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Author Topic: Financing Veterinary Treatment  (Read 3918 times)
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shibadiva
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« on: September 19, 2007, 08:56:18 AM »

The story of Pilot the puppy, and the battle for payment of Pilot's vet bills, really captured my attention this week. The tale had a happy ending yesterday, thanks to the compassion of a good Samaritan, Carol Diamantis, who made a gracious donation to cover the remainder of Pilot's vet bills and save the puppy from being "disposed of".

http://www.itchmo.com/dog-released-from-veterinarian-after-good-samaritan-pays-owners-bill-2942

Some of us have recently faced hundreds and thousands of dollars in veterinary expenses, and made the necessary sacrifices. Not everyone clearly sees the possibly onerous expenses in pet companionship or the options available, and unfortunately, some feel obliged to abandon their pet or have it euthanized.

I wanted to open up a topic on Itchmo to discuss what options people have.

I have pet insurance for both my dogs, and I got them started early. My recourse for my elderly cat was PetCard (Care Credit) in addition to personal funds. Some people are wise to put aside a little money each week to build up a contingency fund so that they are never faced with a difficult decision.

In Ontario, Canada, we also have the Farley Foundation.

http://www.farleyfoundation.org/welcome.html

The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association administers the Farley Foundation fund to offer financial subsidies through veterinary clinics on behalf of pet owners. Only Ontario veterinary practices with an association member can apply for the subsidy.

Farley was often featured in Lynn Johnston’s comic strip, which enabled her to illustrate the ups and downs of family life through her dog Farley’s eyes and antics. His goofy, charming and thoroughly loveable personality endeared fans the world over and, following his death, Johnston has lent Farley’s name and image to worthwhile causes such as the Farley Foundation.

“To be asked to help veterinarians to care for pets who, for lack of finances, might be left to suffer, is an honour,” Johnston said. “I feel part of this venerable group and, once again, my very first dog is remembered in a very special way.”

No pet owner should be forced to refuse medical treatment due to lack of finances.

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A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
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MrsP
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2007, 09:18:13 AM »

My vet has the "Mister" fund.  Mister was a sick, abandoned cat that my vet found on his doorstep.  He cared for Mister and kept him as his own.  He and his wife were very saddened that a poor person felt the need to abandon the cat.  Donations come in for the Mister fund.  Many of us give our change from our vet bill (vet bill of $82, pay with $90 - $8 to the fund). People in need get from 25% to 100% of their vet bill paid.
My husband and I do not carry pet insurance.  We have a separate account that "found money" goes into.  Such things as tax refund checks, gifts, bonuses go in that account.  Occasionally we have gone into that account for other emergencies, but it is mainly for pets.  We also have a vet who will work out payment plans. 
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JJ
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2007, 07:12:29 PM »

This speaks volumes about keeping your pet as healthy as possible - what with all the knowledge we have gained on this forum among others. Same as with humans - it is much easier to be lazy and eat garbage than to take the time to plan and cook nutritious food for yourselves and your pets. We all benefit then. No more sick pets or humans. Cancer would be eradicated just about and other killer diseases as well.
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3catkidneyfailure
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2007, 08:13:55 PM »

Hey, there is the line of credit on the house, too. Odd (or sad) how banks
will give homeowners loans, but no one will finance medical treatment.
Anyone have better luck finding vet bill financing?
I'm about to set a record for survival on Sausage McMuffins and Senior Coffee ...
3cats
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onlooker
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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2007, 11:45:55 AM »

If you have saved money earning interest, that could be cashed in or bonds too.   Use a credit card to pay off the bill & pay it off fast so you won't have to pay the high monthly interest rates.   When I buy a new pup, I usually start saving money each month for any future old age medical bills.       
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dingbat
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2007, 04:25:29 PM »

Many vets and emergency facilities will allow you to use carecredit. That is what we did, you actually apply over the internet, whole thing takes about 15 min and they will tell you how much you can get. It is spread out over 4-5 years at a decent interest rate.

http://www.carecredit.com/

db
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3catkidneyfailure
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2007, 04:48:08 PM »

Hey, db, thanks much! Now it's egg mcmuffins, orange juice, and senior coffee ...
Love ya - 3cats
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shibadiva
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2007, 04:54:28 PM »

db posted his experience with Care Credit and Piya elsewhere in the forums. It was a great idea that came in handy when my cat had a huge vet bill.

