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Get Help With Vet Bills: Updated for 2020

by John Symonds
dog that needs help from vet

Much like healthcare costs for humans, the prices for veterinary services are rising quickly. According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent more than $18 Billion on veterinary care in 2018, and with that number growing by around 5% each year it will reach almost $20 Billion in 2020. So when your furry family member falls ill or needs surgery, it can be tough to find ways to pay for medicines or procedures. Fortunately there are several organizations determined to help with vet bills, and we've got an updated list for 2020.

How To Get Help With Veterinary Bills

It's a good idea to ask your veterinarian if they offer payment plans or reductions in the bill based on your financial situation. Spreading the cost out over a period of time can help, or in other cases vets might offer a discount if you can pay in cash up front. But in the end, if you still need help paying vet bills, you can check out the following resources.

Organizations And Charities That Help With Vet Bills

1. FreeFunder

FreeFunder lets individuals create free fundraising pages in minutes, and will donate up to $70 to your pet crowdfunding campaign based on shares! Fill out some information and details about your pet and why you are raising funds, and your fundraiser can be available and shareable immediately. People have raised more than $3 million for personal causes on FreeFunder.

2. The Pet Fund

The Pet Fund is a nonprofit organization that helps owners of pets in the US with non-basic, non-urgent veterinary care. This means things like cancer treatment, heart disease, chronic conditions, etc. They cannot help with basic care (like spaying/neutering) or with urgent care (like broken legs, diagnostic testing).

3. Paws 4 A Cure

Paws 4 A Cure helps pet owners pay for veterinary care for their cats and dogs with illnesses and injury treatment. They will provide a grant of up to $500 for approved applications, and do not cover basic care like spaying and neutering.

4. Brown Dog Foundation

Brown Dog Foundation helps people in situations where they have a sick pet that would likely respond to treatment, but whose owners do not have enough money immediately available to pay for vet services.

5. Frankie's Friends

Frankie's Friends Fund helps families pay for lifesaving emergency or specialty veterinary care for their pets. It mainly provides assistance when the pet would otherwise suffer, be euthanized, or be given to a shelter if proper veterinary care is not provided. They provide grants up to $1,000.

6. Red Rover Relief

Red Rover Relief Urgent Care grant provides small grants, typically around $200, to help fill the gap in funding when a pet needs care but the owner is short on funds.

7. The Mosby Foundation (Dogs)

Specifically helping with the care costs of dogs, The Mosby Foundation has three programs available: Critical care, Cancer Treatment, and Spay/Neuter services. They do not provide funds for diagnostics, routine care, or treatment that has already been performed.

8. Handicapped Pets Foundation

The Handicapped Pets Foundation is a non-profit corporation that donates new or reconditioned wheelchairs to elderly, disabled, and injured pets in need.

9. The Onyx and Breezy Foundation

The Onyx and Breezy Foundation assists in funding medical equipment, research, and medical treatment for pets in need. They require that you first apply for Care Credit (see below) and they do not cover medical debts.

10. Dylan's Hearts

Dylan's Hearts provides financial assistance for pets in need of treatment for a variety of situations. The attending veterinarian must submit the application, and money is paid directly to the vet.

11. Live Like Roo Foundation (Dogs w/Cancer)

Sarah Lauch founded The Live Like Roo Foundation to honor Roosevelt, her rescue dog who died from cancer. It provides grants of $500-$1,500 for dogs with a confirmed cancer diagnosis.

12. Magic Bullet Fund (Cancer)

Magic Bullet Fund provides financial assistance for owners of pets with cancer. The pet must have already been seen and diagnosed by your veterinarian, and you must have already given the vet permission to talk to Magic Bullet Fund about your pet. If approved, Magic Bullet Fund will create a fundraising page on your behalf, and funds raised are sent to your veterinarian. Don't forget, you could create your own vet bill fundraiser immediately here.

13. Joshua Louis Animal Cancer Foundation (Cancer)

The Joshua Louis Animal Cancer Foundation works to find cures and help pets with life-threatening illnesses, including cancer. The foundation partnered with Frankie's Friends to handle applications and assistance.

14. Diabetic Cats in Need

Diabetic Cats In Need helps cat owners manage the costs of insulin, testing supplies and some vet care for people who qualify as low-income caregivers of cats with diabetes.

Loans And Payment Plans

If you can't get approved for grants or help from the organizations listed above, but still need emergency help, you can look to loans and credit from these companies.

15. CareCredit

CareCredit provides a credit card that can be used for routine veterinary services as well as larger emergencies and surgeries.

16. ScratchPay

ScratchPay provides a loan to pay for larger vet bill costs, and depending on how quickly you pay it off, may not have any interest. If you pay the loan back quickly, you can avoid extra costs from interest owed, but if you take longer to pay it off you will end up paying interest fees.

Start A Fundraiser Either Way

Some applications can take time, and there is no guarantee of help. Even if you plan to apply for assistance from some or all of the providers we've listed, you can start a free fundraiser to start raising money immediately. FreeFunder will give you access to your funds right away, whether you meet your goals or not. This means every dollar counts toward relief, whether you raise $50 or $5,000!

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FreeFunder Works!

When a beloved veterinarian from Butler, PA received news that a portion of his treatment costs for a life-threatening disease would not be covered by Boston Medical Centre it was time to turn to crowdfunding. Aubrey Kornrumpf, the office assistant for Dr. Denis Daman, created a free fundraising campaign on FreeFunder. Aubrey set a goal of $8,000, which was enough to cover the housing costs that Dr. Daman was suddenly expected to cover.

Within 5 days, the campaign had already raised more than $10,000. By the end of the campaign, more than $14,000 was raised to cover the housing costs as well as food and incidentals.

"Thanks to your generosity, Doc was able to begin his treatments on September 15th... Because of the beautiful hearts of every person who donated here, Doc and Mrs. Daman were not only able to get the housing he needed, but his daily transportation needs are now being met ...In short, those who donated here played a very real part in saving Dr. Daman's life, and repaying the debt to him for his life's work saving others. Needless to say, Dr. Daman is completely overwhelmed by this outpouring of support, and by the realization that his life's work has meant so much to so many. Thank you all, so very much." - Aubrey Kornrumpf

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