Help with Vet Bills

Written by Jan on October 27, 2009 – 12:01 am

j0433118 Looking for a list of organizations that help people in need with their vet bills? Dr. Jean Hofve has allowed me to reprint it here. Please bookmark this page and send it to friends.  Also check out her other terrific articles, and sign up for her newsletter, at LittleBigCat.com(I interviewed Dr. Hofve for my book and for three wonderful recordings on pet nutrition called How NOT to Kill Your Dog or Cat. If you’d like to learn more about feeding your pet, we hope you’ll check them out.)

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Whether it’s the damage caused by recalled food, an accident or something else, vet bills can be quite a burden. Below are listed some of the programs that can help with financial needs. For a more complete list, including listings by breed, state/province, medical condition, or other particular qualification, please visit United Animal Nations.

(Note: not listed elsewhere is a new program just for New Yorkers: AnimalAllianceNYC.org)

If you can contribute, there are many suffering pets and their parents who can use your help; any of the non-profits or fundraising sites below would be happy to have your contribution.

Please contact the following organizations about their financial assistance process:

American Animal Hospital Association – (1-866-4HELPETS) Through the AAHA Helping Pets Fund, veterinary care is possible for sick or injured pets even if they have been abandoned or if their owner is experiencing financial hardship.”

Angels 4 Animals – “A non-profit organization and a program of Inner Voice Community Services, has a mission to serve as the guardian angel of animals whose caretakers find themselves in difficult financial situations. At Angels4Animals we believe that animal owners should not have to say goodbye to the animals that they love. Our work is accomplished in conjunction with veterinary clinics across the country, eager to assist as many animals, and their owners, as possible. Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment to those pets and pet owners in need.”

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). See “Financial help with my vet bills” under “Pet care.”

Care Credit – (1-800-859-9975) A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care. “Care Credit, the leader in patient/client financing, has helped more than 3 million patients / clients get the treatment or procedures they needed and wanted. With a comprehensive range of plan options, for treatment or procedure fees from $1 to over $25,000, we offer a plan and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every budget.”

Cats in Crisis – “Cats in Crisis Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals and humane organizations care for cats with chronic or emergency medical conditions through financial and fundraising assistance.”

ChipIn – a fundraiser/donation site that allows individuals to ask for money for a specific purpose, using social networks and other websites. Requires a PayPal account for deposits.

Feline Outreach – “Feline Outreach is a charitable organization formed to promote the routine and medical care of companion animals, particularly cats. Among other goals, the organization maye enable shelters and the public to adopt, keep, and/or care for companion animals, particularly those with special needs – this support may be financial, educational, or in other forms.”

Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance (FVEAP) – “The NEED & The HELP: Seniors, People with disabilities, People who have lost their job, Good Samaritans who rescue a cat or kitten – any of these folks may need financial assistance to save a beloved companion.” The Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization that provides financial assistance to cat and kitten guardians who are unable to afford veterinary services to save their companions when life-threatening illness or injury strikes.

Fundable – a fundraising/donation site that allows individuals to request money for a specific project or event. If goal is not met, no money is exchanged. Funds paid by check or PayPal.

God’s Creatures Ministry – “We get many requests for financial help. We sadly do not send more than $50.00 when we have money! However, we encourage people to fundraise in their area, for ‘pets’ or animal(s) by using two of our simple forms. Some veterinarians will keep an account knowing that you are fundraising through a non-profit organization. One form is ‘Walk a Mile’ which can be done anytime, and anywhere! The other is a general form for donations.”

Handicapped Pets – “The Handicapped Pets Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation dedicated to the health and well-being of elderly, disabled, and injured pets. We donate mobility equipment to pets in need.”

Handipets – a bulletin board for pets in need of donations, veterinary care, medication, surgery, or other items.

Help-A-Pet – (630-986-9504) “Our efforts focus on serving the elderly, the disabled, and the working poor. For lonely seniors, physically/mentally challenged individuals and children of working parents, pets represent much more than a diversion.”

Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). See “Having trouble affording your pet” and “What you can do if you are having trouble affording veterinary care.”

IMOM – “Mission Statement: Helping people help pets. To better the lives of sick, injured and abused companion animals. We are dedicated to insure that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker is financially challenged.” (Note: IMOM has a special fund for diabetic cats)

Onyx and Breezy Foundation – supports medical treatment for animals where hardship is present as well as other endeavors that benefit the welfare of animals

Pet Fund – “The Pet Fund is a registered 501(c) 3 nonprofit association that provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need urgent veterinary care. Often animals are put down or suffer needlessly because their owners cannot afford expensive surgery or emergency vet visits. Companion animal owners must often make the difficult decision to put an animal down or neglect urgent medical needs because of the costs involved. The purpose of the Pet Fund is to work towards a future where decisions about companion animal medical care need never be made on the basis of cost.”

Pets of the Homeless – “We will do our part to help reduce hunger in pets that belong to the homeless and the less fortunate and provide medical care for those pets in communities across the country. We believe in the healing power of companion pets and of the human/animal bond which is very important to life.”

Pigger’s Pals – “A nonprofit organization that was designed to assist families in need seek specialty level care for their pets. The foundation will accept applications from individuals or families that require financial assistance to provide advanced medical and/or surgical veterinary care that will extend both quantity and quality of life for their pets that would otherwise not be available to them.”

Shakespeare Animal Fund – “We help elderly, disabled and those whose total income does not exceed $23,000 to obtain emergency pet care. We pay the veterinarian directly, reducing out of pocket costs for low income pet owners who need to save their pet’s life.

Tails of Hope – “Our assistance programs are aimed at providing help to individuals whose companion animals are suffering from life-threatening diseases and to the veterinary hospitals treating such animals.”

United Animal Nations – UAN maintains a list of organizations with assistance programs and other fundraising methods. They also maintain LifeLine, its own program of small grants (up to $300). “The mission of LifeLine is to help homeless or recently rescued animals suffering from life-threatening conditions that require specific and immediate emergency veterinary care. We strive to serve Good Samaritans and rescue groups who take in sick or injured animals. In certain cases, LifeLine can also assist senior citizens and low-income families pay for immediate emergency veterinary care.”

Wish Upon a Heroan online community of people helping people.

Here’s a link to more organizations that may be able to help.

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Tags: cat, dog, finances, financial help, help with vet bills, Jean Hofve, money for vet bills, pet, pets, vet bills, Veterinarians, veterinary bills, vets
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82 Comments to “Help with Vet Bills”


  1. Kim Burgess Says:

    I have a sick puppy I think with parvo in wv r there any places that can help I’m low income u can email me at kimloveskevin.in@ gmail.com with any information

  2. Jan Says:

    Kim, if your dog has parvo, you must rush to a vet. Tell them you have limited means. You have no real choice. Sorry.

    If you can’t do that, take your dog to a rescue group or shelter. Don’t let your dog die a painful death.

    Have you googled parvo to see if the symptoms fit? Here’s a place to start. http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/WSAVA_OwnerGuidelines_September2010.pdf

  3. Paula Cochran Says:

    Hi, my name is Paula, I have a 2 and 1/2 year old Yorkie mix that was attacked by the nieghboring Siberian Husky. She pulled Gizmo’s head thru the chain link fence and was tugging to get the rest of him in her yard. My sister and I were able to beat her between the eyes so that she would let go. She finally did (*and she is completely unscathed ) After finally getting him in my arms, he had an obvious bilateral lower mandilble (jaw) fracture (his bottom jaw was only attached by skin/ligaments) My sister and I finally found a vet that happened to be open in Macon, he attended to Gizmo made him comfortable with pain meds, we taped his muzzle to hold the jaw in place, and attended to his neck wounds. The local vet stated he had never seen a break like this and could not help me further so he referred me to UGA VTH in Athens, GA. They have taken great care of my baby, but the bill is astronomical. Gizmo is worth every penny, dont mis-understand me. But I do need help. I’ve already placed a 1250.00 deposit (1/2 down that was required) and the bill has surpassed the estimate. It is closer to 3000.00 at this point. He has at least another full day there, as they want to continue to monitor him and make sure that his feeding tube is working and he is tollerating the food. That being said, does anyone know ANYONE that can help me with this bill? The neighboring dogs owners are willing to contribute, but they cannot afford 1/2 of the bill, which is what I thought fair.
    Any help or suggestions would be so very appreciated.
    Thank you,
    Paula Cochran
    Macon, GA.

