Tuesday, July 7, 2009

If you can't afford vet care

This useful list was taken from: http://www.uan.org/index.cfm?navid=162

Prepare and PreventNon-routine veterinary care is almost always an unexpected expense and a financial burden. Though not all situations are preventable, there are a few simple things animal guardians can do to minimize risk of finding oneself in the desperate situation of being unable to pay for emergency care.
Spay and neuter all animals. Many health problems are prevented by spay or neuter.
Keep cats indoors. Keep dogs on leash when not in a secure area. Use caution when leaving animals unattended, and only leave them unattended in a secure area.
Practice good routine care. Give necessary vaccinations, heartworm and flea prevention where needed, feed a good quality diet, and provide ample fresh water.
Contribute to a special savings account for veterinary care. Even $5 per month can add up to a significant amount.
Keep the number of animals you are responsible for within your means.
Research the benefits of purchasing a pet health insurance policy.
General Information and Advice on FundraisingWhen a loved animal member of your family is sick and the treatment is difficult to afford, the situation can seem helpless. Financial assistance programs are few and far between, and a situation can rarely be paid for entirely by grants.
Below are some suggestions from previous LifeLine applicants. If you have a successful fundraising strategy to share, please e-mail us.
Be upfront with your veterinarian about your financial restrictions.
Discuss with your veterinarian the minimum treatment to save your animal's life. For example, amputation can be a more financially attainable option than reconstructive surgery; or purchasing a wheelchair for an animal can be more attainable than a full hip replacement. Your veterinarian can help you evaluate what is most attainable for your situation, keeping your animal's quality of life in mind.
Ask other area clinics how much they normally charge for a similar treatment on a similar animal. Costs can vary widely from clinic to clinic.
Find a quick way to earn money, such as having a bake sale, yard sale or car wash.
Create a funding page using your social network site or other funding tool, like ChipIn, Dropcash orFundable.
Contact local animal shelters and rescue organizations for leads to low-cost clinics and/or help with fundraising. Petfinder.com has a comprehensive list of rescue organizations from all over the country. Visit Petfinder.com and click on “Shelters” at the top of the page.
Post fliers or collection jars with a description of the situation and a picture of the animal at local dog parks, vet clinics, pet stores and other community gathering places.
Contact church or community organizations and explain your situation. They may be willing to help you fundraise or to raise awareness.
Local restaurants may offer a fundraising opportunity in which a portion of a day's sales is donated to an organization.
Offer to wash floors or do other labor at the veterinary clinic in exchange for lowering the treatment cost.
Ask for loans from your family and friends.
Ask family and friends to help spread the word about your situation.
If you have family or friends who smoke, ask them to take a break from smoking and give their cigarette money to your animal.
If the animal is a purebred, contact that breed's enthusiast club in your area.
Explain the situation to your landlord or mortgage company and try to arrange a payment option to free up rent money for veterinary treatment.
Check out some more ideas


Help for Pet Health Care Costs
Many pet owners, at one point or another, are faced with unexpected veterinary bills. Veterinary medicine has advanced to such a degree that caregivers have new, and often expensive, options for the care of their ailing pets. Although the cost of veterinary care is actually very reasonable in comparison with the much higher cost of human health care, an unexpected medical emergency can present a major financial dilemma for an unprepared pet owner.
Having TroubleAffording Your Pet?
There are groups that can help.
The Humane Society of the United States recommends that, in addition to preparing for routine pet-care costs, you regularly set aside money to cover for unexpected veterinary bills or consider pet health insurance. For example, create a special "pet savings account" and contribute money to it on a regular basis. Another great option is to purchase a pet health insurance policy. The HSUS has partnered with Petplan USA, to offer great saving to our members. Petplan USA is affiliated with Petplan UK—the world's largest and most trusted pet insurance company. It's recommended by more pet owners and veterinarians than any other. Use whichever option works best for you. The important thing is to have a plan and stick to it.If, despite your planning, your pet incurs major veterinary expenses that you have trouble affording, consider these suggestions:
• Ask your veterinarian if he or she will let you work out a payment plan. Many veterinarians are willing to work out a weekly or monthly payment plan so that you do not have to pay the entire cost of veterinary care up front.• Contact your local shelter. Some shelters operate or know of local subsidized veterinary clinics or veterinary assistance programs. You can find the name and number of your local shelter in the Yellow Pages of your phone book under "animal shelter," "animal control" or "humane society," or by calling Information. You can also go to Pets911.com and enter your zip code to find a list of animal shelters, animal control agencies, and other animal care organizations in your community.• If you have a specific breed of dog, contact the National Club for that breed. (The American Kennel Club, akc.org, has a list of the national dog clubs.) In some cases, these clubs offer a veterinary financial assistance fund. Additionally, The HSUS has a list of breed-specific assistance groups.• There are some organizations that offer assistance locally (by state or community). See our state-by-state (including Canada) listing.