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Can’t Pay Your Pet’s Vet Bills? These Orgs Can Help

When the bills rack up, these resources have your back.

by Sio Hornbuckle
January 13, 2023
A woman in a bright yellow-orange sweater holding a striped kitten in one hand and a credit card in the other while using her laptop in front of her
Yavdat / Shutterstock

Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)

A sick animal is every pet parent’s worst nightmare. If your pet receives a difficult diagnosis, the last thing you should have to worry about is money. But so often, parents have to make the choice between a procedure they can’t afford or their dog’s chance at a long life. Whatever your financial situation, a pet should never have to suffer or be rehomed because of their medical needs.

The good news: You can get help. The following nine organizations are dedicated to keeping pets healthy and with their loving families by providing grants, payment plans for vet bills, and other resources.

The Pet Fund

The Pet Fund provides help with non-urgent, non-basic care for dogs and cats; this includes cancer, eye disease, chronic illness, and heart disease, but excludes diagnostic tests, spay and neuter procedures, and life-threatening injuries. If your pet fits the criteria, you can email The Pet Fund with a description of your pet’s condition for the chance to apply for a one-time grant. 

Apply here.

Care Credit

Unlike many other resources on this list, Care Credit can be used for routine pet care — such as diagnostics, check-ups, parasites, and spay/neuter surgeries — as well as emergency care. You are also able to reuse your Care Credit card rather than apply for a one-time grant. Care Credit will allow you to pay upfront for big vet bills on a payment plan; if minimum payments are made on time, Care Credit will not charge interest. You can apply for a card on their website.

Apply here.

Frankie’s Friends National Fund

Frankie’s Friends awards grants for dogs in need of emergency, lifesaving, or specialized veterinary care when the pet would otherwise be relinquished or euthanized. To qualify, a veterinarian must confirm that your dog has a good prognosis with treatment, and you must meet the requirements for financial assistance. 

Apply here.

Waggle Crowdfunding

Waggle is a website that makes crowdfunding easier for you and your pet. You create an account, start a campaign, and answer a few questions about your dog or cat’s situation. Waggle works with your veterinarian to certify a treatment estimate. Then, they write a story about your pet and provide you with a link to share on social media. 

Create a campaign here.

SpayUSA

North Shore Animal League America’s SpayUSA doesn’t give grants directly, but they serve as a referral network for free and low-cost spay-and-neuter services. You can use their search function to input your zip code and find clinics near you that offer financial assistance for spay-and-neuter surgeries. 

Search here.

The Mosby Foundation

The Mosby Foundation gives financial support to dogs experiencing non-emergency health needs. They can’t help with routine or diagnostic care or reimburse veterinary services that have already been performed. All dogs must be spayed or neutered in order to qualify.

Apply here.

Brown Dog Foundation 

Brown Dog Foundation was founded in memory of “Chocolate Chip,” whose first family surrendered him because they couldn’t afford to treat his cancer; he was rescued and lived for years as a happy, adventurous pup. Families can apply by completing a survey online. Your veterinarian will then be contacted, and Brown Dog Foundation will work with you and your vet to find the most affordable path of treatment and help to bridge the gap with a financial donation. 

Apply here.

Red Rover Relief 

Red Rover provides assistance for dogs and cats with injuries or illnesses who require urgent and specific treatment. Households must make an income of less than $60,000 per year. 

Apply here.

Friends & Vets Helping Pets

Friends & Vets Helping Pets was founded to help pet parents avoid needing to rehome or euthanize dogs and cats with curable illnesses solely because of cost restraints. They can work with your family and veterinarian to provide medical treatment for health problems, such as broken bones, ambulatory care, expensive medication, or post-surgical prosthetics. Applicants must demonstrate financial need. 

Apply here.

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Sio Hornbuckle

Sio Hornbuckle is a writer living in New York City with their cat, Toni Collette.