Pet food and other necessities
- Visit Pet Help Finder, click on “Food Pantry and Supplies,” enter your city, state or zip code then click “Search.”
- Explore an interactive resource map provided by Feeding Pets of the Homeless; under “Get Help,” choose “Find Resources Near You” and enter your location.
- For help with housing, food, paying bills and more, visit findhelp.org or 211.org.
- Visit Pet Help Finder, click on “Veterinary Services,” enter your city, state or zip code then click “Search.” This will bring up a listing of financially friendly providers of spay/neuter and other services.
Note: If your animal requires emergency veterinary care and you can't afford treatment, contact nearby veterinary colleges to see if they have any emergency assistance programs.
If you are unsure what qualifies as emergency veterinary care, call your veterinarian and describe the symptoms. Some animal shelter and community clinics will also provide emergency care on a limited basis.
Ways to help cover veterinary expenses
- Negotiate a payment plan with your veterinarian. If you're a client in good standing, they may be able to work out a weekly or monthly payment plan. Some veterinarians also work with third-party billing services, such as VetBilling, which allow you to pay over time.
- Get a second opinion. You may pay a consultation fee, but another veterinarian may have other ways to treat your pet that are less expensive but equally as effective.
- Use a veterinarian in a less expensive area or look for a community or shelter clinic in your area that offers discounted services for animals of the public.
- Check out local veterinary colleges. Some operate low-cost clinics for limited income clients.
Fundraising and temporary credit
- Ask if your veterinarian accepts Care Credit, a credit card specifically for health care expenses, including for pets. Note: Be sure you understand the repayment terms; often you can repay interest-free within a specific time period, but if you are late with a payment a high interest rate will be applied retroactively.
- Ask if your veterinarian accepts ScratchPay, a service similar to Care Credit.
- Some veterinarians accept donations from clients for a fund held in reserve to help other clients in need of financial assistance. Ask if your veterinarian has such a fund.
- Try a fundraising platform such as GoFundMe, which enables you to create a personal fundraising page.
- Consider Waggle, a pet-dedicated crowdfunding solution that channels funds directly to verified veterinarians for a pet’s care.
- Contact local rescue groups and shelters. Sometimes they have funds set up to help with veterinary medical care for families in their community.
- If you purchased your pet from a responsible breeder, check your contract to see if there is a health guarantee that covers your pet’s ailment.
- For help with future medical expenses, consider purchasing pet health insurance.
Assistance by breed
Breed-specific rescue groups may have information about additional help for particular breeds. Search for breeds online to see what resources may be available.
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Each of these national organizations provide financial assistance to pet owners in need. They are independent and have their own set of rules and guidelines, therefore you will have to investigate each one separately to determine if you qualify for assistance:
- Banfield Foundation (search under “National programs")
- Bow Wow Buddies
- Canine Cancer Awareness
- Frankie’s Friends (funds special and emergency care for pets who have a good prognosis)
- Handicapped Pet Foundation
- Joshua Louis Animal Cancer Foundation: (grants can only be provided for pets under the care of a board-certified veterinary oncologist)
- Land of Pure Gold Foundation: (cancer treatment grants for working dogs (e.g., assistance, search and rescue, animal-assisted therapy, etc.)
- Magic Bullet Fund: (cancer-specific)
- The Mosby Foundation
- The Onyx & Breezy Foundation
- The Pet Fund
- Pets of the Homeless: (pet food and veterinary care assistance for the unhoused)
- The Riedel & Cody Fund: (support for pets suffering with cancer)
- RedRover Relief
- Shakespeare Animal Fund
Assistance by state
We do not have listings for all 50 states. For additional recommendations:
- Search via your address at Pet Help Finder.
- Visit the Banfield Foundation and choose your state under “State programs.”
- Best Friends Financial Aid for Pets and click on your state.
- Contact your local animal shelters to see what support they may be able to provide. Adopt a Pet has a robust list of shelters across the country. Select “Shelters and Rescues” in the search box and enter your zip code. From there, you can click on the websites of nearby shelters and rescues to see if they have a pet resource/pet support page with ways they can help.