• The HSUS also has a list of organizations that provide assistance to senior, disabled or ill pet owners.• Ask your veterinarian to submit an assistance request to the American Animal Hospital Association's (AAHA) "Helping Pets Fund." In order to qualify, your animal hospital must be AAHA accredited. To learn more about the program visit the AAHA web site. To find an AAHA accredited hospital in your area, search online at Pets911.com.• If you bought your dog from a reputable breeder, check your contract to see if there is a health guarantee that covers your pet's ailment.• Check with veterinary schools in your state to see if they offer discount services to the public. You can find a list of veterinary schools in the Education section of the American Veterinary Medical Association's (AVMA) website, avma.org.• Use your credit card. Ask for a higher credit limit or a cash advance.• Call your bank. Ask about loan programs or other options they can suggest that might be helpful in your situation.• Ask your employer for a salary advance.• Alert family and friends and ask them each for a $25 loan.• Consider taking on a part-time job or temping.• Contact Care Credit at www.carecredit.com
• Apply for a Citi Healthcard at www.healthcard.citicards.com
• Start your own fundraising collection at www.fundable.com
Given the current state of the economy, many pet caregivers are in need of basic necessities such as pet food. If you find yourself in this position, be sure to contact your local humane societies as some organizations have started their own pet food bank program. In addition, you can visit petsofhomeless.com/members.htm to view a state-by-state listing of food banks that are offering pet food for the pets of the homeless and disadvantaged.
The following is a list of organizations that provide financial assistance to pet owners in need. Please keep in mind that each organization is independent and has their own set of rules and guidelines. Therefore you will have to investigate each one separately to determine if you qualify for assistance:
IMOM Inc., IMOM.org
Help-A-Pet, help-a-pet.org
The Pet Fund, thepetfund.com
Good Sam Fund, goodsamfund.org
United Animal Nations LifeLine Fund, uan.org
Angels for Animals, angels4animals.org
Brown Dog Foundation, browndogfoundation.org/home
Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program, fveap.org
Feline Outreach, felineoutreach.org
Cats In Crisis, catsincrisis.org
The Perseus Foundation (Cancer specific), PerseusFoundation.org
Canine Cancer Awareness, caninecancerawareness.org
Cody's Club (Radiation treatments), codysclub.bravehost.com/
Diabetic Pets Fund, petdiabetes.net/fund/
The Mosby Foundation, themosbyfoundation.org
Magic Bullet Fund (Cancer Specific), themagicbulletfund.org
The Binky Foundation, binkyfoundation.org
God's Creatures Ministry Veterinary Charity, http://www.all-creatures.org/gcm/help-cf.html
Please remember that, depending on the severity of your pet's illness or injury, you might still lose your pet even after great expense. Discuss the prognosis and treatment options thoroughly with your veterinarian, including whether surgery or treatment would just cause your animal discomfort without preserving a life of good quality.Also remember that a little preventive care can go a long way. Having your pet spayed or neutered, keeping her shots up to date, and keeping your pet safely confined can prevent serious and costly health problems. If you have trouble affording the cost to spay or neuter your pet, contact your local animal shelter. They might operate a clinic or know of a local clinic that offers subsidized services.Unfortunately, due to our limited resources as a nonprofit animal protection organization, The HSUS does not provide direct financial assistance to pet owners for veterinary or other expenses. If you know of any veterinary assistance programs or services that we have not included here, please let us know by calling 202-452-1100. Breed Specific Assistance ProgramsThe Boston Terrier Rescue Net, bostonrescue.netCorgiAid, corgiaid.org Special Needs Dobermans, doberman911.org Disabled Dachshund Society, ourdds.org Dougal's Helping Paw (Scottish Terriers, West Highland White Terriers and other small, short legged terriers), http://www.welcome.to/dougalsfundLabrador Harbor, labradorharbor.org/Labmed, labmed.orgLabrador Lifeline, labradorlifeline.orgWestimed (West Highland White Terriers), westiemed.orgPyramedic Trust (Great Pyrenees), http://www.angelfire.com/bc2/pyramedic/summary.html
Working/Service DogsHelping Harley Cancer Treatment Grant, http://grants.landofpuregold.com Assistance Dogs Special Allowance (ADSA) Program, http://www.cdss.ca.gov/cdssweb/PG82.htm
State-Specific ProgramsCANADAAnimal Cancer Therapy Subsidization Society Lucky Moffat Memorial Fund, actssalberta.org/lucky/lmmf.asp (Alberta Canada Only)The Farley Foundation, farleyfoundation.org (Ontario Canada Only)
CALIFORNIAActors and Others for Animals, actorsandothers.comSF/SPCA Animal Hospital, sfspca.org/hospital/index.shtml Animal Health Foundation, http://animalhealthfoundation.net/Peninsula CatWorks (cats only), www.peninsulacatworks.org
COLORADOMax Fund, maxfund.orgHarrison Memorial Animal Hospital, www.hmah.org
CONNECTICUTConnecticut Humane Society Fox Veterinary Clinic, cthumane.org/site/PageServer?pagename=About_Fox
MARYLAND/WASHINGTON, D.C.Washington Animal Rescue League, warl.org
MASSACHUSETTSAlliance For Animals Metro Action Clinic, afaboston.org/clinic.htm Massachusettes SPCA (Provides financial assistance for pet owners receiving services at one of its three medical centers, mspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=AAMC_Boston_Financial_Assistance):
Angell Memorial Animal Hospital-Boston350 South Huntington Ave. Boston, MA 02130617-522-7282
Angell Animal Medical Center-Nantucket21 Crooked LaneNantucket, MA 02554508-228-1491
Angell Animal Medical Center-Western New England171 Union St.Springfield, MA 01105413-785-1221
The Sampson FundPO Box 1756Orleans, MA 02653sampsonfund.orgThe fund is to benefit companion animals of Cape Cod and the adjacent Islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.
