Assistance and help with Vet bills

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HSUS >> Pets >> Pet Care

What You Can Do If You Are Having Trouble Affording Veterinary Care


Help for Vet Health Care Costs

Many pet owners, at one point or another, are faced with unexpected veterinary bills.

Veterinary medicine has advanced to such a degree that caregivers have new, and often expensive, options for the care of their ailing pets. Although the cost of veterinary care is actually very reasonable in comparison with the much higher cost of human health care, an unexpected medical emergency can present a major financial dilemma for an unprepared pet owner.

The Humane Society of the United States recommends that, in addition to preparing for routine pet-care costs, you regularly set aside money to cover for unexpected veterinary bills or consider pet health insurance. For example, create a special “pet savings account” and contribute money to it on a regular basis.

Another great option is to purchase a pet health insurance policy. The HSUS has partnered with Petplan USA, to offer great saving to our members. Petplan USA is affiliated with Petplan UK—the world’s largest and most trusted pet insurance company and recommended by more pet owners and veterinarians than any other. Use whichever option works best for you. The important thing is to have a plan and stick to it.

If, despite your planning, your pet incurs major veterinary expenses that you have trouble affording, consider these suggestions:

• Ask your veterinarian if he or she will let you work out a payment plan. Many veterinarians are willing to work out a weekly or monthly payment plan so that you do not have to pay the entire cost of veterinary care up front.

• Contact your local shelter. Some shelters operate or know of local subsidized veterinary clinics or veterinary assistance programs. You can find the name and number of your local shelter in the Yellow Pages of your phone book under “animal shelter,” “animal control” or “humane society,” or by calling Information. You can also go to and enter your zip code to find a list of animal shelters, animal control agencies, and other animal care organizations in your community.

• If you have a specific breed of dog, contact the National Club for that breed. (The American Kennel Club,, has a list of the national dog clubs.) In some cases, these clubs offer a veterinary financial assistance fund. Additionally, The HSUS has a list of breed-specific assistance groups.

• There are some organizations that offer assistance locally (by state or community). See our state-by-state (including Canada) listing.

• The HSUS also has a list of organizations that provide assistance to senior, disabled or ill pet owners.

• Ask your veterinarian to submit an assistance request to the American Animal Hospital Association’s (AAHA) “Helping Pets Fund.” In order to qualify, your animal hospital must be AAHA accredited. To learn more about the program visit the AAHA web site. To find an AAHA accredited hospital in your area, search online at

• If you purchased your dog from a reputable breeder, check your contract to see if there is a health guarantee that covers your pet’s ailment.

• Check with veterinary schools in your state to see if they offer discount services to the public. You can find a list of veterinary schools in the Education section of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) website,

• Use your credit card. Ask for a higher credit limit or a cash advance.

• Call your bank. Ask about loan programs or other options they can suggest that might be helpful in your situation.

• Ask your employer for a salary advance.

• Alert family and friends and ask them each for a $25 loan.

• Consider taking on a part-time job or temping.

• Contact Care Credit at

The following is a list of organizations that provide financial assistance to pet owners in need. Please keep in mind that each organization is independent and has their own set of rules and guidelines. Therefore you will have to investigate each one separately to determine if you qualify for assistance:

* IMOM Inc.,
* Help-A-Pet,
* The Pet Fund,
* Good Sam Fund,
* United Animal Nations LifeLine Fund
* Angels for Animals,
* Brown Dog Foundation,
* Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program,
* Feline Outreach,
* Cats In Crisis
* The Perseus Foundation (Cancer specific),
* Orthodogs’ Silver Lining Foundation (Orthopedic Cases and Service Dogs),
* Canine Cancer Awareness,
* Cody’s Club (Radiation treatments)
* Diabetic Pets Fund
* The Mosby Foundation,

Please remember that, depending on the severity of your pet’s illness or injury, you may still lose your pet even after great expense. Discuss the prognosis and treatment options thoroughly with your veterinarian, including whether surgery or treatment would just cause your animal discomfort without preserving a life of good quality.

Also remember that a little preventive care can go a long way. Having your pet spayed or neutered, keeping her shots up to date, and keeping your pet safely confined can prevent serious and costly health problems. If you have trouble affording the cost to spay or neuter your pet, contact your local animal shelter. They may operate a clinic or know of a local clinic that offers subsidized services.

Unfortunately, due to our limited resources as a non-profit animal protection organization, The HSUS does not provide direct financial assistance to pet owners for veterinary or other expenses. If you know of any veterinary assistance programs or services that we have not included here, please let us know by calling 202-452-1100.

