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Need Emergency Help With Vet Bills? 15 Sources of Relief

Veterinarian wrapping bandage around a dog's leg
Paige Kutilek
|5 min read

Financial Assistance

If your beloved pet gets in an accident, falls ill, or receives a scary diagnosis, you’ll do your best to make sure they get the best care possible. Then, once your furry friend is in recovery, you breathe a sigh of relief—until the bill arrives. Sound familiar?

In 2016, American pet owners spent more than $15 billion on veterinary care. Routine visits to the vet run dog owners an average of $231 each year and $193 for cat owners. When pets required surgical care, those yearly vet bills increase to $621 for dogs and $382 for cats.

Those numbers aren’t small by any means. Even if your pet has health insurance, it isn’t uncommon to find yourself needing help with unexpected veterinary bills.

Where to get help with veterinary bills

First, talk to your veterinarian about options for reducing your bill. Some veterinary offices can help by creating payment plans to spread out your expenses. Your vet might also offer cash discounts.

Many pet owners have started crowdfunding to raise money for their pet’s medical expenses. So keep up the fight for your fluffier counterparts, and let pet fundraising help you get them the medical attention they need to be back to normal in no time.

If you still need help, here’s a list of 15 organizations dedicated to helping you financially through your pet’s recovery.

Organizations that help with vet bills

1. Paws 4 A Cure

This organization helps cats and dogs regardless of breed, age, or diagnosis. Pet “parents” with a limited ability to pay for care may qualify for assistance with vet bills.

2. The Big Hearts Fund

If your pet receives a heart disease diagnosis, The Big Hearts Fund wants to help. It offers help with vet bills, resources on what to feed pets with heart issues, and options for veterinary cardiology.

3. GoFundMe

Consider turning to crowdfunding when you need help paying vet bills. GoFundMe is the world’s largest online fundraising platform because they believe in turning compassion into action. You can raise money to pay for your pet’s medical expenses without having to worry about a platform fee.

4. CareCap

If you’re interested in setting up a payment plan for vet bills, CareCap can help. Once you and your vet sign up, the insurer creates a custom payment plan based on your budget. Note: CareCap charges a 1% fee each month.

5. The Pet Fund

This nonprofit organization aims to help pet owners pay for non-basic, non-urgent care for chronic conditions, heart disease, and cancer. If your pet needs such care, you can receive vet bill assistance.

6. Brown Dog Foundation

If your pet is diagnosed with an illness and likely to respond well to treatment, but you don’t have the funds available to cover the vet bill, turn to the Brown Dog Foundation. It was created to help pets whose families aren’t able to do so themselves.

7. God’s Creatures Ministry

This organization wants people to treat all animals with kindness. It supports that mission by providing financial help to pet owners facing veterinary bills.

8. United States Department of Veterans Affairs

If you’re a veteran with a service dog, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs will cover the cost of veterinary care, along with any equipment related to the service that dog provides. Veterans Affairs doesn’t cover unrelated costs such as over-the-counter medications or flea treatments.

puppy on woman's shoulders

9. Joshua Louis Animal Cancer Foundation

This nonprofit organization focuses on raising awareness and funds for animals with cancer. When pet owners are unable to cover treatment themselves, the foundation can help with financial support.

10. Diabetic Cats in Need

This organization offers financial aid for insulin, helps find new homes for unwanted cats with diabetes, and starts local rescue programs to help diabetic cats get adopted.

11. Magic Bullet Fund

For those financially unprepared to pay for their dog’s cancer treatment, this nonprofit aims to close the gap. Magic Bullet Fund will foot from $600 to $6,000 of the cost of canine cancer treatment.

12. The Mosby Foundation

Since 2003, this organization has been working to help neglected, sick, and abused dogs. Dog owners can apply to have procedures and treatments covered. However, the foundation cannot help with vet bills you’ve already incurred.

13. Handicapped Pets Foundation

This organization’s mission is simple: to provide disabled, injured, and elderly pets with wheelchairs. Its gift of mobility helps these pets stay active.

14. The Onyx & Breezy Foundation

This nonprofit organization was born out of the memory of two beloved dogs, Onyx and Breezy. Their memory lives on, helping other dogs live happy lives through funding for spay and neuter programs, rescuing animals from kill shelters, support for cancer research, and much more.

15. RedRover Relief Grants

In the event of an emergency, this organization offers immediate financial assistance for veterinary care, with grants usually between $150 to $200. RedRover responds to applications within two business days.

At GoFundMe, we’re here to help

Beyond turning to these generous organizations, we encourage you to consider using our free crowdfunding platform. GoFundMe is the #1 and most trusted free fundraising platform in the world. We believe in turning compassion into action. Launch a free fundraiser and let those who love your pet lend a hand.

Start a vet bill fundraiser

Paige Kutilek

About Paige Kutilek

I'm keen on creating meaningful and thoughtful content that will have an impact. I'm a dedicated individual with a creative touch who is always eager to learn more. Lover of cats, avocados, and tea.

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