My dog is dying and I can’t afford a vet!
I understand the pain that lies in seeing your best friend ill and not being able to do anything to help them – or not knowing where to turn for help.
It is something no pet parent wants to admit – but not being able to afford a vet happens to people like you and me every day. If getting help with vet bills is what you need – I hope you can find what you need here!
If you need a vet – but have no money, there are options!
Having several pets of my own, I know how expensive vet care is. From the dual knee surgeries to Cushing’s disease, I have been there. I wrote an article about when to put down a dog with Cushing’s disease that may help too if you are going through that experience.
Now on to the resources to help you with those vet bills!
Below is a list of national organizations that offer financial assistance to pet owners struggling to care for their pets health and who may be on a low income.
Please make sure you read the requirements for each one to ensure you qualify!
Added note: most of these organizations are small – and doing the best they can but sometimes the aid they may offer is just a portion of your pets overall costs due to their limited funds. Please use this list as a guide – but keep doing your research to find more ways you can receive financial aid!
Last updated: April 3, 2021
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Organizations Offering Help With Vet Bills
Brodie Fund – Cancer
The Brodie Fund offers grants for pet owners who have a pet battling cancer. They do require that your veterinarian be a part of their participating vet list which you can lean more about here.
If your vet is not on the list you can talk to them to see if they can be a part of it.
Dylan’s Hearts – Various
Assists with veterinary bills for urgent medical care that offers a good prognosis for the pet. Applicant must have a diagnosis and treatment plan from their vet for applying.
View more about the eligibility requirements and how to apply here.
Help-A-Pet offers financial assistance to pet owners who are unable to pay for veterinary services, medicine, or medical supplies for their sick pet.
Annual income must be under $20,000 for a single person household or $40,000 for a family household (amount varies upon the number of dependents).
JLACF/Frankie’s Friends – Cancer
The Joshua Louis Animal Cancer Fund partnered with Frankie’s Friends with the purpose of helping further the advancements of cancer research in pets and to help families dealing with pet cancer with their veterinary bills.
You can apply for financial help for your veterinary bills if your pet is diagnosed with cancer.
Magic Bullet Fund – Cancer
Also cancer focused, the Magic Bullet Fund accepts applications for cats and dogs who will require cancer treatment and the families cannot afford it.
You can apply for veterinary financial assistance here.
Mosby Foundation – Various
The Mosby Foundation offers veterinary financial assistance for a variety of health care needs but they do have a small list of exclusions. You can learn more about their financial aid opportunities here.
The Brown Dog Foundation – Various
Brown Dog Foundation provides funding to families who find themselves with a sick pet that would likely respond to treatment -but cannot afford it. There is an application and requirements page here for you to review and apply.
The Onyx & Breezy Foundation – Various
The Onyx & Breezy Foundation was set up to honor beloved pets and they have been giving back ever since! One of their opportunities is for pet owners to receive grants for their pets care by applying for a grant.
There is some paperwork required to apply for the grant – and if you should be the recipient of one, your payment will be sent right to the vet.
Paws 4 A Cure – Various
Dedicated to providing financial assistance to individuals that need non-routine veterinary care for their dog or cat but cannot afford it. Maximum assistance is up to $500 per individual.
You can ask them for veterinary assistance here.
Pet Assistance Inc. – Various
PAI provides medical assistance to pet owners who have had their pets for years (they do not help with newly acquired pets) and cannot afford the veterinary care for an emergency.
You cane learn more about the requirements here.
The Pet Fund – Various
The Pet Fund is a nonprofit that helps pet owners with their financial needs. They focus on pet care that is not urgent – so if it is an immediate care situation, they cannot help. But if it is cancer diagnosis or other long-term care need – that is where they come in.
You can apply here and be sure to take a peak at their website for more useful information.
As you can imagine – they get a lot of requests, so if you apply – please continue on checking other options on this page!
Pets of the Homeless – Homeless Animals
This organization holds a special place in our heart. They focus solely on helping pets owned by the homeless. If you or someone you know is homeless and has a pet that needs care, this is the group that can help.
There are several ways they can help from free clinics to emergency vet care. You can learn more here.
They also have an interactive map to help you find local resources to assist you.
Red Rover – Various
Red Rover offers assistance to help animals that are part of a domestic violence situation, animals with life-threatening illnesses and those rescued from neglect.
