Public Charity Status 107 (b) (1) (A) (vi).

Hobo's Healing Heart aides dog and cat owners who are experiencing financial hardship with emergency veterinary care costs and diagnostic testing. We DO NOT assist with routine care or spaying and neutering of pets. In the unfortunate event that a family must say goodbye to their beloved pet and they do not have a way to bury their pet due to living arrangements or the weather and wish to bring their pet home, we also assist with cremation services. 

**We are now accepting applications for financial assistance. Due to limited funding, the number of families and the amount of money we are able to grant may be very limited. Please visit the 'Other Resources' page for other Nonprofits that may be able to assist you and your pet. If we were unable to assist you, please check back often as fund availability can change at any moment. Thank you for visiting and please keep us in mind for your next charitable donation or to create a memorial for your pet on our 'Pet Memorial' page. 





 About Us

Hobo's Healing Heart was founded on May 2, 2014 as a South Dakota Nonprofit Corporation that aids pet owners residing in Butte, Custer, Lawrence, Meade, Pennington Counties in SD & Crook County WY with unexpected emergency veterinary care.


The purpose of Hobo’s Healing Heart is to help dog and cat owners avoid having to make veterinary care decisions about companion and/or work animals based on their financial ability.


The goal of Hobo’s Healing Heart is to better the lives of companion and working animals by providing financial assistance to owners whose animal needs emergency or diagnostic veterinary care. We seek to prevent animal owners from having to make the decision to euthanize or surrender their pet due to the financial burden of such care. 

While Pet Insurance can often provide assistance with veterinary bills, there are currently few, if any, programs available to help with extraordinary costs associated with sick or injured animals. Unfortunately in many cases these animals are euthanized or surrendered to shelters as families are not equipped to handle the enormous costs that can come with both diagnostic testing and emergency veterinary care treatment. We consider companion and work animals to be family, as such, Hobo’s Healing Heart seeks to help relieve the burden of the financial and emotional hardships of caring for a sick or injured companion or work animal. Our hope is that by doing so, we will also reduce the number of animals with medical issues being surrendered to already overburdened shelters or needlessly euthanized.

Costs are an inevitable part of the responsibility of owning companion and work animals, however, emergencies and illness can happen and the costs associated can be quite expensive for animal owners. This often results in animals being euthanized or needlessly suffering. Hobo’s Healing Heart assists owners with emergency and diagnostic veterinary care costs beyond the typical expenses of owning an animal. There are agencies such as Medicaid to help assist low-income families with emergency medical care for human children and adults, however, there are no agencies to provide assistance with unexpected emergency or diagnostic expenses for the veterinary care of an animal. 

Hobo's Healing Heart is a South Dakota chartered not for profit serving Butte, Lawrence, Meade, Pennington Counties in South Dakota and Crook County in Wyoming. All donations are 100% tax deductible (unless otherwise noted) in accordance with the US Tax Code 501(c)3, Public Charity Status 107 (b) (1) (A) (vi). Hobo's Healing Heart recommends that all donors see the advice of a tax-attorney or licensed tax preparer for guidance on tax deductibility for all donations you make. Hobo's Healing Heart is dedicated to using the largest percentage of donations possible to aid families in need of emergency veterinary care assistance. We keep our operating/administration costs minimal as we are an all-volunteer nonprofit. Our financial information is available upon request from any interested donors and welcome questions regarding Hobo's Healing Heart at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., please put "Hobo's Healing Heart" in the subject line of your email. Thank you. 

Our Board Members:

President, Treasurer and Founder: Kelly Harnett. Kelly's fur family includes German Wirehair/Golden Retriever/German Shepherd mix named Mater, a foster dog named Golden that she is helping overcome insecurities and fears caused by abuse and neglect, as well as three cats (Kitten, Gideon, and Liam the Lion). Kelly has many furbabies that have crossed over including Hobo, the name sake for this nonprofit.

She has an A.A.S. in Natural Resource Management, an A.A.S. in Fish and Wildlife Management, and a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation and Biology. Kelly is currently working on a Master of Science in Sustainability at Black Hills State University. She has volunteered for over 20 years with various animal rescues rehabilitating severely neglected and abused dogs and horses. Kelly's volunteering isn't limited to animals, she has been a part of her church's technical worship team since 2014, serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Black Hills Ski for Light assisting as a ski guide to the visually, hearing, and physically impaired. She also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Northern Hills Rotary Club and is also the Founder of Beautify Spearfish, another 501c3 community organization that aims to lessen the amount of litter in and around the Spearfish Community as well as promote sustainability and pollinator friendly habitats. To keep the lights on, Kelly has also worked in the Banking industry for over 20 years and currently serves as an AVP Mortgage Originator with BankWest in Spearfish. She is an avid amateur photographer and enjoys all outdoor activities, especially cycling, running, and skiing. 

