Financial Assistance for Pet Guardians



SEE ALSO: Affordable Pet Insurance For Your Best Friend, Finding A Good Veterinarian

If your pet needs medical care that you cannot afford, here are listings of state-specific programs that may be able to help you.
Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California: Los Angeles area | California: Other areas | Colorado | Connecticut | Georgia | Idaho | Illinois | Iowa | Massachusetts | Michigan | Missouri | New Jersey | New York | North Carolina | Ohio | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Virginia | Washington | Washington, D.C. | Wisconsin

Breed-specific resources
Cats | Dogs

Disease-specific resources for cats
Cancer | Kidney disease

Disease-specific resources for dogs
Cancer | Lymphoma

Resources for those with assistance dogs

Resources for animal welfare groups

Resources for animals of senior citizens, people with disabilities, people who are seriously ill
California | Florida | Georgia | Illinois | Michigan | New Jersey | New York | Virginia | Washington | Washington, D.C.

Other possible sources of financial assistance


Pet medical care can be expensive. If your animal needs a medical procedure that you can't afford, there are organizations that may be able to help. Some tips and limitations:

  • Be aware that few, if any, organizations will pay for ongoing medication that pets will need for extended periods of time.
  • It is unlikely that any one organization or program will pay for expensive procedures in their entirety. So, be sure to contact as many sources as possible. The grants may be very small, but they can add up if you get help from a number of sources.
  • Try negotiating with your veterinary clinic for a better price or the ability to finance the cost of care over time. Also, consider getting price comparisons from other providers. CareCredit provides financing for veterinary care; check their website to see if you qualify.
  • If possible, contact any possible sources of financial aid before procedures are done. Few sources are willing to pay bills for care that has already been provided.
  • Most organizations take applications only through email or web forms on the Internet. If you aren 't computer-savvy, find a friend, relative or neighbor to help you.
  • The inclusion of services, organizations or programs listed here is NOT an endorsement or recommendation. We cannot vouch for these programs, and you should check them out yourself before asking for their aid.
If your pet needs medical help you cannot afford
  • In Memory of Magic is dedicated to ensuring that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because his or her caretaker is financially challenged. The request must be made before the animal is treated.
  • RedRover (formerly United Animal Nations) works to bring animals from crisis to care and to strengthen the bond between people and animals.
  • The Pet Fund provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need vet care. They also provide information about preventive care, pet insurance programs, and financial services to help prevent future emergencies. Note: All applicants are required to contact the Pet Fund by phone at (916) 443-6007 before applying for funding. Emergency funding is not available. The Pet Fund has a waiting list for those needing non-basic, non-emergency care. There are links for other funding organizations on Pet Fund's website.

Listings of state-specific programs

Alaska

Arizona

  • Animal Aid Network's SAVE fund provides assistance for medical emergencies in the Valley Verde area. People are required to sign a contract stating they will pay back the money so that treatment for other animals can be funded. Funds must be approved prior to treatment.
  • Cause Four Paws works to help southern Arizona pet owners when their pets are injured or acutely ill. The pet owner is asked to pay 20% of all fees and provide 20 hours of community service for a local Cause Four Paws charity partner. Call (520) 795-9951.

Arkansas

California: Los Angeles area

  • Actors and Others for Animals is a Southern California community-based organization serving the greater Los Angeles area. Among other services, the organization provides financial assistance for emergency medical procedures for those of limited income. Call (818) 755-6045.
  • Four Legged Friends Foundation's Sunny Day Fund provides veterinary assistance for low-income people in Los Angeles.
  • Mercy Crusade in Oxnard offers low-cost veterinary exams. Call (818) 597-2926.
  • Holiday Humane Society is a private hospital that offers some of the lowest-cost services in Los Angeles. They cover basic procedures only. Call (818) 765-8196.
  • Pet Orphans offers a program for individual rescuers that helps primarily with spay/neuter, vaccinations and adoption events. They also have a Good Samaritan Fund to assist with medical emergencies, as funds are available.
  • The Sam Simon Foundation provides low-cost or free non-orthopedic surgeries to low-income residents of Los Angeles.
  • Voice for the Animals Foundation Helping Friends Program helps seniors and people with disabilities, terminal illnesses or fixed incomes to take care of their pets.
  • Sue Freeman's Guide to Rescue Cats ' website contains a list of pet financial-assistance resources in Los Angeles and the surrounding area.

