By The Humane Society of the United States
Many pet owners, at one point or another, are faced with unexpected veterinary bills. Veterinary medicine has progressed so far that now pet owners have new, and often expensive, options for the care of their ailing pets. Although the cost of veterinary care is actually very reasonable in comparison with the much higher cost of human health care, an unexpected medical emergency can present a major financial dilemma for an unprepared pet owner.
The Humane Society of the United States recommends that, in addition to preparing for routine pet-care costs, you regularly set aside savings to cover for unexpected veterinary bills. Create a special "pet savings account" and contribute money to it on a regular basis.
If, despite your planning, your pet incurs major veterinary expenses that you have trouble affording, consider these suggestions:
Please remember that, depending on the severity of your pet's illness or injury, you may still lose your pet even after great expense. Discuss the prognosis and treatment options thoroughly with your veterinarian, including whether surgery or treatment would just cause your animal discomfort without preserving a life of good quality.
Also remember that a little preventive care can go a long way. Having your pet spayed or neutered, keeping her shots up to date, and keeping your pet safely confined can prevent serious and costly health problems. If you have trouble affording the cost to spay or neuter your pet, contact your local animal shelter. They may operate a clinic or know of a local clinic that offers subsidized services. You can find the name and number of your local shelter in the Yellow Pages of your phone book under "animal shelter," animal control," or "humane society," or by calling Information.
Unfortunately, due to our limited resources as a nonprofit animal protection organization, The HSUS does not provide direct financial assistance to pet owners for veterinary or any other expenses. If you know of any veterinary assistance services, funds, or low-cost veterinary clinics, please let us know by calling 202-452-1100.
Copyright © 2002 The Humane Society of the United States. All rights reserved.