Secretary: Mela (Melissa) Cosme. Mela graduated from Black Hills State University in December of 2013 with a Bachelor in Corporate Communications and a Bachelor in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Photography and Graphic Design. In her role as Marketing Specialist for the South Dakota Center of Enterprise Opportunity, Mela manages all of the marketing and office administrative duties and assists with the planning and coordination of all SD CEO events and training. 

Born and raised in Puerto Rice, Mela has claimed Spearfish as her base camp for the last ten years and is fond of the local community and exploring the beautiful Black Hills with her Black Lab, Loki. In addition to Loki, Mela shares her home with two playful kitties! In the winter, you may find her at our local ski area, Terry Peak, where she is a PSIA-AASI Level II Certified Snowboard Instructor with a Children Specialist and Senior Specialist certification. 

Penny Thompson. A local to the Black Hills area, Penny's root started in Sturgis. At a young age, her family moved to Custer and she quickly developed a love for the outdoors and this beautiful land will are blessed with. She briefly moved away for six years to Cheyenne, WY. After finishing high school, she instantly wanted trees and hills back in her life! She moved to Hot Springs, SD to pursue a career in Massage Therapy. Two short years after massage school, she opened Body Image Spa, in Spearfish, SD, a small spa catering to locals and tourist who pass through. She currently reside in Whitewood, SD with her husband Dustin, their son Kylo, and six fur babies. They enjoy hiking, walking, and biking the local trails. Their six dog crew includes Natsu, a Husky-Rottweiler- Lab mix age 6.5 years, Gajeel, a Blue Heeler-Collie mix age 5 years, Erza, a Husky-Malamute-Rottweiler mix age  4.5 years, Grey, a Deaf (double merle) white Catahoula Leopard - Lab mix 3 years, Mirajane, a Wooly Husky 2.5 years, and Juvia, a Deaf (double merle) White Catahoula Leopard - Greyhound mix 2 years.

Erica Lane Harvey. photographer • adventurer • pet lover 

Erica has been taking pictures for over 25 years, and the loveable pets in her life were always her models! Erica’s never-ending love affair with photography started when she was only 8 years old. Her mother had inherited a Canon AE-1 Program, and after a few months she realized that the camera was meant for her daughter, who went on to win her first photography contest that very year. Not a pet picture at the time, but wildlife! Her winning photo was of a baby deer.

That camera stayed with Erica until she graduated high school and moved to Santa Barbara, California to go to Brooks Institute of Photography where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Visual Journalism. Since graduation, Erica has been running her own photography business in Rapid City, South Dakota since 2005. Her biggest passion was landscape and wildlife photography.
Pet portrait photography has always been a goal that she wished to accomplish. Erica recently found her dream studio space and went to work designing it to be pet friendly! Now, through her imagery and with her studio sessions, Erica hopes to instill the same love, passion, and desire she has for this amazing world into others. She aims for her pet portrait clients to enjoy the photography experience just as much as she does.
Erica’s love for pet photography started with her love for her toy poodle, Peanut. No one could have guessed how much that tiny dog would change her life. You see, Peanut had many health issues and Erica almost lost her more times than she can track, but that little pup was a fighter and Erica was ready to fight with her. Sadly, Peanut finally lost the fight in December of 2020. She lived 14.5 years, way beyond what all though was possible with her disabilities. Having dealt with a special needs dog for so long, Erica hopes to helps others when they find themselves in the same situations as she did. She is no stranger to all sorts of scary pet owner situations.
Erica at a young age has always wanted to change the world for the better, what better place to find herself now then on the board of Hobo’s Healing Heart. Where she is able to collaborate with friends to not only better their communities, but also be able to honor her dog Peanut just as our founder honors Hobo, by using her skills set to help families get the care they need.

Founding Director: Eva Baries. Eva's fur family includes two rescue dogs (Mabel and Pinecone), a rabbit (Fox), and many that have crossed over. She is a Certified Special Education Instructional Assistant, a volunteer after school tutor, and has previously volunteered as a victim's advocate on a Rape and Domestic Violence Task Force. She has donated her time as a Board Member for Jackson Jaycees and was a Girl Scout Leader and a Confirmation Guide at her local church. Eva is a talented photographer and a Board Member and Field Trip Coordinator with the Black Hills Photographic Society.  

Founding Director: J.K. Dooley. J.K.'s fur family includes one dog (Ellie), and many that have crossed over. She has served as a Chamber of Commerce Membership Director and a Marketing Director for a nonprofit organization providing transitional housing for homeless families and housing to keep working poor families stable through market adjusted rents. J.K. is an accomplished painter and enjoys spending time hiking with her dog.