Pet Financial Assistance Resources

person, who is receiving some pet financial assistance during a difficult time in her life, with her pug

The following is a comprehensive list of pet financial assistance resources that can help with vet bills and other financial aid for pets.


Table of contents:

National programs for pet financial aid

State programs for help with vet bills
Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California: Los Angeles area | California: Other areas | Colorado | Connecticut | Idaho | Illinois | Iowa | Massachusetts | Michigan | New Jersey | New York | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | Tennessee | Utah | Virginia | Washington | Washington, D.C. | Wisconsin

State programs for seniors, people with disabilities, and people who are ill
California | Florida | Georgia | Illinois | Michigan | New Jersey | New York | Virginia | Washington | Washington, D.C.

Dog breed-specific resources

Disease-specific resources

Resources for those with assistance dogs

Resources for animal welfare groups

Other possible sources of pet financial assistance


Finding help with vet bills

Vet care can be expensive. If your pet needs a medical procedure that you can't afford, there are organizations that might be able to help. Some tips and limitations:

  • Be aware that few, if any, organizations will pay for ongoing medication that pets will need for extended periods of time.
  • It is unlikely that any one organization or program will pay for expensive procedures in their entirety. So be sure to contact as many sources as possible. The grants might be very small, but they can add up if you get help from multiple sources.
  • Try negotiating with your veterinary clinic for a better price or the ability to finance the cost of care over time. Also, consider getting price comparisons from other providers. CareCredit provides financing for veterinary care; check its website to see whether you qualify.
  • If possible, contact any possible sources of pet financial assistance before procedures are done. Few sources are willing to pay bills for care that has already been provided.
  • Most organizations take applications only through email or online forms. If you aren 't computer-savvy, find a friend, relative, or neighbor to help you.
  • The inclusion of services, organizations, or programs listed below is NOT an endorsement or recommendation. We cannot vouch for these programs, and you should check them out yourself before asking for their aid.

Lil Bit, a black and white cat wearing a collar, lying down and looking at the camera

National programs for pet financial aid

  • RedRover (formerly United Animal Nations) works to bring animals from crisis to care and to strengthen the bond between people and animals.
  • The Pet Fund provides financial assistance to people with pets who need vet care. They also provide information about preventive care, pet insurance programs, and financial services to help prevent future emergencies. Note: All applicants are required to contact the Pet Fund by phone at 916-443-6007 before applying for funding. Emergency funding is not available. The Pet Fund has a waiting list for those needing non-basic, non-emergency care. There are links for other funding organizations on Pet Fund's website.
  • Paws 4 A Cure is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides pet financial assistance throughout the United States to those who cannot afford veterinary care for their beloved pets. Paws 4 A Cure helps dogs and cats with all illnesses and injuries and does not discriminate against breed, age, or diagnosis. Please visit the Ask For Help page to read the guidelines and policies.
  • The mission of the Pet Lifeline Program is to help provide pet financial assistance to people who are struggling to cover their veterinary bills. The program is exclusively for non-basic, non-urgent care cases only. Go to the Pet News Daily website for more details.

State programs for help with vet bills

Alaska

Arizona

  • Animal Aid Network's SAVE fund provides assistance for medical emergencies in the Valley Verde area. People are required to sign a contract stating they will pay back the money so that treatment for other animals can be funded. Funds must be approved prior to treatment.

Arkansas

California: Los Angeles area

  • Actors and Others for Animals is a Southern California community-based organization serving the greater Los Angeles area. Among other services, the organization provides financial assistance for emergency medical procedures for those of limited income. Call 818-755-6045.
  • Mercy Crusade in Oxnard offers low-cost veterinary exams. Call 818-597-2926.
  • Holiday Humane Society is a private hospital that offers some of the lowest-cost services in Los Angeles. It covers basic procedures only. Call 818-765-8196.
  • Pet Orphans offers a program for individual rescuers that helps primarily with spay/neuter, vaccinations, and adoption events. They also have a Good Samaritan Fund to assist with medical emergencies, as funds are available.
  • The Sam Simon Foundation provides low-cost or free non-orthopedic surgeries to low-income residents of Los Angeles.
  • Voice for the Animals Foundation Helping Friends Program helps seniors and people with disabilities, terminal illnesses, or fixed incomes to take care of their pets.