  4. Jan Says:

    Paula, I don’t know why your neighbor isn’t responsible for the entire bill. Half is more than reasonable whether they want to pay or not. You can go to small claims court. They may also have insurance that could help. Part of the responsibility of having a large, aggressive breed is paying for any damage.

    Other than that and what you learned for our article, you can do an extensive web search and see if anything turns up. You might also try carecredit.com.
    They offer interest-free credit for some health problems.

    Sorry for your woes. I hope you dog recovers fully.

  5. christine benson Says:

    My beloved dog, Money, is a eleven year old pit bull. She is the sweetest dog you will ever meet. Anyway, recently she is having trouble breathing and has a cyst hanging from her lower stomach. I am unable to take her to a vet as I only work 3 to 4 days a week at minimum wage and my husband is disabled. I have tried several org. to no avail to help me pay for the vet visit. Does anyone have any ideas? Do not ask me to sell anything As I have nothing. I am using the internet at the library also. Please someone give me some advise. I have no children and Money is more like my child. She is there for me when I am sad or when I am happy. I know she will be gone from me sooner or later but prefer it to be later if I can avoid it. Thanking anyone in advance.

    Christine Benson
    christine.benson32@yahoo.com

  6. Jan Says:

    Christine, you might try http://www.carecredit.com/?dtc=G336&exact=care%20credit%20cards

  7. Kay Says:

    This has been the worst year of my life. I had one dog die unexpectedly after being in the ER for 2 days. Then 2 others were hospitalized for unrelated illness. Just last week my ‘heart dog’ – the dog I cannot live without, died at the ER – also unexpectedly. All between Jan 1and Apr. 1. I used the money I would have paid my mortgage with to pay for these bills – altho I still have about $1000 unpaid. I do not have the money now to pay my mortgage. At the time helping my dogs was more important to me.
    Is there a fund that would help me?
    Thanks

  8. Kay Says:

    P.S. I cannot get CareCredit as I have not had a credit card in 9 years.

  9. Moi Says:

    My service canine, Stryker had renal failure and Banfield wouldn’t help unless I joined their vet club.
    I receive SS and a small L&I pension and taking out that much money a month is so hard.
    Then when he suddenly became worse, I had to put him down.
    But I still have to keep paying for one year on that club.
    It is heartbreaking that so many people have no choice but get in such debt to them because we Love our companions.

    It also had me thinking I could never have another service dog because of fear if something happens to him I can’t get him help.
    Thank you so much for this information. Now I will be able to get the Friend I urgently need when peace of mind.
    Thank you again so very much.

  10. Schelly Says:

    Me and my husband excited to get a puppy.. After looking for many months… We found bubba a 10 week old shar pei .. He quickly became part of our family.. The couple we got him from where moving out of state and couldn’t take him along.. And from the moment I meet him.. He excited I was his, we have got a string bond over the last few weeks.. Well yesterday morning I took him in to get his shots, and informed that the previous owner failed to inform me that my new buddy has an irregular heart mummor.. And they were referred to see a cardiovascular Dr, to get a echocardiography.. And the previous owner declined… And opted to get rid of him, instead. Whi h is where I come in.. I later found out I was the third owner of this wonderful little guy.. And I’m torn.. I don’t know what to do.. I’m being told theirs a possibility my little guy may have a heart condition.. And I’m under the impression this is going to be quite costly.. I need help.. Advice… Anything.. Would be greatly appreciated.. Thanks in advance..

