Veterinary Assistance for Seniors with Pets

By isak, May 27, 2009

FrankieVeterinary expenses can put a huge strain on a family’s finances. We have provided some links to other assistance organizations which may be able to help you, if you are having trouble affording needed care.

Every organization has its own guidelines and limitations for assistance — you’ll need to check with each to determine whether your circumstance fits within their guidelines.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) also has a great page with a very extensive listing of organizations.

General Veterinary Assistance

  • Ashley’s Angel Fund — Monetary assistance for veterinary care to dog owners whose pet is facing a life-threatening condition
  • American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Helping Pets Fund — Fundraising and grants for needed veterinary treatments
  • Angels4Animals, Program Guardian Angel — A program of Inner Voice Community Services, provides assistance to pet owners in need for veterinary care
  • Brown Dog Foundation — Funding for life-threatening cases (sometimes limited to Tennessee residents)
  • Canine Cancer Awareness — Monetary assistance for canine cancer treatments
  • CareCredit — Medical loans, available at many veterinary clinics, offering short term, interest-free payment plans
  • Cat in Crisis — The mission of Cats in Crisis to assist individuals who have exhausted all other financial means to provide the necessary medical care their cat needs. Due to the volume of applications, we cannot help everyone. Decisions are based on several factors including: medical urgency, available funding, eligibility and financial need.
    Our grants are typically in the amount of $150, but are determined on a case by case basis. We do offer the opportunity for caretakers to fundraise on our website as well. Payments made to veterinarians, pharmacies or animal welfare organizations; not individuals/caretakers. Read guidelines carefully (Apply for Financial Aid section); eligibility is very specific.
  • Dreampower Animal Rescue’s Forever Home (Colorado) — A program provides assistance to pet guardians in need of assistance.
  • The Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program — headquartered in Yuba City, California, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that 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. Services are provided nationwide. Qualifications are very specific, so be sure to click on Funding Guidelines when visiting the site.
  • The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon — A trap-neuter-return (TNR) program for feral cats. FCCO’s mobile hospital no longer serves the Eugene area, but does serve some of the surrounding areas. The only cats eligible for the clinics are stray, feral, or abandoned cats who are not part of a human family, but are being fed consistently by a caregiver. To schedule cats for one of the clinics, FCCO must hear directly from the caregiver. FCCO is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that relies entirely on donations. Must be able to raise $25 per cat plus $500 per clinic held, for FCCO.
  • Florence Area Humane Society — A 501(c)(3) limited intake, “No Kill” animal welfare agency. As a private non-profit organization, we receive no public funds and our animal intake is limited to the Siuslaw and Mapleton School District boundaries. Our principal focus is the rescue, socialization, rehabilitation and placement of unwanted, abandoned, abused, or stray animals. We provide financial aid to our community’s senior and low income families who wish to spay or neuter their companion animal or who have medical emergencies for their pets. We promote public awareness of animal needs, educational materials, and speakers.
  • God’s Creatures Ministry Veterinarian Charity — Monetary assistance for veterinary care to dog owners in need
  • Good Sam Fund — Good SAM (Special Assistance and Memorial Fund) was established to create financial aid for sick or injured animals who either are stray or client-owned animals in special circumstances. The fund is supported entirely by outside donations and your pet must meet one part of their criteria to be considered for financial assistance.
  • IMOM — Funding for veterinary assistance in life-threatening emergencies
  • LABMED — Founded in 1996, LABMED is an Internet-based non-profit organization created to distribute financial aid to injured or ill rescues around the country, giving them a second chance at adoption and love from a permanent family.LABMED will accept applications for assistance for rescued Labrador Retrievers or Labrador Retriever mixes from any group or organization or from any individual who is of legal age (18 years).
  • The Magic Bullet Fund (Canine Cancer) — The Magic Bullet Fund provides financial assistance to pay for canine cancer treatments and medicines when the owners cannot. With our financial assistance, the canines we serve receive state-of-the-art veterinary cancer support for their conditions. The Fund’s mission is to provide cancer treatment for dogs whose caretakers are unable to provide treatment. These are dogs who would not have cancer treatment at all without our assistance.
  • The Nantucket MSPCA (Massachusetts) — Offers a number of subsidy programs that provide financial assistance to pet guardians.
  • Nike Animal Rescue Foundation (NARF) (San Francisco Bay Area cities) — Has many hospitals and clinics who offer reduced rates and/or the ability for you to pay your veterinary bills on a monthly basis.
  • NY SAVE, Inc. — Serves the pets of New York City residents living in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island by providing funds to low-income pet guardians whose pets need emergency veterinary care.
  • The Pet Fund — Eligible to owners of domestic animals, who cannot afford veterinary care
  • Pet Samaritan Fund (Utah) — Provides financial assistance to individuals unable to afford medical care for their pet(s).
  • Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS) — Assistance for comprehensive needs of companion animals for low-income persons with HIV/AIDS and other disabling illnesses, as well as senior citizens.
  • Rhode IslandRIVMA Companion Animal Foundation – Launched in 2004, the Foundation’s mission is to provide funds to the state’s participating veterinary practitioners for compassionate care of pets whose owners are unable to pay.
  • Spay/USA — a program of The Pet Savers Foundation, is a nationwide network and referral service for affordable spay/neuter services. Our mission is to work together to end pet overpopulation. We have affordable spay/neuter programs and clinics in 1000 locations nationwide with about 7,000 top-notch veterinarians in the network as of 2005. Our goal is to make spay/neuter services affordable to those who might not otherwise spay/neuter their pets. By working together, we hope to popularize and facilitate spay/neuter services throughout the country.
  • Stray Cat Alliance — A not-for-profit organization dedcated to assisting low-income cat caregivers with spay/neuter services, veterinary care, and cat food. Non-Profit, 501(c)(3), Educational Materials
  • Sue Freeman¹s Guide to Rescue Cats — This Web site contains a list of pet financial-assistance resources in Los Angeles and the surrounding area.
  • United Animal Nations (UAN), LifeLine Grant Program — The LifeLine Grant Program provides funding to Good Samaritans, animal rescuers, non-profit organizations and pet owners to help them care for animals in life-threatening situations.
  • Volunteer Services For Animals (VSA) (Rhode Island) — An organization of volunteers dedicated to animal well-being and the promotion of the human-animal bond through programs of education, advocacy, and assistance. VSA provides financial assistance to pet guardians for veterinary care.
  • Zach Memorial Fund (Canine Cancer, via Ashley’s Angel Fund) — Monetary assistance for canine cancer treatments

