Financial Assistance to Help Pay for Veterinary Care

Imagine my horror upon reading the following news story:  “A Rhode Island man who says he couldn’t afford veterinary care for his dog has been charged with illegally operating on the pet.”  The article goes on to describe this man’s attempt to remove a cyst from the leg of his 14-year-old Labrador mix.  Thankfully, a veterinarian treated the resulting infection and performed a second corrective surgery.  The man was described as elderly and subsisting on Social Security.  He was quoted as saying, “In the economy as it is right now as it is right now, especially in Rhode Island, who in the hell is going to give you a little extra helping hand?” 

This story is tragic to me on so many levels.  Of course I think this fellow was mentally unbalanced, but I also sense (or maybe I’m wishfully thinking) that he dearly loved his canine companion of so many years and his act was one of desperation. While the news would have us believe that our down trodden economy is turning around, I must tell you that every day I receive emails from people all over the United States who are experiencing the heartache, guilt, and desperation of not being able to afford medical care for their beloved four legged family members. 

The Rhode Island man’s story prompted me to remind you that the “little extra helping hand” he needed certainly does exist.  Many organizations offer financial assistance to those in need of help paying for veterinary care. If you or someone you know is in such need, I invite you to visit my website at Here you will find a comprehensive list of organizations that can provide financial aid. Not surprisingly, these organizations are currently being taxed to the max, and it takes some effort to apply for their funds, but they may be able to provide the help needed to make a significant difference.  

Best wishes to you and your four-legged family members for abundant good health.

Dr. Nancy Kay
Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine 

Please visit to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller. 

Order  a copy of Speaking for Spot personally signed by Dr. Kay –

Join our email list –

Look for us on Twitter –

Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Please share this blog with your dog-loving family and friends

Be Sociable, Share!

4 Comments on “Financial Assistance to Help Pay for Veterinary Care

  1. sorry to say that i can’t even afford the $35 a month for the insurance and how many animals would this cover? i will await a reply from you.

  2. Two years ago, Bob the Dog (11 years at the time) got really really sick and all my savings and part of that month’s rent went into the xrays, fluids, meds, exams, etc. This was a horrifying couple of days for me. I didn’t know what I would do if he had cancer or some other horrible thing. (turned out to be something he ate…apparently). I was terrified that I would have to decide to put bob to sleep because I had no money.
    6 months later, I signed Bob up for health insurance and it is working really well. Bob (now well over 13) was 12 years old when I signed up. I decided on Pets Best. They have various different plans. I’ve been paying about $35 a month for a $100 deductible (per incident) and 20% copay. Pre-existing conditions are not included.
    Pets Best has paid on every claim I have submitted, exactly according to our contract, with no phone calls, no arguments, no extra letters from the vet, no troubles, no hassles. I simply sent in the claim and they sent me a check.
    If you can’t afford thousands of dollars for cancer treatment but you have $35 a month, you might want to consider doggie health insurance.

  3. I work in a human shelter and the loss of homeless folks pets is a huge issue. I have taken on the job of housing pets for those that ask but it is really an area that is not addressed. The Humane Society will not hold animals and return them so the choices these folks have is to surrender the animal or live outside with their pet. They are also unable to seek help with medical care because they can not be sure they will not have their pet taken away if the situation is known. Thanks for speaking to this issue.

  4. Ni Nancy. You might remember me from the epi4dogs website forum. By the way, I rarely, if ever, post there anymore. However, Milo is doing really well. He weighs 85 pounds now, and I think that at three years old, 85 is the max he should be. Too big for a Border Collie; too small for a Swissy, but he’s gorgeous nonetheless.

    I do want to respond to the list that appears in your book as well as this post on Facebook. I have contacted each and every one of these places. Some had removed their information. The responses I did get informed me that I was not eligible because I did not reside in their city / state. Others said they had no funds for anyone. You might want to check with the places that are said to provide veterinary assistance, or assistance to seniors on a fixed income to help with a pet’s medical issues. It simply does not exist right now. Sad, but true. And I desperately need help with the cost of Milo’s care, or a part-time job (which I have found is not easy to get when you are nearly 70.)

    Take care, and I would love to hear from you sometime. I enjoyed our email exchange, and I regret the way you were treated on the forum. If I was the site owner, it would have been different.