  11. Cindy/Bruce Austermiller Says:

    My cat needs help urgently.No funds.Zanesville,Ohio.She was spayed in May 2014.She had a diesel with her uterus –pythemia ??
    Spelling off,sorry.She was given antibiotics,but she has slowly had problems.Surgery done at Animal Shelter.They said they don’t do blood work,etc.We would need another vet.,but they give her vaccinations.Please help.She is miserable.She can’t get comfortable and moves from place to place.She cries or flenches when her sides/back is touched.She smells like an open wound.Tonight,10-24-2014,I found pus on my shirt where she was laying,back half of where she would be.
    My husband says she is fine,he knows we don’t have funds to take her to vet.–with bills and such,he says no.
    I am afraid she will die if not helped.
    Please help her.Her names is Buttons and she just turned 7.

  12. Jan Says:

    Schelly, if you want to keep Bubba, you need a cardiac consult. It shouldn’t cost too much. An expert can learn a lot just by listening to his heart. Ask before you go. Then ask what kind of treatment Bubba might need and how expensive it would be. It may be surgery, but also may just be medication. If you find you can’t afford the treatment, call a shar pei rescue group and see if they’ll take Bubba. If not, his prospects aren’t good.

    Good luck.

  13. Vet Help For Dogs | Dog Cancer Cure Says:

    […] Vet Bills: Organizations Offering Financial Help | Truth4Dogs – Need help paying your vet bill? Here’s a great list of organizations that will help people in need pay. Don’t let you pet go without necessary veterinary care…. […]

  14. alexandra trew Says:

    My one 18 year old cat has an absence on his tail I am a disabled person who is on a fixed in come and at this time I just have no funds. A neighbor suggested I check this out can you help me ? I don’t no what else to do with my Mr Yoda . I would appreciate any kind of help thank you .

  15. alexandra trew Says:

    I have a 18 year old cat with I guesses its a abscece on hi tail it keeps leaking I use hot compresses on it . I am no able to pay a vet I was told maybe you could guide me to some free help. I am older and disabled and no money .I would appreciate any help I can get my Mr. Yoda is a good boy and I have taken care of him till now and I just don’t no what to do with this abscece.if I could get help I would be so thank full you just don’t no but maybe you might just understand hope to hear from someone.thank you kindly god bless you all.

  16. Brenda Says:

    I am not sure which organization might be able to help. We rescued a pit bull a month ago. She is 5 or 6 months old we think. At the time we had the means to take care of her. Since then my husbands hours have been cut at work. We can take care of her food, treats and love wise. But we have yet to take her to a vet to get checked out and shots. I really want to do this before going to the SNAP program to get her spayed as the vet will want her to have her shots and whatever else before surgery. Any advice or suggestions greatly appreciated.

  17. Jan Says:

    Brenda, where did you rescue her from? Most organizations give vaccines and do a vet check. If you didn’t go through an organization, you might try to see if there’s a pit bull rescue group near you who might be able to help. Also, check with your local humane society.

    At that age, your dog will likely just need a parvovirus/distemper vaccine one time. Read this: http://truth4pets.org/question-before-vaccination/ And read this about spaying: http://www.dogs4dogs.com/neutering

    I hope this helps.

  18. lisa Says:

    Hi I found a puppy, about 7 weeks it looks like. he has a bent arm and I was wondering if there was any locations in Lancaster Ca. that can help me out with getting him checked & possibly surgery if it could save this little guys arm. he’s so tiny and adorable. I am keeping him but I want to make sure he’s well and if not I’d like to see what can be done to help him if it’s not to late.

  19. Jan Says:

    Lisa, you might ask at your local shelter and humane society to see if they can help.

