Low Income veterinary care assistance
April 8, 2011 7:05 AM   Subscribe

My next door neighbor's cat is seriously ill. Unfortunately, she has had her hours cut at work and cannot afford veterinary care. Does anyone know of any organizations, national or local, that provide financial assistance for emergency animal care?

Location is in north central Illinois, DeKalb County, or any of the surrounding counties. My Google-fu has turned up a few links and stopped the overwhelming sadness she is feeling for the moment. But anyone with any similar experiences here would be helpful. Thanks.
posted by IvoShandor to Pets & Animals (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Can she talk to her regular vet? They will usually set up a payment plan or give a huge discount for a regular client. Any good, non-chain vet's office will care more about the pet being healthy than the client's ability to pay.
posted by suchatreat at 7:09 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Also, there is care credit she can apply for. It can be interest free for a period of time, but it will depend on what she qualifies for.

Also, there is a vet school in champaign, she should give them a call and see how they can work with her. If the cat is as sick as you say, a regular day vet won't be able to treat it, and will quite possibly send it on down to the vet school anyway. The vet school will have all services available to work with her.
posted by TheBones at 7:21 AM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Some friends of mine had to give up their cat under similar circumstances: They gave up the cat to the local human society who provided surgery, medication and treatment for the cat. In exchange they had to sign a contract agreeing that they would not try to adopt the cat back when it went up for adoption. I believe this was somehow brokered by their vet.

Obviously this is a terrible and painful thing to feel like you have to do and just about any other solution (like a payment plan) would be better.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:26 AM on April 8, 2011

It's an off chance, but if you have Craigslist where you are, you can place an ad looking for financial assistance for veterinary care. I have paid for peoples pet care that they couldn't afford that I found via CL ads. I would talk to their vet, or in one case, had them bring the dog to my vet, and then conferred with both the pet owner and vet as to the best thing to do care wise. In my case, it was always about what was best for the animal.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who has done this, and I probably wouldn't count on it if I were your neighbor, but it's free to list the ad(in the pets section of Community) so worth a try.
posted by newpotato at 8:31 AM on April 8, 2011

I know there is, or used to be, an organization that collected donations to help people in situations like this. I remember because there was a brochure in my old vet's office, Higgins Animal Clinic, in Chicago, for it. I don't know how likely it is they'll still have that brochure lying around but you could try calling them.
posted by Jess the Mess at 9:28 AM on April 8, 2011

I found this: aahahelpingpets.org, but the owner owner has to be on government assistance, it looks like - unemployment would qualify, but it sounds like she's still partially employed.

Also this: United Animal Nations Lifeline Grants. They need a fair bit of documentation, but it sounds like it might fit the bill.
posted by Jess the Mess at 9:37 AM on April 8, 2011

Following on TheBones' answer, Care Credit -- it's basically a credit card especially for healthcare, including pets'.
posted by bettafish at 10:55 AM on April 8, 2011

Your neighbor can contact Modest Needs to see if she qualifies for a grant. Their turnaround is pretty fast. Their cap on aid is $1000 or 7.5% of annual household income, but they do help with veterinary care costs. They helped pay a vet bill for my cat last summer.
posted by FrauMaschine at 12:36 PM on April 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I am passing this link on to the person in question, thanks.
posted by IvoShandor at 3:18 PM on April 8, 2011

Response by poster: The Ask I mean.
posted by IvoShandor at 3:18 PM on April 8, 2011

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