Hello, fellow feline fanciers! Skye Blake here, finding ways to help with your vet bills.
Now that you’ve learned how to deal with vet bills and payment options available to you, let’s take a look at charities and other organizations that contribute to emergency and serious illness costs for your cat.
If you have a financial advisor, review your individual situation with him to be sure these options work for you.
The information here is for general knowledge… always see your vet with questions about your cat’s individual needs.
- Things to Know About Charities
- National or International Vet Bill Aid Groups
- Regional Financial Aid Organizations
- Local Animal Charities That Help With Vet Bills
- Who Is Skye Blake?
- List of Sources
Things to Know About Charities
Charities are organizations created to help people in times of crisis and need.
There are always more requests than money available, so most distribute the money as best they can among as many people as possible.
Most charities will contribute, if they can, toward part of a bill, but not pay the entire thing.
Some require proof of need or use of a particular veterinary service, so be prepared and understand what the requirements are for each charity.
Once you’re back on your feet financially, consider paying it forward by giving to the groups who helped you so they can give to others who need help with vet bills.
Charities can be local, regional, statewide, or national.
Start with this list… it’s not comprehensive but is a good starting point.
All groups listed work with cats.
National or International Vet Bill Aid Groups
Banfield programs are for immediate, life-threatening situations.
They don’t pay the entire amount and treatment must be done at a Banfield Vet Hospital, which are often inside or attached to PetSmart pet stores.
Contact your local Banfield Vet Hospital for more information.
Brown Dog Foundation is a small organization whose funds go first to “bridge the gap” for pets with life-threatening problems.
Even if they can’t help financially, they offer guidance and can refer you to lower cost alternatives.
Dogs On Deployment is a special group specifically dedicated to caring for pets of active military members.
“Our mission is to give military members peace of mind concerning their pets during their service commitments by providing them with the ability to find people and resources able to help them.”1 Dogs On Deployment
Findhelp.org is a site you can search.
Just enter your zip code (top left of page), then search “Animal Welfare” for organizations that help with various animal costs.
Frankie’s Friends is one of the few foundations in the U.S. that funds specialty, as well as emergency, treatment for pets.
This includes cancer for cats who have a good prognosis for return to a good quality of life for a reasonable period of time.
They fund treatment only, not exams, diagnostic tests, spay/neuter, euthanasia, etc.
“The heart of our mission is to keep diabetic cats in their original, loving homes, regardless of the income level of their caregivers.
We support diabetic cats in their original, adoptive, shelter, and rescue homes; help to rehome unwanted diabetic cats; and help to educate caregivers on the appropriate treatment of diabetic cats.“
2 <mfn>Diabetic Cats in Need</mfn>
Harley’s Hope Foundation helps Colorado residents with vet bills.
Check the Humane Society’s site for shelters since they can have information about local programs that help with vet bills.
Enter your zip code and choose “shelter” in the first dropdown field.
Live Like Roo “provides financial assistance to help cover healthcare costs related to cancer treatment in the form of grants, ranging from $500 – $1500 per qualified applicant and are awarded on a monthly basis after a complete review of this application and the relevant medical records.”3 Live Like Roo
Molly’s Hope helps pay vet bills in emergency situations to prevent euthanizing a pet simply because the family can’t afford treatment.
Paws 4 A Cure helps dogs and cats with all illnesses and injuries regardless of breed, age, or diagnosis.
The Pet Fund® works only on non-basic, non-urgent care.
This includes cancer treatment, heart disease, chronic conditions, endocrine diseases, eye diseases, etc.
RedRover helps low-income people and survivors of domestic violence care for their pets.
This includes resource information and financial help.
Tripawds ASAP Fund helps pay vet bills for amputation surgery.
Regional Financial Aid Organizations
There are many regional organizations, a few of which are listed here…
Actors and Others for Animals is a “Non-Profit Corporation Dedicated to the Humane Treatment of Animals, Spay and Neuter Assistance for Greater Los Angeles and Surrounding Counties”.5 Actors and Others for Animals
The Animal Foundation provides high quality, low-cost spay/neuter clinic in Las Vegas and the surrounding area.
“ASPCA®” is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®.
Most people have heard of them since they’ve existed since 1866 and is the first animal humane society in North America.
They now have a program in New York City for free or low-cost spay/neuter.
Companion Bridge provides resources and limited funding for residents of Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey.