Assistance for Service Dogs

Breed-Specific Assistance

  • CorgiAid — Provides financial assistance to owners and rescuers of corgis and corgi mixes for veterinary care
  • LabMed — Provides financial aid to injured or ill rescued labs
  • Labrador Life Line — Assists eligible Labs, owned or in rescue, with medical treatment, transportation needs, boarding costs, or other special needs that will enable the Lab to find a home and to live out its life surrounded by people who love it
  • Labrador Harbor — Provides charitable funds to owners or rescues that directly benefit the immediate physical well-being of Labrador Retrievers
  • Pit Bull Rescue Central — Provides medical treatment to needy Pit Bulls within certain guidelines
  • Special Needs Dobermans — Provides assistance to eligible Doberman owners and rescuers
  • WestieMed, Inc. — Distribute financial aid to owners of injured or ill rescue Westies

The Humane Society’s List

If you know of others, please leave a comment so we can add it.
reprinted from Orthodog’s Silver Lining website


  1. Martha Brundege says:

    I have an 11-year-old dachshund that has his 4 canine teeth. One has started to grow downward somehow. He can’t pick up food with his mouth and when he does manage to it is with great difficulty.He has very bad breath and build up on his teeth. I am sure he has a bacterial infection in his mouth. I can not afford a vet right now as I am on social security disability. I live in Las Vegas Nevada, is there anyone that can help with the vet bills? Thank you for your time.

    • isak says:

      I’m sorry, I don’t understand the downward growth you are referring to. The problem with the build up on his teeth is that the bacteria can affect other organs, like kidneys, because he swallows it.

      Have you contacted area vets to see if they can help at a reduced rate? You could also ask local rescue groups for tips. They are always looking to save money.

      In this article, they talk about treating tooth accesses with Amoxicillin. Here’s more info about Amoxicillin for use in dogs.

      They sell Amoxicillin for fish over the counter where fish and fish supplies are sold. It’s also available online. It’s called Fish Mox. It comes in two strengths. I have used this product for my dogs. Read the precautions and dosages carefully. It will not completely fix your problem as your pup may need to have that tooth removed, but perhaps it will buy you some time to locate a better solution. This is a temporary solution and your pup should not be medicated for longer than the recommended time.

      A vet may even guide you in the short term, but they may require a visit to fully assess the situation.

