A low-income person with a sick or injured pet that may die without proper treatment can get help with paying the emergency costs, and she may be eligible for reduced-cost routine care for her pet. Charity agencies, local groups and veterinary trade associations provide financial assistance and grants for financially distressed pet owners who need help paying for an animal's care.
IMOM Financial Aid
IMOM is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping abused, ill or homeless animals. A person experiencing financial hardship can apply to IMOM for assistance in the event his pet is suffering from an illness or injury that will result in death if not treated within 10 days. A pet owner who wants to apply for emergency assistance from IMOM must complete the online process outlined on the charity's official website.
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AAHA Pets Helping Pets Fund
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has a grant program for low-income or financially distressed pet owners who need veterinary care. A veterinarian working at an AAHA-accredited hospital submits the grant application to the organization on behalf of the pet owner. AAHA pays part or all of the services needed -- upon approval of the application -- directly to the provider.
Local Cruelty Societies
Local SPCA and humane societies offer a variety of programs for low-income pet owners. Some humane societies network with smaller, local charity groups, while others have dedicated programs or offer reduced-cost care for eligible pet owners directly. Information about programs is usually found on the society's official website. The assistance available commonly ranges from basic preventive services, such as well visits for the animal, to emergency treatments and medications.
Veterinary College Clinics
Some veterinary colleges have animal clinics with veterinary care offered at a reduced cost for low-income pet owners. Proof of income is needed, such as copies of the owner's pay stubs, but the exact criteria for eligibility and the services offered vary by clinic. The American Veterinary Medical Association maintains a list of accredited colleges across the United States on its website.