California: Other areas

  • Orange County: Animal Assistance League of Orange County has a referral program for vet care, vaccines and low-cost spay/neuter services. Call their 24-hour phone line at (714) 891-PETS (7387).
  • Orange County: The Orange County SPCA's Pet Rescue Fund provides financial assistance for homeless and rescued animals, as well as pets of low-income residents of Orange County. Call (714) 374-7738.
  • Orange County: Rescuing Unwanted Furry Friends (RUFF) helps injured and ill pets in Orange County and provides medical assistance for pet owners and rescuers of stray or abandoned pets.
  • San Francisco: Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) provides assistance for pets of seniors and people with HIV/AIDS and other disabling illnesses.

Colorado

  • Denver area: PetAid Animal Hospital offers veterinary services to individuals, over 60 rescue and shelter groups, and nonprofit organizations that are in need of veterinary care for service animals or therapy animals.
  • Boulder Valley: The Humane Society of the Boulder Valley's CARE program provides medical care and spay/neuter surgeries at a discount to low-income clients. Call (303) 442-4030, ext 680.
  • Colorado Springs: Harley's Hope Foundation provides financial assistance with major/emergency/specialty veterinary care, financial assistance with behavioral training, short-term for care for animals living with temporarily incapacitated pet parents, and other services.

Connecticut

Georgia

Idaho

Illinois

  • Chicago: The Anti-Cruelty Society provides veterinary services to low-income pet owners in the Chicago area.
  • The Brown Dog Foundation provides financial assistance to low-income residents of Illinois, Iowa and Tennessee to help offset the cost of veterinary emergencies and treatment of chronic conditions.

Iowa

  • The Brown Dog Foundation provides financial assistance to low-income residents of Illinois, Iowa and Tennessee to help offset the cost of veterinary emergencies and treatment of chronic conditions.

Massachusetts

  • North Grafton: The Travis Fund, managed by Tufts University Small Animal Hospital, provides financial assistance for the care of found animals and helps responsible owners cover the cost of unanticipated veterinary care.
  • Cape Cod and the islands: The Sampson Fund helps sick and injured cats and dogs in need of urgent care.
  • Nantucket: The Nantucket MSPCA offers a number of subsidy programs that provide financial assistance to pet owners.

Michigan

  • The Michigan Humane Society operates three clinics and provides services to residents of Detroit, Rochester Hills and Westland.

Missouri

New Jersey

New York

  • NY SAVE, Inc. serves the pets of New York City residents living in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island by providing funds to low-income pet owners whose pets need emergency veterinary care.
  • Monroe, Livingston, Genesee, Wyoming, Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties: All 4 Pets West New York provides one-time grants to pay for medical care for pets whose caring, responsible owners are not able to pay due to low income, personal crisis or disaster.

North Carolina

  • Ashley's Angel Fund provides monetary assistance for veterinary care to dog owners whose pets are facing life-threatening conditions.

Ohio

  • Columbus: Pet Promise has an emergency fund to help those with low incomes afford the cost of veterinary care.

Oregon

  • Portland: The Velvet Financial Assistance Fund, a program of Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital, provides emergency vet care for low-income pet owners. Applicants must first apply for and use funds through CareCredit. The maximum amount is $750 per applicant.
  • Lane County: Pro-Bone-O is a nonprofit organization that provides free veterinary services for the pets of people who are homeless or living in distressed conditions.

Pennsylvania

  • Centre County: PAWS of Centre County has a fund for medical costs of unowned, stray animals.

Rhode Island

  • Volunteer Services for Animals (VSA) is an organization of volunteers dedicated to animal well-being and the promotion of the human-animal bond through programs of education, advocacy and assistance. VSA provides financial assistance to pet owners for veterinary care. Call (401) 273-0358.
  • RIVMA's Companion Animal Foundation provides financial assistance to help cover the cost of veterinary care. Their website also features a list of agencies in Rhode Island that offer financial assistance to pet owners in need.