BirchBark Foundation serves pet owners in San Benito, Santa Cruz or Monterey Counties, California, who get the initial exam at one of the vets who partner with them.
This site gives information about Maryland’s spay and neuter grants program for local governments and non-profit animal welfare organizations, who then offer free spay/neuter to the public.
STARelief and Pet Assistance, located in Stamford, Connecticut, provides help for all pets in that state.
“STARelief’s programs are designed to save pets’ lives, assist families in need, reduce the number of pets entering shelters, and advocate for responsible pet ownership.”6 STARelief and Pet Assistance
Shakespeare Animal Fund covers certain areas of Nevada.
“Shakespeare Animal Fund provides the essential funding to ensure that our community’s elderly, disabled, returning veterans, and low income families will not have to put down or say goodbye to a suffering pet because they can’t afford to pay for emergency care. “7 Shakespeare Animal Fund
Local Animal Charities That Help With Vet Bills
If you’re looking for local animal charities, rescues or shelters that offer no or low-cost spay/neuter programs or other help with vet bills, search online for something like “animal shelters in my area” or “spay neuter clinics [or programs] in my area”.
You could also try “animal [or pet] charities in my area”.
Who Is Skye Blake?
Skye Blake, Cat Info Detective, is a curious cat researcher (not a veterinarian or financial advisor) who sniffs out expert, reliable sources about cats, studies their information, then passes it on to you!
Sometimes there’s not enough evidence for easy answers, so Skye gives you all sides, explains the situation as thoroughly and clearly as possible, and links you to experts on each page.
All sources are at the bottom of each page so you can do more snooping.
Curious about feline health and vets? Check out “Cat Health“.
Sources used on this website are either primary or secondary.
Primary sources are always preferable and have the most reliable information because they’re original and directly referenced.
Scientific abstracts and data are good examples of primary sources.
Secondary sources are weaker because they usually consist of opinions or articles that give no sources of their own.
However, sometimes they refer to primary sources.
When I use secondary sources, most are those with some authority, such as veterinarian or cat behaviorist books and articles.
List of Sources
“5 Easy Steps to Reduce Veterinary Expenses“, by Dr. Mike Paul, DVM, Pet Health Network, December 21, 2014
“5 Ways to Cover Rising Veterinary Costs (mercola.com)“, Analysis by Dr. Karen Shaw Becker, December 27, 2020
“5 Ways to Pay for Vet Costs“, by Sarah Wooten, DVM, PetMD, Updated November 03, 2020, Published: September 11, 2018
“7 Overpriced Veterinary Costs and How to Avoid Them“, by Deb Hipp, Debt.com, December 6, 2019
“9 ways to get cheap or free vet care for your pet“, MoneyTalks News, CBS News, September 9, 2016
“10 Ways to Save Money on Veterinary Bills (Without Compromising Your Pet’s Health) – MoneyPantry“, by Lauren Todd – Last Updated November 8, 2018
“13 Costs of Owning a Cat“, by Rivan V. Stinson, October 29, 2020
“13 Ways to Save Money on Veterinary Bills”, by Erin Huffstetler, The Spruce Pets, Updated January 31, 2020
ASPCA – “ASPCA Announces Major Commitment to Help Vulnerable Animals and Low-Income Pet Owners”, ASPCA.com, June 18, 2019
“Financial assistance for veterinary care costs“, American Veterinary Medical Association (avma.org)
“Cost of Veterinary Care“, updated September 6, 2017
“The Costs of Responsible Cat Ownership“, by Franny Syufy, The Spruce Pets, Updated 01/05/20
“Cutting Pet Care Costs“, ASPCA
“How to Keep Your Veterinary Bills Down“, by Deborah Schoch, AARP, February 7, 2020
“How to Lower Your Veterinarian Bills for an Older Pet (aarp.org)“, by Deborah Schoch, AARP, February 7, 2020
“Pet Ownership Costs Guide for 2021“, kyleedulabs – Contributing Writer, The Simple Dollar, Last Updated: June 10, 2020
“Tips on How to Pay for Vet Bills“, AskVet
“Tripawds ASAP Fund Helps Pay for Amputation Surgery“, December 7, 2016 by Tripawds Foundation
“Vet Bill Help: 20+ Organizations That Help You Pay Veterinary Care Bills“, MoneyPantry, by Lauren Todd, Updated January 20, 2017
Updated July 16, 2023