  2. armie says:

    im a senior fem, i have a boxer dog is a girl , shes got this tumor like in top of her head and has grown im so so worried i have no funds one vet says it will cost over 5 grand i dont have that kind of money, boxer dog is very happy girl looks that doesent bother her shes good on everything but hurts me to see that ball top of her head i cry almost every nite . i wanna know if theres a free vet hospital for low income in were i live in moreno valley calif…please help me pls..thank you

    • isak says:

      Has the vet told you exactly what the lump is? The diagnosis will help you find the best help. Here is a list of organizations that may be able to help you. It includes a lot of different categories of help, so read through the list and contact those that can help under your circumstances. Also contact your local rescue groups and humane society for recommendations. They know your area resources best.

  3. Marlena says:

    I have a friend who lives in a low income community who is looking for an organization that have wheelchair for dogs. Her Pekingnese has had problems with walking for the past few years…a dog attacked her dog when she was walking her dog. She could not afford surgery as the other party did not offer any monetary help. Lately, the dog has had problems with her hind legs and can’t walk and was told she needed to buy a doggy wheelchair…she could not find any local organization including the local humane society with this. Is there an organization in Marin County, California who can help her with either a lower cost wheelchair or even a used one? She’s on a fixed income and really cannot afford even $150.00 which one place quoted her. Thank you in advance for any guidance.

  4. isak says:

    Here’s a list of possibilities:

    I hope this will help.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Thank you Isak!

  6. Jennifer says:


    I am looking for a low cost/assistance vet for a senior citizen who took in a rescue dog in the Las Vegas/Henderson NV area. Any suggestions will be appreciated!!!

    Thank you!

    • isak says:

      A quick thought is to contact local pet rescue groups for input as they always search for the same thing. They have done the research and may be able to point you in the right direction. Especially since this woman adopted a rescue.

  7. Darrel says:

    I would like to know if you can recommend a low cost vet for my senior citizen Mother who is 93 and on a fixed income in Kern County area Ca.and can not afford her dogs vet care bills and medication that her 18 year old dog has to have for thyroid problems and the dog has walking problems where my Mother has to use the aid of a support aid which she struggles with to hold the dog up, she also can not afford a dog wheel chair is there a organization that can help her with that in the Kern county or lancaster, ca area I so would appreciate your help in finding a vet that is low cost or some organization that can help financially

    • isak says:

      Let me check around and see if we can find someone to help your Mom. Have you checked with your local rescue groups and even your local shelter for suggestions?

  8. beverly biggs says:

    I am facing all the concerns – as all of the people that have commented. Took on the task of having a colony of feral cats spayed/neut. this summer. One more to go. Some have left the area.

    Two of the kittens, I’ve raised. My concerns are WINTER & future vet. needs for them. Don’t have the means to help them. Not finding any place that will help.

    Can you suggest any places in the Raleigh, NC area? I have limited mobility/health issues so it’s difficult all the way around. They are not adoptable. I would appreciate any suggestions for help.

  9. Shanna says:

    I live in the state of Missouri and my mother is a senior citizen with several rescue animals (cats, dogs, birds). She is having a very hard time paying get vetrinary bills. I was looking for a program that might be able to assist her, as I’ve been told by a few people that such programs exist. I have been looking online but am not finding any resources in our state. Any help, even a nudge in the right direction, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!!!

    • isak says:

      Sometimes it’s a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack, but keep looking. Check with your local vets to see if they offer a senior citizen discount. Sometimes it is not advertised. Some vets offer a discount for people with multiple pets, however, I rarely see that exceed 10% these days. Check with your local animal shelter. Some offer vet services at a reduced rate. Also call rescue groups in your area and ask them if they have any suggestions. Ask everyone who says they don’t if they can suggest someone who can help.

      It will help if you can be specific on the help you need. Do the pets need checkups? Or meds? Vaccinations? Or other care? Good luck!

  10. Joan DiCarlo says:

    I am asking for help for a friend who lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Is there any Veterinary Hospital in her area who offers low cost pet care to senior citizens?

    • isak says:

      Has your friend checked with some of her local veterinary clinics to see if they offer financial discounts to seniors? Sometimes they do, though it may be only 10-15%. Check with the local SPCA. You might also check with some of the rescue groups in her area as they would know more about they vets in the area than almost anyone.

      Depending on her need, there is also the Brown Dog Foundation — dedicated to helping Tennessee families who find themselves in a temporary financial crisis at the same time their pet requires life-saving treatment or life-sustaining medications.

