Financial Assistance, Pet Insurance, Fundraising
When faced with medical emergencies or expenses that are beyond an owner’s ability to pay, there are options to consider before giving up and putting the pet down or bringing him to a shelter.
Help is available from local sources and national sources and an owner may consider raising funds himself. It’s amazing how generous the community can be when they are presented with a serious, heartfelt request for help.
I. Organizations that offer financial assistance specifically for medical needs
II. Zero interest credit card for medical treatment and ‘discount’ services
III. Health Insurance for Pets
IV. Suggestions for owners who want to raise funds to meet their pet’s medical needs
I. Organizations that offer FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE for medical needs
Each will have its own application process and any eligibility requirements listed on their web page. You may need to apply to several places to find ONE that has the funds available and approves your request. Most will not cover the full cost of a service. Most will not reimburse your expenses, they will only pay the veterinarian directly.
**No Kill Pima County has modest funding to help with unexpected veterinary needs of pet owners in Pima County. Give us a call for more info 520-477-7401
• Brown Dog Foundation provides temporary financial assistance as an alternative to surrendering a pet to a shelter when the pet is diagnosed with a treatable, but life-threatening condition or illness. Owners must contribute at least 25% of the treatment cost. Must apply online: http://www.browndogfoundation.org/process
• The Doctor Steve Abrams Memorial Foundation-Petsavers, Inc. provides grants for sick/injured pets who would not get treatment due to financial constraints. Must be contacted by the sponsoring veterinarian. You can submit your vets name at the website to be a sponsor with them. (currently Speedway Vet Hospital is the only one in Pima County registered). Must be denied Care Credit first and have positive prognosis. https://doctorsteve.org/pet-parents-support/?
• Mosby Foundation provides non-emergency care of critically sick, injured, abused and neglected dogs through financial support and public education. Must apply online at: http://www.themosbyfoundation.org/what.html
• The Onyx & Breezy Foundation lends funding and support to pets of individuals where medical hardship is present. A fully completed application includes the Foundation Questionnaire, tax return, estimate of cost, diagnosis and prognosis, Care Credit status. http://www.onyxandbreezy.org/requesting-a-grant.html (201) 782-7400
• The Pet Fund provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need non-emergency veterinary care. Applicants are required to call before applying: (916) 443-6007 http://www.thepetfund.com/application/
• Paws 4 A Cure provides financial assistance for non-routine medical care. Must apply for CareCredit first www.carecredit.com. Then must apply online at: http://www.paws4acure.org/askforhelp.php
Cancer- specific assistance
• Joshua Louis Cancer Foundation requires that your pet is under the care of a Board-Certified Veterinary Oncologist. For assistance, please follow instructions carefully: https://www.joshualouis.org/ 201-918-6962 for questions about the website
• The Magic Bullet Fund helps people who have made room in their houses and hearts for a canine companion, but do not have the financial resources to provide cancer treatment. Their grants are a ‘launching’ donation and they help the pet owner raise the additional funds needed. http://www.themagicbulletfund.org/SOP.shtml
• The Riedel and Cody Fund will prioritize the neediest owners and the dogs/cats with the most likely positive outcome from treatment. You must register online and then apply online. https://www.riedelcody.org/
• RedRover Relief provides financial assistance and additional resources so pet owners can care for animals that need urgent veterinary care. Must apply online. https://redrover.org/relief/
• International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP): emergency veterinary care fund to help IAADP Partner Members in good standing in the USA. Dogs under 18 months and retired dogs are not eligible. However, the site provides links to websites for a puppy, a dog in training, an assistance dog for a non-member, a dog with cancer, your emotional support animal or companion animal of any species. http://www.iaadp.org/iaadp-membership-benefits-vcp.html
Dog Breed Specific (Not necessarily a complete listing)
• Akita Rescue Fund www.akitaclub.org
• Australian Cattle Dog Rescue, Inc. www.acdrescueinc.com
• Bermer Emergency Health Assistance Fund www.behaf.org
• Boston terrier www.bostonrescue.net
• Boxer Rescue Foundation boxerrescuefoundation.com
• Chow Chow Welfare Fund www.chowwelfare.com/cciw/about.htm
• Corgi www.corgiaid.org
• Doberman www.doberman911.org
• Great Pyrenees http://www.angelfire.com/bc2/pyramedic/summary.html
• Pit Bull (serving American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and pit bull mixes) http://www.pbrc.net/fund/financial2.html
• Tibetan Spaniel www.tstrust.org
• West Highland White Terrier www.westiemed.org
II. Zero interest credit for medical treatment and “discount” services
iCARE FINANCIAL Instant approval, no credit check.
