When a loved family pet is sick and the treatment is difficult to afford, the situation can seem helpless.

It could happen to anyone: You've always managed to give your pet the medical care they deserve, but because of unexpected circumstances, you're faced with vet expenses that are far beyond your ability to afford them.

No owner wants a pet to suffer because medical care is out of reach.  Financial aid is out there, and there are steps you can take to cover an emergency vet bill.  Here are some options for getting your pet the best care you can.


Communicate with your vet

Discuss the minimum treatment necessary 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.

Be upfront with your veterinarian about your financial restrictions.

do your research

Ask other area clinics how much they normally charge for similar treatment or request a second opinion. Costs can vary widely from clinic to clinic.

Apply for one or more grants

Besides BirchBark Foundation program, there are many other financial assistance programs available to help pet owners.  Here is a great resource for additional help: www.redrover.org/help.

Apply for a loan

Care Credit is a credit card specifically intended for health expenses, including veterinary care. Read the terms of this card carefully to make sure obtaining one will not add to your financial difficulties.

Wells Fargo Health Advantage gives pet owners the option to pay over time for a wide variety of routine and emergency care for pets.

As k for loans from your family and friends.

start fundraising

  1. Use your social network sites or other funding tools, like GoFundMeGoGetFunding, YouCaring, GiveForward, Waggleor FundRazr.
  2. Create a Community Page in Facebook, which lets you share your story and collect donations online.
  3. Find a quick way to earn money, such as having a bake sale, yard sale or car wash.
  4. Local restaurants may offer a fundraising opportunity in which a portion of a day’s sales is donated to an organization.
  5. Offer to wash floors or do other labor at the veterinary clinic in exchange for lowering the treatment cost.
  6. Post fliers or collection jars with a description of the situation and a picture of your pet at local dog parks, vet clinics, pet stores and other community gathering places.

raise awareness

  1. Contact your local newspaper or television station and ask if they would be willing to feature a story about your situation.
  2. Contact church or community organizations and explain your situation. They may be willing to help you fundraise or to raise awareness.
  3. Ask family and friends to help spread the word about your situation.
  4. If the animal is a purebred, contact that breed’s enthusiast club in your area.

Check out some more ideas here.

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