Tennessee

  • The Brown Dog Foundation provides financial assistance to low-income residents of Illinois, Iowa and Tennessee to help offset the cost of veterinary emergencies and treatment of chronic conditions.

Texas

  • Capper and Chris Save the Animals Fund, a program managed through Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine, may contribute up to 50% of the total cost of medical care, with a maximum of $1,000 per case. The animal must have a treatable disease or injury.

Utah

  • Salt Lake County and surrounding area: Pet Samaritan Fund provides financial assistance to individuals unable to afford medical care for their pets.

Virginia

  • The Animal Welfare League of Arlington's Veterinary Assistance Program makes small, no-interest loans to low-income pet owners who need emergency vet care for their pets but cannot afford the costs up-front.
  • Loudon County: Companion Animal Resource Effort (CARE) provides pet owners in Loudon County with financial assistance, goods and services to enhance the quality of life for their companion animals while keeping pets in loving, caring homes.

Washington

  • The Good Samaritan Fund at Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine is used exclusively to treat ownerless or special-needs animals who, ideally but not exclusively, also present a teaching opportunity for the veterinary students.
  • Lewis, Mason and Thurston counties: Concern for Animals provides financial assistance for spay/neuter and emergency vet care.

Washington, D.C.

Wisconsin

  • Milwaukee/Ozaukee County: The Wisconsin Humane Society provides veterinary care at a reduced cost for low-income residents

Breed-specific resources

Cats

Dogs

If you have a specific breed of dog, contact the national club for that breed. In some cases, these clubs offer a veterinary financial assistance fund. To find the national club for your breed, try searching www.yahoo.com or www.google.com, using the following search criteria: breed + national club (for example: standard poodle + national club).

Here are a few websites for groups that provide financial assistance for specific breeds:

Disease-specific resources for cats

Cancer

The Dog and Cat Cancer Fund works directly with veterinarians to help underprivileged owners get treatment for cats and dogs suffering from cancer.

Kidney disease

Cats in Crisis provides assistance to cats who have been diagnosed with kidney disease.

Disease-specific resources for dogs

Cancer

The Magic Bullet Fund provides financial assistance for tumor removal and certain types of chemotherapy for lymphoma.

The Animal Cancer Therapy Subsidization Society is dedicated to bringing affordable modern veterinary cancer treatment to veterinary cancer patients in Alberta, Canada. They provide subsidies to dedicated pet owners as well as educate animal owners and veterinarians on the availability, uses and benefits of advanced cancer therapies in the treatment of veterinary cancers.

Canine Cancer Awareness may provide some financial assistance once a cancer diagnosis has been confirmed.

The Dog and Cat Cancer Fund works directly with veterinarians to help underprivileged owners get treatment for cats and dogs suffering from cancer.

The Zach Memorial Fund, part of Ashley's Angel Fund, is available for dogs being treated for cancer through an affiliated veterinary hospital. The expected response from treatment is either achieving remission and/or prolonging good quality of life. For residents of North Carolina only.

Lymphoma

Frankie's Friends provides free or heavily discounted care for dogs enrolled in clinical programs of promising new treatments, and assists with the cost for dogs whose families cannot afford treatment.

Resources for those with assistance dogs

The International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) has established an emergency veterinary fund to provide financial aid to U.S. IAADP partner members whose assistance dogs require high-cost veterinary intervention beyond their ability to pay.

The California Department of Social Services Assistance Dog Special Allowance (ADSA) Program provides a monthly payment of $50 to eligible individuals who use a guide, signal or service dog to help them with needs related to their physical disabilities. The allowance is to help pay the costs of food, grooming and health care for the dogs. This program, available only to residents of California, will provide these funds monthly toward the care of registered service dogs. Call (916) 657-2628.

The Assistance Dog United Campaign, operated in association with the Assistance Dog Institute, helps people with disabilities find funding to purchase service dogs. Call (800) 284-DOGS (3647).