Brown pit-bull-terrier-type dog with upright ears being petted on the head by a person

California: Other areas

Colorado

  • Boulder Valley: The Humane Society of the Boulder Valley's CARE program provides medical care and spay/neuter surgeries at a discount to low-income clients. Call 303-442-4030, ext 680.
  • Colorado Springs: Harley's Hope Foundation provides financial assistance with major, emergency, and specialty veterinary care; financial assistance with behavioral training; short-term for care for animals living with people who are temporarily incapacitated; and other services.

Connecticut

Idaho

Illinois

  • Chicago: The Anti-Cruelty Society provides veterinary services to low-income people with pets in the Chicago area.
  • Spay Illinois has a program called Project Families Forever that provides sliding-scale coverage for spay/neuter surgery, preventive care, and in some cases emergency care.

Iowa

  • The Brown Dog Foundation provides financial assistance to low-income residents of Illinois, Iowa, and Tennessee to help offset the cost of veterinary emergencies and treatment of chronic conditions.

Massachusetts

Michigan

  • The Michigan Humane Society operates three clinics and provides services to residents of Detroit, Rochester Hills, and Westland.

New Jersey

Black cat wearing a red collar peeking out from behind two boards

New York

  • Monroe, Livingston, Genesee, Wyoming, Erie, Niagara, and Orleans counties: All 4 Pets West New York provides one-time grants to pay for medical care for pets whose people are not able to pay due to low income, personal crisis, or disaster.

Oregon

  • Portland: The Velvet Financial Assistance Fund, a program of Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital, provides emergency vet care for people with low income. Applicants must first apply for and use funds through CareCredit. The maximum amount is $750 per applicant.
  • Lane County: Pro-Bone-O is a nonprofit organization that provides free veterinary services for the pets of people who are homeless or living in distressed conditions.

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

  • Volunteer Services for Animals (VSA) is an organization of volunteers dedicated to animal well-being and the promotion of the human-animal bond through programs of education, advocacy, and assistance. VSA provides financial assistance to people for veterinary care. Call 401-273-0358.
  • RIVMA's Companion Animal Foundation provides financial assistance to help cover the cost of veterinary care. Its website also features a list of agencies in Rhode Island that offer financial assistance to people in need.

Tennessee

  • The Brown Dog Foundation provides financial assistance to low-income residents of Illinois, Iowa, and Tennessee to help offset the cost of veterinary emergencies and treatment of chronic conditions.

Utah

  • Salt Lake County and surrounding area: Pet Samaritan Fund provides financial assistance to individuals unable to afford medical care for their pets.

Virginia

  • Loudoun County: Companion Animal Resource Effort (CARE) provides temporary assistance to residents of Loudoun County who are temporarily unable to afford to provide veterinary care for their companion animals.

Washington

  • Lewis, Mason, and Thurston counties: Concern for Animals provides financial assistance for spay/neuter and emergency vet care.

Washington, D.C.

  • Humane Rescue Alliance provides reduced-cost veterinary care and low-cost or free spay/neuter for pets of people with low income.

Wisconsin

  • Milwaukee/Ozaukee County: The Wisconsin Humane Society provides veterinary care at a reduced cost for low-income residents.

Brown tabby in a sunbeam, lying down on the top of a cat tree

State programs for seniors, people with disabilities, and people who are ill

California

  • San Diego: Helen Woodward Animal Center's AniMeals program offers free pet food for the dogs and cats of seniors and people with disabilities throughout San Diego County.
  • Sonoma County: Pets Are Loving Support provides services to help people with HIV/AIDS keep their pets as long as possible.

Florida

Georgia

  • Atlanta: Pets Are Loving Support provides free food, basic veterinary care, and support to the pets of seniors and those who are critically ill or disabled.

Illinois

  • Chicago: Blessed Bonds provides help for people with pets when they are experiencing physical problems that make daily pet care difficult.

Michigan

  • Detroit: The Michigan Humane Society provides low-cost veterinary care, a food bank and other services to help people care for their companion and service animals.

New Jersey

  • Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem counties: PetPALS of Southern New Jersey provides services to the animal companions of people living with terminal, chronic, or debilitating illness, as well as seniors with financial needs.

New York

Virginia

  • Loudoun County: C.A.R.E. is dedicated to providing people in need with financial assistance, goods, and services to enhance the quality of life for their companion animals while keeping pets in loving, caring homes. They provide assistance to seniors, as well as those who are seriously ill, injured, or in a situation where they cannot afford to care for their pets.