MICHIGANMichigan Humane Society maintains three veterinary clinics:michiganhumane.org
DetroitMHS Detroit Center for Animal CareVeterinary Center:7401 Chrysler DriveDetroit, MI 48211313-872-0004
Rochester HillsMHS Rochester Hills Center for Animal CareVeterinary Center:3600 W. Auburn RoadRochester Hills, MI 48309248-852-7424
WestlandMHS Berman Center for Animal CareVeterinary Center:900 N. Newburgh RoadWestland, MI 48185734-721-4195
NEVADAShakespeare Animal, shakespeareanimalfund.org
NEW JERSEYSave U.S. Pets Foundation (Veterinarian must apply on behalf of pet owner), www.saveuspets.org
NEW YORKNY S.A.V.E Inc., nysave.org/index_2.html ALL 4 PETS, all4petswny.org (Limited to Western New York)
NORTH CAROLINAAshley's Angel Fund, ashleyfund.org/
OREGONThe Bearen Foundation, bearenfoundation.org/funding.htm
PENNSYLVANIAAnimal Care & Assistance Fund, http://www.animalcarefund.orgThe Animal Rescue of Western PA, animalrescue.org/Clinic.htm The Humane Society of Berks County Veterinary Hospital, berkshumane.org/vets/vets_services.asp RHODE ISLANDRIVMA Companion Animal Foundation, companionanimalfoundation.org
TEXASTexas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine "The Capper and Chris Save the Animals Fund," cvm.tamu.edu/capperchris/index.shtml
Organizations Offering Assistance Programs for Senior, Disabled or Ill Pet OwnersCALIFORNIAVoice for the Animals Foundation, Helping Friends Program, http://vftafoundation.orgAniMeals Helen Woodward Animal Center, animalcenter.org/animeals/ SF SPCA Animal Hospital, sfspca.org/hospital/index.shtml SHARE Marin Humane Society, marinhumanesociety.org/ProgramsServices/SHARE.htmlPAWS San Diego, pawssdc.org/PALS - Pets Are Loving Support, http://sonic.net/~pals/index.htmlPAWS Los Angeles, pawsla.org/PAWS San Francisco, pawssf.org
CONNECTICUTManchester Area Network on AIDS AID-A-PET, mana-ct.net/Aid-A-Pet.html
GEORGIAPALS - Pets Are Loving Support, palsatlanta.org
HAWAIIHawaiian Humane Society: PALS Program, hawaiianhumane.org/programs/pals/
MASSACHUSETTSPhinney's Friends (MSPCA), mspca.org/phinneysfriends
MICHIGANPet Support Services, petsupportmi.org/
NEVADAShakespeare Animal, shakespeareanimalfund.org.
NEW JERSEYPetPALS of Southern New Jersey, petfinder.com/shelters/NJ151.html
NEW YORKHumane Society of Lollypop Farm, lollypop.org/orgMain.asp?ssid=&storyID=105&orgID=14&sid
PENNSYLVANIAPittsburgh PAWS (Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force), andrew.cmu.edu/user/natashat/PAWS/
TEXAS SPCA of Texas, spca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=programs_socialservices_2004#petomeals UTAHPet Samaritan Fund, www.petsamaritan.org
WASHINGTONPet Project: Seattle-King County Humane Society, seattlehumane.org/petproject.shtml and seattlehumane.org/foodbank.shtml Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine Good Samaritan Fund, www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-prd/GoodSam
CANADAPet Program (Toronto PWA Foundation), pwatoronto.org/what.htm#pets
For more information, visit cdc.gov/healthypets/resources/local_organizations.htm.