  11. Doris Buzbee says:

    I am a senior citizen on a low fixed income. I have 3 cats that I love dearly. They are my only family, etc. Nicholas is 11, Sundance is 9, and James Dean is 3. At this moment Nicholas is having trouble he either has a bad upper respiratory or something else. I cannot locate any vet in my area that will take him to help him and be low cost. I desperately need help for Nicholas now. Is there anyone that know anywhere I can get him help/assistance? Please?

    • isak says:

      What are the symptoms you are seeing with Nicholas? Common symptoms of an upper respiratory infection in cats are sniffling, sneezing, clear to pus-like discharge from the eyes and/or nose, coughing and lethargy. As the nose becomes involved, they can lose their sense of smell and without that, they may not eat, so it’s important to have some strong smelling cat food available.

      How are Sundance and James Dean doing? Any signs that they may be having any problems?

      Have you called area vets and asked if they offer a senior citizen discount? How about your local humane society? Sometimes they offer discount vet assistance.

      Where are you located?

  12. Nicole Raines says:

    Hi, I know a senior lady in Gastonia NC that has a sick cat. She is unable to take her to vet. I can’t find a organization that wants a bunch of paperwork before they will even consider your application for assistance. I can get the cat seen with 40 dollars I have but that’s it. Thanks

  13. arline crews says:

    iwould like to know any vet that help senior with their pet care in winter garden florida 34787

    • isak says:

      Try these:
      Affordable Vet Care 10892 W. Colonial Dr. Ocoee 407-614-8975
      Offers low cost services.

      Mount Dora Veterinary Hospital 6877 Old Highway 441 South Mount Dora (352) 383-6700
      Their website says they offer discounted services to senior citizens.

      You might also check with local rescue groups for their suggestions and even call vets close to you to see if they offer a discount to seniors. Sometimes they will if you ask.

  14. Linda Powers says:

    iI live in Mesquite Texas and we have a little pom that is sick we took him to a vet and they want 626 dollars for his care my husband is a disabililed viet nam vet and we are on a fixed income these or are babies they charged us 104 for and antibotic for him and one other medinice. There should be some kind of assitance for us people on fixed income do they think we dont love our babies it is all about the money could some one help us

    • isak says:

      What did the vet say the matter is with your little pom? What else did they want to do that would take your bill from $104 to $626? What meds did they send you home with?

      There is financial assistance available. It will take some time and effort to track it down, but just work your way through the list of groups that offer assistance on the following two links. There may be some groups listed on both links, but there is sure to be someone who can help you and your babies.

      Gypsy Dog Ops

      Pawsitively Texas

      Best to you all!

  15. Janea Stoeffler says:

    My mother is 75, recently retired due to breast cancer that has metastasized, and has just found out that her Shi-Poo has Cushings Disease. She is concerned about the cost of medication that her dog will need to take daily. She is on a very tight budget and would undoubtedly go without in order to provide for her dog. Are there any services that could provide some sort of discount for the medication that her dog needs? Please let me know. Thank you for your time.

    • isak says:

      What is the medication your vet has prescribed and where is she located? Have you asked the vet for suggestions? Some drug companies will offer a discount.

      Also, is this a medication that might be carried by Walmart under their $4 plan?

      I am so sorry to hear of your mother’s situation. We are wishing all of you the best.

  16. JMartin says:

    I live in Martinsburg, WV. I am a disabled senior with my little dog, Jackson. He has been a little sick lately and the vets around here DO NOT CARE! It’s all about the BOTTOM LINE! One person at one vet said “Oh well” when I told her my dog could be dead by next Friday when I will have the money to bring him in! With the exception of one female vet, the doctors are fairly nice and reasonable. It is the office staff who are so nasty and cold!

  17. Kiera E French-Torres says:

    We need help to pay for a surgery for our dog Uuuuuw! If you can help please call us @ 540-846-5574. Thanks for your time. Your sister in Christ, Kiera

    • isak says:

      I’m sorry but we do not provide financial assistance. Have you called any of the organizations in your area? Or add a post to Facebook asking for help. Maybe do a fund me page?

  18. Carol says:

    Isak, thank you so much for your referral! Postponed my surgery until 2/15/15 because I didn’t have anyone to take my pets, and the moving wasn’t finished. God bless you and your organization!

    • isak says:

      They just contacted me this morning about you. I will send them this message. Please keep in touch with them and maybe keep them in the loop on your schedule so they can save your babies some space in the future. They sound like WONDERFUL people!