Washington

  • King County: The Seattle Humane Society provides services that help people maintain a lifelong commitment to their pets. Low-income seniors can receive a supplemental supply of pet food and people with AIDS can receive pet food, supplies, grooming, and veterinary care.

Washington, D.C.

  • PETS-DC is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people living with HIV/AIDS or other disabling conditions and their companion pets. They provide public health education, exercise, pet food, veterinary care, grooming, foster care, and adoption services at no cost.

Dog breed-specific resources

If you have a specific dog breed, contact the national club for that breed. In some cases, these clubs offer a veterinary financial assistance fund. To find the national club for your breed, try searching online using the following criteria: "breed + national club" (for example: "standard poodle + national club").

Here are some websites for groups that provide financial assistance for specific dog breeds:

Disease-specific resources

Cancer

  • The Magic Bullet Fund provides financial assistance for tumor removal and certain types of chemotherapy for lymphoma.
  • The Animal Cancer Therapy Subsidization Society is dedicated to bringing affordable modern veterinary cancer treatment to veterinary cancer patients in Alberta, Canada. They provide subsidies to people with pets, as well as educate the public and veterinarians on the availability, uses, and benefits of advanced cancer therapies in the treatment of veterinary cancers.
  • The Live Like Roo Foundation offers grants, care packages, special experiences, and more to help pets and their families get through cancer diagnoses.

Lymphoma

  • Frankie's Friends is a nonprofit offering financial assistance for veterinary specialty or lifesaving emergency care for pets.

Large, brown, curly haired terrier mix dog lying on the ground with his mouth open

Resources for those with assistance dogs

  • The International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) has established an emergency veterinary fund to provide financial aid to U.S. IAADP partner members whose assistance dogs require high-cost veterinary intervention beyond their ability to pay.
  • The California Department of Social Services Assistance Dog Special Allowance (ADSA) Program provides a monthly payment of $50 to eligible individuals who use a guide, signal, or service dog to help them with needs related to their physical disabilities. The allowance is to help pay the costs of food, grooming, and health care for the dogs. This program, available only to residents of California, will provide these funds monthly toward the care of registered service dogs. Call 916-657-2628.

Resources for animal welfare groups

  • The Second Chance Fund, operated by the American Humane Association, financially assists agencies that rescue, care for, and rehome abused or neglected animals. (To qualify, your organization must be a member of the American Humane Association.)

Orange and white short-haired cat lying on the bottom of a cat tree

Other possible sources of pet financial assistance

  • Most veterinary schools treat pets at a reduced cost. The American Veterinary Medical Association can help you locate accredited vet schools.
  • Decorate a few donation coin cans with an appealing photo of your pet and a brief explanation that money is needed for medical care. Ask your veterinarian if you can put one in the office. Put one out on your desk at work, and ask a friend or two to do the same. This sounds old-fashioned, but it really works!
  • A small fundraiser, such as a yard sale or bake sale, can raise significant funds if it is well planned. Ask friends and neighbors to help; it usually takes just a couple of people to pull it off. Some tips:
    • Yard sale: Ask neighbors, family, co-workers, and friends to contribute items. The event can be publicized in the local newspapers and by posting flyers around town. You'll need a place to store the items, and there is some time involved in planning, publicizing, and organizing. But a single neighborhood yard sale can raise several hundred dollars for pet financial assistance.
    • Bake sale: Another simple, low-risk way to raise money is to organize a bake sale. Ask neighbors, family, co-workers, and friends to contribute baked items. To be successful, the bake sale must be in a high-traffic area, where many people will pass by.
  • Create a Facebook page to get the word out online about your pet's needs. 
  • Consider purchasing pet insurance for your pets.
  • The Humane Society of the United States does not provide direct pet financial assistance, but it does information about what to do if you're having trouble affording vet care.
  • If your housing situation has changed, you can find pet-friendly rentals across the United States via Rentable. If you are facing foreclosure, please see this helpful resource about foreclosure from American Humane.
  • Search for a pet food pantry near you on pets.findhelp.com.

About Best Friends Animal Society: A leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends runs the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals, as well as lifesaving programs in collaboration with thousands of partners nationwide working to Save Them All.

Join us to Save Them All