I like the idea of putting aside some money when a new pup arrives, something like an education fund only they don't go to college.

But, some of us aren't wise enough to manage our credit (my excuse is that I worked for a bank for too long), so Pet Card came in handy. I wasn't thrilled about the rates but depending on the amount, this option is at least as reasonable as a regular credit card. If it saves the life of a pet and allows you to live on more than Arrowroot biscuits, cat food and tea, it's a bonus.
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A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
~~ Gandhi
3catkidneyfailure
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2007, 05:36:58 PM »

Shibadiva -- That's quite a diet ... but healthy and more natural :-D
Have some rainy day funds. And now know there is help. Thanks!
3cats
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kaffe
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2007, 07:41:24 PM »

Great topic and it IS something all of us should think about.  Vet and human medical expenses terrify me.  I know that sometimes, despite all the precuations we take, something does happen.  I have been very careful with my animal companions in the past, but more so after the BIG petfood recalls when I realized that I need to be vigilant in every area: environment, nutrition, psychological welfare, etc.  Some people have pet insurance (I have considered this in the past); some people have "emergency funds."  I have... prayer, my own vigilance and pro-active care of the cats .... a bunch of relatives I can call on emergenies and now... DB's Care Credit should the need arise!  Yay!  Thanks DB! 
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shibadiva
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2007, 11:05:55 AM »

Some more links for financing:

AAHA Helping Pets Fund:  AAHA-accredited veterinary practice applies for a grant on behalf of the pet in need. For veterinary practices, assistance is limited to $700 per calendar year. Each pet and family is limited to $500 per calendar year. Owners must be able to document their financial hardship by being on food stamps, unemployment, SSI, Medicaid or TANF or similar, if in Canada. In certain situations, if the vet signs a letter stating the owner has financial hardship, the grant may also be approved. They will only pay for needed medical care for sick pets.

http://www.aahahelpingpets.org/root/

Angels4Animals:

http://www.angels4animals.org/faqs.html

Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance
Provides financial assistance to cat and kitten guardians who are unable to afford veterinary services to save their companions when life-threatening illness or injury strikes.

http://www.fveap.org/

Help-A-Pet
A nonprofit organization which provides financial assistance for the medical care of pets whose owners are unable to afford the expense. If your income is less than $20,000 (individual) or $40,000 (family), you may qualify for up to $500.

http://www.help-a-pet.org/

In Memory of Magic (IMOM)
Helping people help pets. To better the lives of sick, injured and abused companion animals. Dedicated to insure that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker is financially challenged. Four different funds.

http://www.imom.org/

LifeLine/LifeLine Rescue by United Animal Nations
Aids companion animals in times of life-threatening emergencies when their caregivers, with low or no incomes, are unable to afford the entire cost of treatment

http://www.uan.org/lifeline/index.html.

New Jersey Veterinary Foundation
The New Jersey Veterinary Foundation will introduce an animal welfare program called "Healing Hands for Needy Paws" to provide medical care to pets whose owners' salaries permit them to receive government assistance. Participating practices can receive up to $1,000 per year for the program. Under the fund, payments will be granted on a cost-only basis without compensation for veterinary labor or profit. To qualify for the program, the animal must be domestic, owned, sick, injured, or in need of emergency care. The owner will pay a one-time fee of $30 to the organization. Consult with your local veterinarian to see if they are participating.
 
http://www.njvma.org/public/foundation.

New York Save
NY S.A.V.E, Inc., is a non-profit organization dedicated to the aid and assistance of low-income pet owners residing in one of the five boroughs of New York City, whose pet is in need of emergency veterinary care.

http://nysave.org/

Pets Are Loving Support
Located in Sonoma, CA, and assisting people with AIDS, this not for profit arranges discounted veterinary services for its clients' animals, and provide an interest free loan and payment plan for clients with financial needs.

http://www.sonic.net/~pals/index.html.

The Pet Fund
Provides financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need veterinary care. The "triage" system for deciding which cases to fund is based on the stated financial need of the animal owner, the opinion of the treating veterinarian as to the medical necessity and urgency of the treatment needed, and the demonstrated capability of the animal owners to be responsible for their animals. Owners need to complete an application and funding agreement and provide proof of income. Vets will have to sign a waiver and provide an estimate of treatment costs. They advise you to call first (916) 443-6007. Grants are capped at $500.

http://www.thepetfund.com/default.htm.





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A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
~~ Gandhi
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