One flat administrative fee and then no interest payments may be made for up to 48 months. Veterinarian must have the service available and you apply through the veterinarian’s office. http://www.icarefinancialcorp.com/patient-consumer
CARECREDIT You may qualify for this a major charge card that offers clients several convenient payment plans to choose from. http://www.carecredit.com
No Interest Payment Plan: There is a 6 month no interest plan that you can use to pay for your pet’s treatment over time. Extended Payment Plans: There are 24, 36, 48 or 60 month low interest payment plans. You can apply in person at your vet’s office, online, by phone or by smartphone.
Arizona CoppeRx Card can be used for discounts on pet prescriptions such as phenobarbital and amoxicillin. http://azgovernor.gov/governor/copper-card
In order to qualify for the discount, the pet owner must have a valid prescription for their pet and the medication must be one that has a human equivalent.
Scratchpay.org Care Now Pay Later is a payment plan with APR as low as 0%.
Apply online or with text, without impacting your credit score. Approval in minutes, with a payplan offered and vet is paid immediately. Only good at participating vets and there are about 30 in Pima County. You can search on their page for participating vets. https://scratchpay.com/
III. PET HEALTH INSURANCE
Pet Insurance is becoming very popular and common as a way to manage the expenses that come with owning a pet. Premiums are typically low and they vary with each company, as do the benefits provided. Most companies will offer multiple pet discounts.
• United Health Pet Care (UPC) (602) 266-5303 www.unitedpetcare.com
Membership in this program saves the pet owner 20-50% on every vet visit. $12.99/month covers both sick and well care. No waiting period. No deductibles. No age limit. No pre-existing conditions exclusions
• VPI Pet Insurance (866) 838-7387 www.petinsurance.com
Various levels of coverage, from emergency only ($10-$11 per month) to comprehensively including accidents, illnesses and hereditary conditions ($25-$35 per month).
The following companies will have a monthly premium based on your location, information about the pet(s) and possible depending on the deductible you choose. Quotes are provided on the website when you enter your information.
• Healthy Paws (800) 453-4054 http://www.healthypawspetinsurance.com/
Unlimited coverage for accidents, illnesses and genetic conditions.
• 24 Pet Watch (866) 597-2424 www.24petwatch.com
Three levels of coverage. Premiums are based on location and pet information. Quote provided on the web. Also includes Shelter Care Insurance. Provided at the time of adoption by many shelters, it includes 30 free days of coverage with various options for ongoing coverage.
• ASPCA Pet Health Insurance (888) 716-1203 www.aspcapetinsurance.com
Reimburses 90% of usual and customary covered charges. $100 annual deductible per pet.
Choose from 4 increasing levels and customize them with deductibles and co-insurance options.
Premiums based on location and pet information. Quote provided at the website.
• Embrace Pet Insurance (800) 226-1308 www.EmbraceYourPet.com
Covers accidents & illnesses, genetic conditions, alternative therapies, emergency hospitals, specialist clinics, chronic conditions, cancer treatment. Premiums based on location and pet information. Quote provided at the website.
• Petplan (866) 467-3875 www.GoPetplan.com
Policy benefits: Vet expenses $8,000/year (Bronze Plan), $12,000/year (Silver Plan), $20,000/year (Gold Plan). Treatment of all accidents and illnesses. Choice of $50, $100 or $200 deductible. Choice of 80%, 90% or 100% reimbursement. Multiple discounts available. Premiums based on location and pet information. Quote provided at the website.
• Trupanion (800) 569-7913 www.trupanion.com
One simple plan, 90% coverage, no payout limits. Premiums based on location, pet information and deductible chosen. Quote provided at the website.
• Premier Pet Insurance (877) 774-4671 http://www.premierpetinsurance.com/ call Various plans.
Quotes provided online or over the phone.
IV. RAISING NEEDED FUNDS YOURSELF
If you have already asked family members, friends and co-workers for help, you may want to consider a more public appeal. Though, If your birthday or a holiday is near, asking for assistance for your pet as your gift is another way to ask for help from family and friends.
Public appeals can be very successful. And here are a variety of methods that might suit you.
• Consider a yard sale and include the reason for the sale- also include a donation jar.
• Post an ad on Craigslist or Facebook. Requesting the donations be sent directly to your veterinary clinic will increase a donor’s confidence in the sincerity of the request.
Online fundraising pages such as http://www.youcaring.com/how-it-works (free) www.giveforward.com (fees are 7% of donations) and www.gofundme.com (fees are 5% of donations) and provide a secure means for friends, family and the public to send financial support via the internet. You can sign up, create your donation website, share your link with friends and family and collect donations.