Resources for animal welfare groups

The Second Chance Fund, operated by the American Humane Association, financially assists agencies that rescue, care for, and rehome abused or neglected animals. (To qualify, your organization must be a member of the American Humane Association.)

In Memory of Magic is dedicated to ensuring that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because his or her caretaker is financially challenged. They consider requests from 501c(3) rescue groups.

Resources for animals of senior citizens, people with disabilities, people who are seriously ill

California

San Diego: Helen Woodward Animal Center's AniMeals program offers free pet food for the dogs and cats of elderly or disabled people throughout San Diego County.

Marin: Marin Humane Society's SHARE offers several programs to help pets of low-income seniors, persons living with HIV/AIDS and those receiving hospice services.

Sonoma County: Pets Are Loving Support provides services to help people with HIV/AIDS keep their pets as long as possible.

Florida

The SPCA of Central Florida's Project F.A.I.T.H. temporarily houses pets for families affected by domestic violence, hospitalization or disasters.

The Pet Food Xpress serves the pets of seniors who live in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties and meet specific criteria.

Georgia

Atlanta: Pets Are Loving Support provides free food, basic veterinary care and support to the pets of the elderly, critically ill or disabled.

Illinois

Chicago: Blessed Bonds provides help for pet owners when they are experiencing physical problems that make daily pet care difficult.

Michigan

Detroit: The Michigan Humane Society provides low-cost veterinary care, a food bank and other services to help people care for their companion and service animals.

New Jersey

Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties: PetPALS of Southern New Jersey provides services to the animal companions of people living with terminal, chronic or debilitating illness, or financially needy senior citizens.

New York

Rochester area: The Humane Society at Lollypop Farms provides assistance for seniors on fixed incomes and also maintains a pet food bank for seniors.

Virginia

Loudon County: C.A.R.E. is dedicated to providing pet owners in need with financial assistance, goods and services to enhance the quality of life for their companion animals while keeping pets in loving, caring homes. They provide assistance to citizens who are elderly, seriously ill, injured, or in a situation where they cannot afford to care for their pets.

Washington

King County: The Seattle Humane Society provides services that help people maintain a lifelong commitment to their pets. Low-income senior citizens can receive a supplemental supply of pet food and people disabled by AIDS can receive pet food, supplies, grooming and veterinary care.

Washington, D.C.

PETS-DC is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people living with HIV/AIDS or other disabling conditions and their companion pets. They provide public health education, exercise, pet food, veterinary care, grooming, foster care and adoption services at no cost.

Other possible sources of financial assistance
  • Most veterinary schools treat pets at a reduced cost. Click here to locate vet schools accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
  • Decorate a few donation coin cans with an appealing photo of your pet and a brief explanation that money is needed for medical care. Ask your veterinarian if you can put one in the office. Put one out on your desk at work, and ask a friend or two to do the same. This sounds old-fashioned, but it really works!
  • A small fundraiser such as a yard sale or bake sale can raise significant funds if it is well planned. Ask friends and neighbors to help; it usually takes just a couple of people to pull it off. Some tips:

Neighborhood yard sale: Ask neighbors, family, co-workers and friends to contribute items. The event can be publicized in the local newspapers and by posting flyers around town. You'll need a place to store the items, and there is some time involved in planning, publicizing and organizing, but a single neighborhood yard sale can raise several hundred dollars.

Bake sale: Another simple, low-risk way to raise money is to organize a bake sale. Ask neighbors, family, co-workers and friends to contribute baked items. To be successful, the bake sale must be in a high-traffic area, where many people will pass by.

  • Create a Facebook page to get the word out online about your pet's needs. Click here to learn the basics of Facebook, how to create an appealing personal profile page and how to find friends and attract others to your page.
  • Post messages to community forums for veterinary care fundraising purposes, such as In Memory of Magic's community.
  • Post messages to e-groups that allow the posting of fundraising requests, such as Yahoo! Groups.
  • Consider purchasing pet insurance for your pets. For information about pet insurance, click here.
  • The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) does not provide direct financial assistance to pet owners for veterinary or other expenses, but they do have a page on their website where they offer additional suggestions for what you can do if you are having trouble affording veterinary care.
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