Learn more about the relief opportunities they provide for you and your pet.
Riedel & Cody Fund – Cancer
This fund works with Waggle but offers their own funding. It offers financial assistance to pets with cancer and requires proof from an oncologist.
You can learn more about how they provide financial veterinary assistance here.
Shakespeare Animal Fund – Elderly & Disabled
Grants for veterinary care from Shakespeare Animal Fund are to help the elderly and disabled who have an income under the poverty level guidelines. They offer funding for emergencies of all types and will pay the vet directly. Only available in Northern Nevada.
Read more about their vet grants here.
STARelief and Pet Assistance – Various
STARelief offers several different programs to assist pet owners with their financial needs. They offer help to the homeless, families, military vets and more.
Find out more about who they help here.
Tipper & Squirt Cushing’s Fund – Cushings Disease
This fund was created just to assist pet parents with the costs of care related to Cushing’s disease. Maximum per household per year is $250 and you can learn more here.
Waggle Crowdfunding/Foundation – Various
A newer and unique way of getting funding to help your pet is Waggle!
Waggle is a crowdfunding platform similar to GoFundMe but just for pets. The one differentiating factor is that your veterinarian needs to be a vet member so they can work with Waggle to create a fundraising page for your pet.
Once you know how much you will need for your pet’s care – you can ask the vet to reach out to Waggle to create your fundraising page. Then you can share with friends and family – and Waggle will also share with their community as well.
There is no fee to you and in the end we hope you get enough to pay for your pets care!
They also have a the Waggle Foundation which is a separate way of helping you with grants for your pet’s care.
Below is a sample of a page from Waggle for Greta, who ultimately got funded and received the surgery she needed.
Other Financial Help For Vet Bills
Talk To Your Veterinarian
Most veterinarians understand that things happen and if you have a good relationship with them and are a good pet parent there may be options they have available you are not aware of.
Ask about a payment plan or if they know of any local resources that may be able to offer you immediate financial assistance of some sort to get your pet the care they need. Some veterinarian’s may even have an affiliation with a rescue and have a fund set up for tough situations like yours.
If you are really in a bind – ask about a work/barter opportunity! Maybe you can help care for the animals, clean the office or man the front desk to pay off your bill with them.
Ask your veterinarian if they participate in either of these programs as well which offer financing to you.
Visit Your Local Shelter
Animal shelters often offer reduced pricing for vet services. These services can include surgeries or even euthanasia so it is worth it to review this as an option.
The Humane Society has a great state list of places you can get help for your pet. But we still recommend you reach out to your local shelters to see if they have any programs in place to help you care for your pet.
CareCredit is a type of credit card that is specifically used for healthcare and the y do offer the ability for you to use it for your pet’s care as well. CareCredit requires and application for approval so you will need to have some type of credit to get this card.
The benefit to using CareCredit is that they offer no interest financing if you pay it off within a specific time frame.
While this is not the first option we would recommend for you because you may wind up paying more in interest than the medical care costs – it is definitely a good option!
Also not every veterinarian accepts CareCredit – so check with your vet first!
While pet insurance may not help with an immediate situation you may have, it can be a great way to make medical care for your pet easier in the future. For a small amount every month you can have the security of knowing your pet’s medical needs and general pet care may be covered with no additional output from your finances.
While not a 100% replacement for an in-person veterinarian visit – Just Answer may be a great option if you are not quite sure what you are dealing with. With JustAnswer you can ask questions of licensed veterinarians online and they can offer assistance to determine what your dog may need. It is a free/affordable option to determine the level of care your pet may need!
You can get started right away by entering your questions below or head on over to JustAnswer to speak to a veterinarian right now!
If you live close to a college that offers a veterinary program, they may be able to help you with your sick pet too! Contact the college’s veterinary department and inquire about opportunities for care for your pet.
Ways To Raise Funds Fast
Below are just a few other ways you can raise money fast to pay for your pets’ care. We know you are probably stressed and scared and wanted to make sure we gave you as many options as possible!
- Have a garage sale to sell items you are not using anymore.
- Use Ebay or Letgo or any other selling app to have more opportunities to sell your items.
- See if you can get additional credit on a credit card – but this should be a last resort!
- Talk to your bank or credit union about loans.
- Ask your employer and see if they offer any type of assistance for this type of situation – you may be surprised.
- Setup a crowdfunding campaign on Gofundme.