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How to Find Low-Cost Vet Care

A lot of people these days are finding they need to give up their dogs, cats, horses, or other animals because they can’t afford vet care. If you don’t have a pet yet, and are thinking about getting one, please make sure that you take into account the full costs of owning a living, breathing animal before you adopt or buy one. For example, expect a dog to cost $700-$2800 a year, or $10,000-$30,000 over the course of the dog’s lifetime (more info). Not all dogs end up being that expensive, but when we get them, we commit to be their caretakers – in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health.

But if you do already have a dog in need and you are thinking of rehoming or euthanizing your beloved family member, here are some organizations around the US (and beyond) that can help.

This list was sent to me by way of several other people, by way of Craigslist, so take these referrals with a grain of salt. I just want you to know that there’s help out there, and here are some ideas to get you started, including this article: What You Can Do If You Are Having Trouble Affording Veterinary Care by the Humane Society of the United States.

I’ll also add, before this list, some ideas: have a raffle with items donated from local businesses, put a donation jar at a pet store, or ask your friends.  And after this crisis is over, PLEASE start a rainy day fund for your pet’s vet bills.  It’s only a matter of time before another big vet crisis comes around.

American Animal Hospital Association

‘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.’

Care Credit
A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care.
‘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.’ (careful of credit, folks…)

Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance (FVEAP)
‘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.’

God’s Creatures Ministry
‘This fund helps pay for veterinarian bills for those who need help.’

‘Our efforts focus on serving the elderly, the disabled, and the working poor.’

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.’

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.’

Other Groups Who are Breed or Injury Specific:

Corgi Aid

Dachshunds Needing IVDD surgery
It’s for special needs and senior Dobermans who need medical help. You can donate to help them, or have them put your Dobie up there if you need help too!!
‘From time to time, recognizes a caretaker of handicapped pets that need some special attention, and a little extra help. There are those who are so selflessly dedicated to their animal families that they give up a little more than they can afford.’

Labrador Lifeline

LabMed: Rx For Rescued Labs

Do you know any resources in your area? Please write a comment on the blog with details! I’m especially interested in resources in the Seattle area.