The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA, notes that the average annual cost of caring for a cat is $1,035 and for dogs it can be as high as $1,843, depending on the size of the animal. Pet owners can turn to nonprofit organizations that provide financial assistance to help cover the cost of urgent or emergency care for companion animals.
Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program
Cat owners who receive Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, public assistance or unemployment benefits are eligible to apply for financial assistance for emergency care for their pets. The program can also help pay for treatments for cats who have Vaccine Associated Sarcoma, or VAS. Assistance is not available for spaying, neutering, routine checkups or vaccinations. If you're in need of funds, complete an online application and include your veterinarian's name, address and phone number along with a treatment estimate. Cats who have VAS must meet additional medical requirements such as already being spayed or neutered.
Feline Veterinary Emergency Asssistance Program 1641 Elizabeth Lane Yuba City, CA 95993 888-301-4264 fveap.org
The Pet Fund
The Pet Fund provides financial assistance for "non-basic, non-emergency care" to owners of companion animals nationwide. This includes care that goes beyond routine care, but does not rise to the level of an emergency. If you need funding, you must first call the Pet Fund to review eligibility requirements. After the phone call, submit an application online. If you are severely disabled or homebound and thus cannot access or use a computer, you can receive an application by mail. Submit proof of income in the form of a check stub or disability income letter, a written estimate from a veterinarian and the name, address and medical license number of the veterinarian. If funding is granted, it will be sent directly to the veterinarian's office.
The Pet Fund 916-443-6007 thepetfund.com
The Mosby Foundation
The nonprofit Mosby Foundation's mission is to provide financial support and education that helps care for sick, abused and neglected dogs. If you need financial assistance to care for your dog, submit an application to the Mosby Foundation. Once an application is received, the foundation contacts the veterinarian to verify the medical condition and amount of services needed. If your request for assistance is granted, payment is made to the veterinarian or animal hospital. Email the foundation directly to apply for a grant. Priority is given for applicants whose dogs are in need of emergency care.
The Mosby Foundation Deerfield, VA 24432 mosbyfoundation.org
Individuals who earn less than $20,000 per year and families with an annual income of no more than $40,000 may qualify for veterinary financial assistance from Help-A-Pet. The nonprofit can provide assistance one time per pet. Submit a copy of your most recent federal tax return. If you do not file a federal return, submit copies of government assistance documentations such as proof of disability income, Medicaid or food stamps. Help-A-Pet volunteers notify you with a decision within two days of receiving your application; payments are made to the veterinarian.
Help-A-Pet Hinsdale, IL 60522 630-986-9504 help-a-pet.org