  19. Carol says:

    I am a senior, I have a (9)year-old Shih-Zhu and a (7)year-old Miniature Schnauzer that need temporary housing while I recover from Cancer surgery (two to three months) at the most. Does anyone know someone trustworthy enough to help out in the Columbus, Ohio area? I am on a fixed income, but would be able to provide their food until I can get back on my feet again. Preferably a person who genuinely loves dogs and knows the devotion of having owned a previous pet. Please help! 614-xxx-xxxx

    • isak says:

      Let me pass the word along to others and let’s see if we can get you some help. Good luck to you.

    • isak says:

      I have removed your phone number for now as hopefully Lisa from Hospets in Marysville has contacted you. I reached out on Facebook to a wonderful animal control officer named Shannon O’Herron who does a LOT to rescue animals in need in her area. She is located in Akron. She connected me with Lisa at Hospets. I gave Lisa your phone number.

      If you have not heard from her yet, here is her info:
      P.O. Box 1063
      Marysville, Ohio 43040

      Best to you and your babies!

  20. claudia leach says:

    I would like a service for senior with pets. My dog is old (15yrs old) in Chatsworth California 91311.

    • isak says:

      You can contact the following groups to see if they will help you or perhaps, they can recommend someone who will. Because they are in your area, their resources are more up-to-date than what we might have. Some may not be close by, but they may know options to help you. Best to you both!

      Pet Assistance Foundation – South Bay Chapter
      PO Box 1506, Hawthorne, CA
      (310) 372-9593

      Pet Assistance Foundation
      Provides phone service Monday – Friday: education about spaying and neutering of cats and dogs, referrals to excellent, but lower cost veterinarian and when need is shown, financial assistance for alteration.

      Animal Health Foundation
      (562) 948-4979

      Financial Assistance for seniors 65+ only

      Pet Assistance
      San Diego, CA
      (619) 544-1222

      Animal Discount Clinic
      13252 Euclid Avenue, Garden Grove, CA
      (714) 537-0570

  21. Deborah Martin says:

    I am a senior citizen with very little income. I have a minuature schnauzer that I adopted 5 years ago that is now diabetic. The diabetes is affecting his sight–I beleive he has cateracts and cannot see. I have no money to take him to a specialist to find out if there is anything that can be done to save his sight.

    I am in desperate need of help.

    If you can help or suggest an organization that could help my dog–I would be enternally grateful.

    I can be reached on: or my phone number is 571 268-5587

    • isak says:

      Can you give me an idea of where you are physically located so we can see what is available in your general area? Do you currently have a vet?

  22. Nancy says:

    tried to access Bearen Foundation e-mail – nothing happened – do you have an address – phone number or e-mail that works? Maybe this foundation no longer exists.

    • isak says:

      I’m sorry I haven’t gotten back to you. This is the info I have, but I see their website isn’t there anymore, so maybe they have closed shop.
      575 Coburg Road
      Eugene, Oregon 97401
      Phone Number: 541-242-3827

      If you call and don’t get through, will you let me know? Thank you.

  23. Peggy Mothes says:

    Our cat, Ollie needs blood work and meds for his detached retina in his eyes, that cost approximately $250, our Vet says. We live on a fixed income of Social Security and unable to afford this. We have had Ollie for 16yrs, and he has always been healthy until now. We had a $52 Credit on account with the Vet, that’s how we found the diagnosis. The Vet says there is a possiblity Ollie will get his eyesight restored. Otherwise we need $60 to put Ollie ‘down’ – very tearful, but we have to do whatever we can. The City of Corona Animal Shelter does this every Wednesday, and we don’t have the $60. Thank you for your time.

    Peggy Mothes (951) 737-4577
    240 Suffolk St
    Corona CA 92882

  24. Louise Breland says:

    I have a puppy that belonged to my nephew, he lost interest in the puppy. I love him but I can not afford to get his shot and he has a slight skin problem. His name is Onyx and he is so sweet and smart. Where can I get assistance for just this basic care?

  25. Deborah says:

    I am a senior on a fixed income and have to get my little do sprayed. Can you tell me if there is any help for me in this? I live in Apple Valley, ca 760-305-9113

    thank you,


  26. Elena says:

    I would like to know if you can recommend a vet or organization to help me out with two stray dogs. I want to have them checked. One needs to be fixed. They are good dogs, but I can’t afford to take them to the vet for shorts, etc. I am a senior citizen and I want to care for these two dogs, but I do not know how. Do you have any suggestions.?

    • isak says:

      How kind of you to take care of these dogs. Where are you located? My first suggestion would be to contact local rescue groups. They will have the best knowledge of low cost spay/neuter and can guide you. Be sure to ask them if there are local programs for senior citizens.

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