  20. debbie Says:

    yeah I have a friend that I am talking to and she’s got a pitbull that is her service dog she has been a lot of money on this dog and she has taken awesome care of it well all of a sudden its its have it has to have back leg surgeries and then after the surgery if they have to wear braces on both legs well each leg is supposed to be worth $3000 she’s very low income and plus what some of these places aren’t willing to do is cover the braces of the dog and the braces have been quoted 750 a piece I was wondering if there’s anybody that would be able to help me with leaving her in the direction that she should go thank you so much

  21. Jill Says:

    I am in desperate need of assistance. I have an 8 year old dachshund that not only lost his vision over a year & half ago from a rare condition named SARDS. Now when i took him into the Vets office, they informed me that he has a cancerous tumor on his rectum that must be surgically taken out ASAP. I was devastated & still am. He has been with me through alot in my life & i cannot think of living without him. My vets office referred me to a Specialist in Pittsburgh whom i spoke to the next day & they estimated his surgery starting at $2,500 & up to $4,000… Oh my God, i cannot believe it cost so much & what do i do now? I don’t work nor have any income coming in, but my best friend needs my help & i can’t let this go, but how am i supposed to pay thousands of dollars for his surgery if i don’t have it? Anyone Please help me…..

  22. Olu Says:

    Hello I live in Nevada and ame in real trouble , my wife is very ill and in order to take her home from a M.Institution I had to move in my own home so we finally did it I saved and got us an appartment we just moved in and the light cover hit my Service dog in trading and his eye is so swollen I really don’t know what to do I have pos.ms with severe epilepsy episodes and he alerts me to when they come I’ve used up all my recourses trying to get this appartment and I can’t be without him nor he without me ……can anyone help IESŪ PU

  23. Teresa Says:

    I too know the pain of not having enough money to help a beloved pet my senior dog is Mr. Peanut and he really needs dental help I am searching now for help my social security is under 500. a month and half of that go’s to rent as last year I lost my home and most of what I worked for in my life, still I have my dear dogs Mr Peanut and Shorty.I don’t know if I will find away to help my boy’s but I will keep on looking in Calif it is hard. Someone once said you can tell how society is doing by the way it treats their Seniors and children and Animals .So my friends how do you think we as a whole are doing?

  24. kandi Says:

    i have my bby Cohloe chiwawa that is very sick took into the vet this evening just full of years found out she has a very large uterius and she is going to die without surgery real soon like today but dont have 2000 dollars :( so sad i cant put my bby down knowing she will be good after getting it out but omg i cant afford it im so sick over this im a veteran on ss just cant assume the cost plz if anyone knows any organzation that wll help let me make payments

  25. donna george Says:

    I have a 5 yr old rescue dog Charley who began having seizures a few weeks ago. I am on disability and make less then 800 a month.I have contacted my vet who says Charley needs blood tests -the seizures could be caused from diabetics or another type illness.the office visit and blood tests could be about 300 dollars-which would take me months to save. I hate to put him down if this is easily treatable w/inexpensive medication as my vet thinks may be the case. In addition to the approximately weekly seizures Charley’s personality has changed and he shakes and paws at his head almost continually.I have no family I can turn to for help. I truly don’t know where to go or where to turn -any help would be greatly appreciated-charley is literally all I have in this world and I miss my healthy good natured boy….it is heartbreaking to see him suffer for lack of funds!

  26. Angel Says:

    I have found myself in financial need of continuing heartworm treatment fory boxer. I just lost both parents, and my husband in 13 months. I don’t want to loose my companion as well, he is what I have left… SOMEONE PLEASE HELP

  27. Teresa Says:

    Please help me find some help for my bassett/beagle mix. A month ago I had to rush him to vet as he woke up paralyzed in his hind end. I am a divorcee with no income. I had to use a friends care credit just to pay for the emergency visit to the vet. I dont qualify for the care credit myself. Mario (momo) needs to have surgery on his spine. He has a degenerative disease and 3 of his vertabrae are touching and rubbing. If I dont get this surgery done soon he will be become permanently paralyzed. The work up and surgery is estimated at $5000. I do not have this kind of money and really dont want to put my dog down since hes only 4 yrs old and in good health otherwise. PLEASE HELP ME FIND SOMEONE THAT WILL HELP!!!!!!

