Need Help Paying Vet Bills?

There are a number of different ways to afford veterinary care for your pet, including: payment plans; reduced-fee care; online consultations; crowd funding; and organizations that cover or subsidize medical expenses. We list all of these below.

Start by working with your veterinarian. Ask your primary vet whether any less expensive treatment option is available. Compare medical costs. Try to arrange a payment plan or see if your vet is associated with CareCredit, VetBilling, or the AAHA Helping Pets Fund.  Ask whether the practice would accept services in place of cash. Perhaps an extra hand at the reception desk or in the kennel is needed at times.

Consider going to a vet in a less expensive area or locate a veterinary school with a clinic or subsidies for low-income clients. The American Veterinary Medical Association has a list of schools by state here.

Explore animal welfare organizations that offer help to pets needing medical care. These funding programs typically have specific application procedures, eligibility requirements and may be limited to certain breeds, species, diseases, etc. We list a number of these below.

You may also want to check to search for financial assistance, food pantries, medical care, and other free or reduced-cost help by zip code.

If you want to check if your pet needs emergency care, know more about at-home care for less serious medical issues or have other questions, you can try online veterinarians, such as JustAnswer or Vetster. While these aren’t substitutes for in-person care, they may save you an unnecessary and expensive emergency vet visit.

Helpful links to various types of financial resources follow, starting with payment plans and crowd sourcing sites.




Breed-specific rescue groups may have information about additional help for particular breeds. You can find breed-specific rescue groups by visiting The Shelter Pet Project and choosing “shelter” in the search field.




  • Cats in Crisis
    Grants for cats with kidney disease, thyroid disease or cardiac conditions, or neurological conditions or mobility impairments such as Cerebellar hypoplasia, paraplegia, and limb malformations.
  • Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program 
    Medical costs for life-threatening illness or injury. Limited to recipients of State Medicaid, Medicare, or Social Security only income; a public assistance program; or unemployment benefits.
  • Kobi’s Fund
    Funding for cats that are diagnosed with Vaccine Associated Sarcoma (VAS). Part of the nonprofit Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance.
    Affordable spay/neuter services.

Washington, DC Metro Area Resources