Need Help Affording Your Pet? There’s Help Available in Your Area

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By Giselle Balido

December 13, 2022

When paying for food or medical care for your animal companion becomes difficult, there are local and national organizations that can offer assistance.

Our pets are a much-loved part of the family for the love, laughter and comfort they bring, if not for their irresistible cuteness alone! So, when affording a pet becomes difficult, or Firulais or el Michi need medical help, it is important to find the resources that can help. Here are some organizations that could be of assistance. Get in touch with them to make sure you qualify and/or the services offered are still being provided in your area. 

Pet Food and Other Necessities

  • To locate a pet food pantry or other pet-related community services, visit an interactive resource map provided by Feeding Pets of the Homeless. You can choose which resource you need under the Get Help listing, or contact your local shelter and rescue organizations directly. 
  • Many people want to have their pets or community cats spayed or neutered, but they are taken aback when they discover how much it can cost. However, there are many shelters, veterinarians and organizations who are able to help. The Cat Network, for example, offers low-cost spay/neuter services in Florida. 
  • If your animal requires emergency veterinary care and you cannot afford treatment, contact nearby veterinary colleges that may have programs. Call your veterinarian and describe the symptoms if you are not sure what qualifies as emergency veterinary care.
  • Expensive vet bill? If you’re a client in good standing, you may be able to negotiate a payment plan with your veterinarian, such as a weekly or monthly payment plan. 

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  • Get a second opinion. Another vet may offer less expensive ways to treat your pet. However, you may pay a consultation fee.
  • Go outside your area. Vets in smaller towns may charge lower fees.
  • Another option is to check out local veterinary schools, as many of them run low-cost clinics for limited income clients.
  • Ask if your veterinarian accepts Care Credit, a credit card specifically for health care expenses, including for pets.
  • Try a fundraising platform such as GoFundMe, which enables you to create a personal fundraising page.
  • Consider Waggle, a pet-dedicated crowdfunding solution that channels funds directly to verified veterinarians for a pet’s care.
  • If you purchased your pet from a responsible breeder, check your contract to see if there is a health guarantee that covers your pet’s ailment. For help with future medical expenses, consider purchasing pet health insurance, the Humane Society of America recommends.

Nationwide Assistance

These national organizations provide financial assistance to pet owners in need. However, they each have their own rules and guidelines. Please make sure to investigate/research each one separately to determine if you qualify for assistance.

American Veterinary Medical Foundation (Veterinary care charitable fund)

Bow Wow Buddies

Canine Cancer Awareness

Frankie’s Friends

Handicapped Pet Foundation


Joshua Louis Animal Cancer Foundation (Grants can only be provided for pets under the care of a board-certified veterinary oncologist).

Land of Pure Gold Foundation (Cancer treatment grants for working dogs (e.g., assistance, search and rescue, animal-assisted therapy, etc.).

Magic Bullet Fund: (Cancer-specific).

The Mosby Fund

The Onyx & Breezy Foundation

The Pet Fund

Pets of the Homeless: (Pet food and veterinary care assistance for the homeless).

The Riedel & Cody Fund: (Support for pets with cancer).

RedRover Relief

Shakespeare Animal Fund

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Assistance by Breed

Breed-specific rescue groups may have information about additional help for your particular breed. 

CorgiAid: Corgis

Doberman 911: Doberman Pinschers

Labrador Lifeline: Labrador Retrievers

Pyramedic Trust: Great Pyrenees

WestieMed: West Highland White Terriers 

Local Assistance

  • Here you will find 9 affordable vet care resources in Florida.
  • Happy Trails Animal Rescue offers low-cost resources for Central Florida pet owners. 
  • Wellness On Wheels provides free wellness veterinary care for owned dogs and cats in veterinary deserts throughout Miami-Dade County. 
  • Florida Aid to Animals provides affordable spay or neuter, vaccinations, heartworm test, heartworm, flea, & tick prevention, blood tests, dental cleanings, radiographs, & minor medical issues in two east Central Florida locations.


  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.



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