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Help with Veterinary Bills

Veterinary Care, Good Samaritans and Free Pet Care


Help with Veterinary Bills

All puppies like little Clay here deserve good care.

Image © Clairespix/Flickr

All of us appreciate help with veterinary bills because we want to provide the best for our special puppies. Low cost vet care or even free puppy health care can be made possible by good Samaritans who help fund these opportunities. Local and national organizations fund research to keep our companion animals healthy, too, with cutting edge research.

Each year when Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around I can’t help but feel grateful for the good health of family, friends--and the pets of my world. A great way to celebrate the lives of current pets--and those we've treasured and lost--is to offer a donation to a favorite animal cause in your pet’s name.

It doesn’t have to be a holiday , either. Our puppies and special fur-kids love us all year long, and we can support their health and honor that love any time we want. Some newer online organizations like AdoptAShelter.com allow you to shop for virtually anything, with a percentage of the proceeds (no charge to you) going to the shelter or cause of your choice.

Several research foundations exist to better understand, treat, prevent or even cure animal diseases. These studies not only help animals, but also provide answers for related human health conditions.

Dog Research Foundations

Large foundations fund multiple studies specific to dogs, to cats, or to all animals. One of these, the AKC Canine Health Foundation, was founded in 1995, and is the largest non-profit funder of exclusively canine research in the world. It not only funds medical research on many canine diseases, but also has established funds for specific diseases and initiatives for dogs.

Individuals can also set up their own charitable funds for research. For instance, The Marcia Polimer Abrams Canine Behavior Studies Fund was established by author and pet expert Darlene Arden in honor of her mother who adored dogs. This fund seeks to help all dogs regardless of breed, because "poor behavior" often is the reason pets end up losing their home or their life.

Another wonderful option is The Darcy Fund, founded by my colleague Kim Thornton in honor of her dog. The Darcy Fund finances research on chronic valvular disease, a heart condition common in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. The fund is administered through the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club’s Charitable Trust, and contributions to it may be made through the charitable trust's web site, by marking "Darcy Fund" on the donation form.

Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) funds studies on cats, dogs—and many other kinds of animals. Founded in 1948, today the Foundation funds studies in 100 countries spanning all seven continents on earth. MAF says that 100 percent of donations are used to fund research to protect, treat and cure the world’s animals.


Cat Research Foundations

Lots of folks who love puppies and dogs also share their homes with cats. The Winn Feline Foundation was founded by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) in 1968 to create a source of funding for medical studies to improve the health and welfare of cats. Many of the individual studies are supported by cat breed clubs and some specific funds have been sponsored by individuals.

Susan Gingerich (sister of Newt Gingerich) established The Bria Fund for FIP Research in her cats name to learn more about feline infectious peritonitis that took this precious kitten’s life. And my colleague Steve Dale established the The Ricky Fund in his cat’s name, to learn more about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (heart disease) after Ricky died of the disease.

Pet-Vet Financial Assistance

Other organizations address the needs of pet owners who find themselves in difficult financial situations, but need care for their pets. Each has specific requirements how to qualify for assistance, which may be specifically for senior citizens, disabled folks, the working poor or folks without jobs or who have other challenges. Some are designated not-for-profit and part of a larger organization, while others are mom-and-pop grass roots organizations. They may specific to dogs, cats, or all animal companions.

Most of these organizations rely on donations--and when the money runs out, so does the funding. All of us may someday be in need of a good Samaritan to help us help our pets--so think about donating to one of these worthy causes now. A pet somewhere will benefit.

As a part of the American Animal Hospital Association the Helping Pets Fund assists owners of pets in need.

Get Your Fix is an organization that matches needy pet owners with good Samaritan "Funders" who agree to pay for spay/neuter of the pet.

Starfleet Canine Aid Foundation (SCAF) offers financial aid to dog owners unable to fund the veterinary cost associated with a recoverable injury or catastrophic illness.

Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance offers help specifically to cats in need.

RedRover offers RedRover Relief (formerly Lifeline Grants) for individual pets in need, rescue operations, and animal welfare organizations. The RedRover Relief program provides funding to Good Samaritans, animal rescuers and pet owners to help them care for animals in life-threatening situations.

The Pet Fund provides funds to help care for domestic animals in need. This resources also provides information on how to protect yourself and avoid future financial emergencies.

In Memory of Magic (IMOM) wants to ensure no companion animal must be euthanized solely because of financial hardship.

Angels4Animals is a non-profit organization and a program of Inner Voice Community Services. Its stated mission is to serve as the guardian angel of animals whose caretakers find themselves in difficult financial situations.

For those fortunate people who can afford the best care possible for their puppies--and maybe for someone else--why not talk with your local veterinarian or other community organization about establishing a special fund? All of us have times when we need a helping "paw."

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