I have wanted to research this information because I feel it is so important for pet owners to have options if they find they cannot afford their vet bills. I'm sure there are more resources available. This is a researched list made available on FrogDog Blog.
Responsible pet owners are aware of the costs involved in caring for their pets, and do their best to provide the best Veterinary care possible. But what about those people who have suffered financial set backs – the people who’ve been laid off, or have lost their jobs, or who simply are on limited incomes? Their budgets might force them to choose between emergency care for a beloved cat or dog, or paying the rent. The following groups help the poor, the lower income, the elderly, women in shelter situations and those with limited incomes to cover health care costs on their pets. Some also provide low or no cost spay and neuters.
Almost all of them make worthy choices for those looking for charities to support.
1. The Farley Foundation
The Foundation offers financial assistance to veterinary clinics in Ontario to help cover the cost of providing necessary veterinary care for pets belonging to seniors receiving the Federal Guaranteed Income Supplement or people with disabilities who receive the Ontario Disability Support Payment, and who cannot otherwise afford treatment for their pets.
2. 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.
3. Angels 4 Animals
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. Our services range from financial aid to complete treatment to those pets and pet owners in need.
4. Care Credit
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.
5. Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance (FVEAP)
The Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program 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.
Dedicated to insuring that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker is financially challenged.
8. The Pet Fund
A registered 501(c)3 nonprofit association that provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need urgent veterinary care. 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.
9. 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.
10. PDSA UK
PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity, caring for more than 300,000 pet patients belonging to people in need. We provide free veterinary treatment to sick and injured animals and we promote responsible pet ownership.
11. RSPCA UK (Local Branches Only)
Many RSPCA animal welfare establishments also offer subsidised veterinary treatment (help with vet bills), neutering and microchipping in addition to pet care information and rehoming facilities.
12. UK Assistance with Veterinary Bills
A listing of charities in the UK that can help with emergency veterinary expenses.
From time to time, HandicappedPets.com 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.
And...A little more follow up information.
Humane Society of the United States. They do not have funds available for vet care, but they have a page of suggestions for pet owners in distress. Some of the suggestions are pretty good. They suggest having a heart to heart talk with your vet. That’s a good suggestion because vets usually know where financial help is available - they’ve been down that road many, many times. Others suggestions on the site are less than helpful. Glean what you can that is helpful.
IMOM - In Memory of Magic, An approved applicant gets a “pets in need” page introducing the pet and the family, and sponsors are recruited to fund the animal’s medical needs. The site includes an active online community of pet parents and sponsors. At present, their need for help is go great that they are unable to accept new applications for assistance.
Angels4Animals, a segment of California-based Inner Voice Community Services, administers a “Guardian Angel” program. Potential beneficiaries fill out an eligibility assessment application. Working with a network of veterinary clinics across the United States, Angels4Animals verifies the need for assistance, makes financial arrangements with the clinic and authorizes the treatment needed to save the pet in distress. Donations to the program are gratefully accepted and opportunities for volunteers are available.
The Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program is a funding mechanism to help cats and kittens with life-threatening conditions. It has the stated goals of providing rapid decisions and responses to assistance requests; a minimum of procedures and paperwork to get assistance; and comprehensive help to solve problems through financial assistance, information and/or referral. Their “Kobi Fund” is devoted to helping victims of Vaccine Associated Sarcoma. They have several options for donating to the cause, including donation of items (or buying donated items) for their e-bay auctions.
The Pet Fund provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need veterinary care and cannot afford expensive surgery or medical treatment. Applicants must call the Pet Fund and discuss their needs before applying for funding online. They can’t fund emergency care, and there is a waiting list for funding. I was a little taken aback by their web site, which seems to have a similar mindset to the HSUS site and focuses heavily on pet insurance and credit options.