Breed Specific Assistance Programs
The Boston Terrier Rescue Net,
Special Needs Dobermans,
Disabled Dachshund Society,
Dougal’s Helping Paw (Scottish Terriers, West Highland White Terriers and other small, short legged terriers),
Labrador Harbor,
Labrador Lifeline,
Westimed (West Highland White Terriers),

Working Dog
Helping Harley Cancer Treatment Grant,

State-Specific Programs
Animal Cancer Therapy Subsidization Society Lucky Moffat Memorial Fund, (Alberta Canada Only)
The Farley Foundation, (Ontario Canada Only)

Actors and Others for Animals,
SF/SPCA Animal Hospital,
Animal Health Foundation,

Max Fund,

Connecticut Humane Society Fox Veterinary Clinic,

Washington Animal Rescue League,

Alliance For Animals Metro Action Clinic,
Massachusettes SPCA (Provides financial assistance for pet owners receiving services at one of its three medical centers,

Angell Memorial Animal Hospital-Boston
350 South Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02130

Angell Animal Medical Center-Nantucket
21 Crooked Lane
Nantucket, MA 02554

Angell Animal Medical Center-Western New England
171 Union St.
Springfield, MA 01105

The Sampson Fund
PO Box 1756
Orleans, MA 02653
The fund is to benefit companion animals of Cape Cod and the adjacent Islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

Michigan Humane Society maintains three veterinary clinics:

MHS Detroit Center for Animal Care
Veterinary Center:
7401 Chrysler Drive
Detroit, MI 48211

Rochester Hills
MHS Rochester Hills Center for Animal Care
Veterinary Center:
3600 W. Auburn Road
Rochester Hills, MI 48309

MHS Berman Center for Animal Care
Veterinary Center:
900 N. Newburgh Road
Westland, MI 48185

Shakespeare Animal,

NY S.A.V.E Inc.,
ALL 4 PETS, (Limited to Western NY)

Ashley’s Angel Fund,

The Bearen Foundation,

The Animal Rescue of Western PA,
The Humane Society of Berks County Veterinary Hospital,

RIVMA Companion Animal Foundation,

Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine “The Capper and Chris Save the Animals Fund,”

Organizations Offering Assistance Programs for Senior, Disabled or Ill Pet Owners
Voice for the Animals Foundation, Helping Friends Program,
AniMeals Helen Woodward Animal Center ,
SF SPCA Animal Hospital,
SHARE Marin Humane Society,
PAWS San Diego,
PALS – Pets Are Loving Support,
PAWS Los Angeles,
PAWS San Francisco,

Manchester Area Network on AIDS AID-A-PET,


PALS – Pets Are Loving Support,

Hawaiian Humane Society: PALS Program,

Phinney’s Friends (MSPCA)

Pet Support Services,

Shakespeare Animal,

PetPALS of Southern New Jersey,

Humane Society of Lollypop Farm,

Pittsburgh PAWS (Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force),

SPCA of Texas,

Pet Project: Seattle-King County Humane Society, and

Pet Program (Toronto PWA Foundation),

For more information, visit

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American Animal Hospital Association

“The heartbreak happens all too often ? a pet owner is unable to afford
treatment and their sick or injured companion animal pays the price.

“If the owner is elderly, disabled or on a fixed income, the cost of
care may be too much of a stretch for their pocketbook.

“Perhaps they have been victimized by crime, property loss or a job
layoff and are experiencing a temporary financial hardship making it too
difficult to afford pet care.

“And some animals, brought to clinics
by Good Samaritans, don’t have an owner to pay for treatment.

“Whatever the situation, the fact remains the same: When sick or injured
are unable to receive veterinary care, they suffer.

“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
experiencing financial hardship.”


Angels 4 Animals

“Angels4Animals, 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

“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

“Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment to those
pets and pet owners in need.”


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

“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.”



“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.”



“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.”


The 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


United Animal Nations

“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.”


UK Assistance with Veterinary Bills…

“Most of us can cope with the financial commitment involved in the day
to day care of our pets. However, how many of us come out in a cold
sweat when our pet is ill or injured and we know we have to take it to
the vet?

“Most of us are fortunate enough to be able to afford it but, some of us
who love our animals dearly cannot.

“Unfortunately we do not have a PDSA or a RSPCA Centre within our area,
but there are a few charities who may be able to help.”

* 2 months ago

Additional Details

2 months ago
Thanks rrm, I’ll add that to the lists. If anyone can think of any others, can they please post on the thread and they can also be added. I’m also going to try and form a lists for clinics that offer free spaying/neutering so if anyone can email some links, I’ll put them all together and post them. Thanks, xxx…

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  1. […] o Marine Mammals * Farm Animals * Animals in Research * Horses Pet Care All in a Day??s Work: How Officer Cleared in ShootingAs the los angeles dog Trainer and other media have reported, LAPD […]

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