  28. Jean Cane Says:

    Hi, My cat Angel needs his teeth cleaned and its very expensive, he going in for a dental exam, this Wednesday.
    I need to apply for a credit card, I do have pet insurance am waiting to see if they cover it?
    What else can I do? The vet said, “severe cleaning.”

    Thank you, Jean and Angel

  29. Sandra Banks Says:

    Hi my name is Sandra Banks. I had a motif and it got stolen it’s been a while since I’ve had a dog I love Trixie with all my heart now I have a new dog his name is Simba he is a Pomeranian I can afford food and the essentials but I’m having a problem coming up with the pet deposit it is due by the first of next month with you for couple days from now I’ve been trying to come up with the money myself but trying to get him vaccinated and come up with the pet deposit is been kind of hard so I live on a fixed income the pet deposit is $300 and the vaccination is 45 I could probably come up with the 45 but I know by Monday I will not have the $300 for deposit please help if you will Simba and I would like to stay together

  30. Jan Says:

    What kind of vet deposit? Also, how old is the dog and what shots are recommended?

  31. Liann Says:

    I adopted my two saving graces in June. I believe they might of came from a dog breeding place. We were only supposed to get a puppy Grimm, but got suckered into taking Diva after my daughter looked into her eyes and said She has eyes like Grams!We lost the matriarch in our family after a lengthy battle of brain cancer and desperately needed, some joy and puppy loyalty in my family’s life. 2015 was a painful tragic year for my family, but 2016 is teaching me a lot about compassion and rebirth. I am mentally unbalanced and have a fixed income with two kids who love these legally emotional support animals but I made a big no-no. My puppy dry humped everything from the time we got him, I was waiting until the appropriate age to get him neutered. He has his shots so does Diva, we treat these dogs as our family I can afford shots and toys and food and pee pads and spaying or nutering, diva is family dominant to the point she attacks certain people like most males so she is an indoor pet. She is great with Grimm and my children…we love them so we didn’t give up on them like they don’t us. Diva is four and wasn’t treated well, she is skittish and was untrained in every way. We have bought them lots of cute stuff to take off and wasted all on stuffed chew toys. Anyways, I’m sorry, I came in one-day to my six month old Grimm stuck to my female, I almost freaked out as I was not aware of the tying process dogs do, I googled it and was informed to leave them alone and it would untie on its own, well now my young stud Grimm got the cougar Diva pregnant. I wasn’t sure for awhile until diva last week was noticeably fatter. Diva was underfed and gained a little weight since we have had her. Her nipples haven’t changed or anything. The only thing that told me she was, maybe pregnant, was she puked one time mid -December and her personality. She has been nicer to strangers, it’s weird. She’s usually a very antisocial dog. So she is noticeably pregnant…. two dapples which means very high risk of birth defects. We are told we are good pet owners for being low income. I feed them cheese and bacon once in awhile. I used to give it to my basset hound when I was a kid and he lived to be eighteen. So being inexperienced I don’t have the slightest clue what to do with a mama dog or know about labor or whelping as I have learned from Google. I know she might have to have a cesarean being high risked and I can’t afford that. I have no family and most of my friends are worse off then me believe it or no. I pray when the time comes God will keep our angel safe and her babies and i know my higher power will help us help her like we have from day one, because they help my family too. I am just hoping for a miraculous natural delivery with living babies. I will deal with the challenges as long as I am alive to try. Just needed to vent maybe a phone number of a legit organization that might be able to help when the time comes which I say maybe two more weeks until delivery looking from pictures on Google.

  32. Jan Says:

    Liann,there are many shelters that will take the puppies and spay your female. Call around.

    Before you vaccinate any of your dogs, read http://truth4pets.org/question-before-vaccination/ It can save you a lot of money and heartache.

    If you want to learn a lot more about dogs for a very low price, check out my award winning e-book, Scared Poopless, on Amazon. I keep the price at just $3.99. You can read it on your computer with a free Kindle app.

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