10 Groups Eager To Help Cover Your Pet’s Healthcare Costs

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Discover a network of pet-loving philanthropists ready to ease your pet's medical bills.
Updated April 9, 2024
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Pets are great additions to your family, but caring for them also costs money. You have everyday expenses like food and potentially big one-time expenses for medical issues. 

It can also be daunting to see those medical bills and wonder how you can pay them. You may even need to find ways to make extra money to cover them.

Fortunately, these organizations can help you if you’re struggling with payments for your favorite pets.

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Check with your vet

Basicdog/Adobe veterinarian examines a cute little cat

If you can’t afford the cost of caring for your pet, your first move is to contact your veterinarian.

The vet may offer to do several things, such as create a payment plan or reduce the amount you owe for a particular procedure or medical issue. The office may also put you in contact with organizations that can help you cut down on costs.

Working with your pet’s medical provider could be similar to checking with your medical providers to find ways to reduce your costs. Give it a shot if you’re struggling financially.

The Pet Fund

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The Pet Fund allows you to apply for financial assistance and will review your case to decide if your pet qualifies for additional assistance.

Check out The Pet Fund’s website for details on how to apply for assistance. You will need to provide proof of income, a cost estimate of the procedure, and contact information for your veterinarian in order to have your application considered.

Waggle

Monika Wisniewska/Adobe working with dog at home

Crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe are often used to help pay medical expenses, and not surprisingly, there’s also a pet version for your furry friends.

Waggle allows you to set up an account with your pet’s information to crowdfund medical procedures, general care, and other medical issues your pets may face.

The service may also connect directly to your vet clinic to make it easy to pass any funding to cover your pet’s bills.

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Frankie’s Friends

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Check out Frankie’s Friends, a charitable pet foundation that has been caring for pets for more than 20 years.

You can apply for funding for immediate care through the Frankie’s Friends program and get up to $2,000 in grant money to help care for your pet.

The money can go to pets that have already been diagnosed, need specialized treatment, and have a good prognosis from medical professionals.

Pet Help Finder

StratfordProductions/Adobe woman working at home using laptop

Not sure where to start looking for help? Try Pet Help Finder to figure out your next steps.

Pet Help Finder can help you find veterinarians, boarding facilities, and food supplies using your city, state, and Zip code.

You can also use Pet Help Finder for non-medical issues, such as if you need food assistance for your pets or have to board them but don’t have the funds.

Local veterinary colleges

andrey_orlov/Adobe medical students in the classroom

You might not realize that there are free or cheap options in your area at your local schools.

Veterinary colleges and programs may have a free or cheap option for you to bring your pets in to be seen by students who are training to become veterinarians or vet techs. Some veterinarians may need your pets as training tools for the next generation of doctors.

Do some research on the accredited veterinary colleges in your area to see if taking your pet to a vet program could be an affordable option for you.

Pets of the Homeless

Photography by Adri/Adobe senior dog at Border Collie rescue

Pets of the Homeless may be an option for a pet owner who doesn’t have a home.

The program allows for emergency veterinary care for pets belonging to owners who are experiencing homelessness.

The organization also provides everyday items such as food and veterinary services to keep pets healthy as companions for those struggling with housing and other financial issues.

Local shelters

Cavan/Adobe teen and cat at a shelter

Your local animal shelter may not just be a place for animals hoping to be adopted. Your local shelter or rescue group may have a fund set up specifically for medical care.

If you’re struggling to care for your pet, check with your shelter or rescue group to find out if they offer medical assistance for local pet families in the community and what kind of assistance they can provide.

Be aware that what kind of assistance you qualify for can vary from place to place, so make sure you get details from local organizations.

Bond’s Fund

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Bond’s Fund specifically helps owners who may have pets with eye issues that can’t be treated due to financial problems.

The fund is administered through Frankie’s Friends and provides grants to cover the cost of specialty eye care that may be difficult for owners to pay for.

You have to apply for assistance, which includes having your pet seen by a licensed veterinary ophthalmologist as part of the process.

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Joshua Louis Animal Cancer Fund

Seventyfour/Adobe veterinarian making injection at labrador

Another program administered by Frankie’s Friends is the Joshua Louis Animal Cancer Fund, which focuses specifically on animals with cancer.

The fund helps owners with pets diagnosed with cancer and have a good prognosis for their outcome.

Funds are paid directly to the veterinarian treating your pet and can cover lifesaving cancer treatments for your pets.

Bottom line

didesign/Adobe veterinary examining dog

It can be tough sometimes to pay for your pet’s medical expenses, but there are organizations that can help cover the cost.

You can also shop around for pet insurance and look for the best option for your pet’s needs. Or, use the rewards credit cards to help cover costs and earn points you can redeem elsewhere.

It’s also a good idea to save money in your emergency fund that can specifically cover the potential cost of treatment for your pets.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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