Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nonprofit Organizations That Help Pay Vet Costs

By Linda Cole

We never know when a sudden illness or accident will send a pet to the emergency room. Sometimes the finances just aren't there to cover medical expenses. When that happens, there are some nonprofit organizations that may be able to help with vet care. The following organizations are ready to lend a helping hand to pet owners.

Angels4Animals is a small nonprofit made up of pet lovers who believe all pets should have equal access to vet care, even if their owner is financially challenged. Decisions on pet care should be made based on what the pet needs and not what the owner can afford. Angels4Animals has two programs: Program Guardian Angel works with the vet clinic to provide money for medical care needed for a sick or injured pet. The Lost & Found Program provides money to low income pet owners so a microchip can be inserted in the pet. This helps cut down on pets in shelters by identifying and reuniting a lost pet with their owner.

Brown Dog Foundation, Inc. provides financial assistance to people who have a sick pet with a treatable condition. Founder Carol Smock understands what it's like to be unemployed with no funds to pay for vet care. The foundation's mission is to provide needed help for pets with life threatening conditions or illness to help give both pet and owner a better quality of life. They understand the love of a pet goes across all income levels and no pet should be put down for a treatable condition or illness just because their owner is unable to pay the vet bill.



The Pet Fund understands that while responsible pet ownership includes medical care, they also know some pet owners can have a hard time finding the money when it's needed for proper care. The Pet Fund helps with medical costs that are beyond routine vaccinations, vet care, and spay or neutering.

United Animal Nation (UAN) helps animal shelters, strapped pet owners and good Samaritans who rescued an animal in need. They also provide funds for help after an unexpected disaster whether it's a house fire, domestic violence or natural disaster. Help in the form of grants will pay to transport a pet to a safe location, take care of injuries or illnesses, and provide temporary housing for the pet.

Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance helps cat owners provide care for their cat's injuries or life-threatening conditions. Senior citizens, disabled people, the unemployed and people who rescued a cat that needs medical care are eligible for assistance. They also have a fund (Kobi's Fund) dedicated to cats with Vaccine Associated Sarcoma.

CareCredit is a personal credit line that can be used to pay your pet's vet bills and medical or dental bills for you and your family. It's like a credit card, but can only be used to pay healthcare costs for you or your pet. The loan is interest free as long as you make regular payments on time and repay the loan in the time frame you agreed on. Most people have no problem getting a loan and you can apply for it before you need it. That way the money is available when it's needed.

Help-A-Pet provides financial aid for owners who can't pay for their pet’s medical care. A single person with an income below $20,000 and a family under $40,000 a year can apply for financial help. Pet owners are asked to chip in as much as they can afford. This organization helps mainly disabled people, senior citizens and children of the working poor. Every penny donated to Help-A-Pet is used to aid a pet in need of medical care. They have no overhead or administrative costs because it's an all volunteer operation.

Jake Brady Memorial Fund provides help for corrective and life-saving medical care for pets of low income individuals, disabled people, senior citizens and unemployed individuals in Ohio who are having trouble paying for non-routine medical care for their pets. This is the only nonprofit on my list that is just for residents of a specific state.

The downturn in our economy has taken a toll on nonprofit organizations. If funds aren't available when applying, check with another one. You can also find more organizations by typing “organizations that help pay for pet care” into your favorite search engine.

Donations are always welcomed and needed. These organizations help because all pets deserve medical care, and no pet should be surrendered to a shelter or put down because their owner can't afford the vet bill.

Photo by Jenny Whitlock: "CANIDAE Food Fans" Daisy and Dylan

Read more articles by Linda Cole

9 comments:

  1. Those look like great organizations and I sure personally can use some help. Tge angels 4 animals link doesn't work or has moved.
    Thanks for this great info. It is nice to know that we can get help.

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  2. thank you for sharing this most important info! I knew about some of these organizations but not all of them. Now I do, thanks to you!

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  3. The American Animal Hospital Association has a fund that helps pet owners who are facing financial hardships: http://www.aahahelpingpets.org/

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  4. This is most informative. I don't have health care and neither does my dog. But I love him more than anything and just hate it when it gets to feeling badly and can't tell me what is wrong. Recently I had to take him to the vets and thought it would be worse. $300 later on a VISA that I can't afford and he's ok. But programs likes this could help me in a pinch.
    Robin

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  5. Marg, thanks for letting me know about the link. I fixed it! :-)

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  6. Thanks for the useful lists. Hopefullu pet owners will never be afraid of the Vet charges from now on.

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  7. This information is AWESOME!!! Thanks ever so much!!

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  8. Thank you for taking an interest in this important issue! United Animal Nations has compiled a directory with over 100 programs that provide financial assistance with veterinary care. The directory is updated monthly. For more information, visit: http://www.uan.org/index.cfm?navId=163

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  9. Dear Linda - I'm almost positive Angels4Animals is no longer in business. I have tried to reach them by phone and email, but only get disconnected numbers and bounced-back emails. You many want to remove them from this list.

    United Animal Nations' LifeLine Grant program offers assistance nationally. For more information about the grants offered and eligibility guidelines, please visit www.uan.org/lifeline.

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