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What to do if You Cannot Afford your Veterinarian' s Bills

Updated on December 17, 2012

As more and more people are losing jobs or simply struggling to pay bills, the strategy of cutting corners to save money proves to be the most savvy. However, as people spend less on commodities and refrain more from engaging in costly activites such as eating out or going on vacation, the fact that beloved pets are being affected as well is a sad one.

It is a fact, that pet owners are struggling to keep up with the expenses related to veterinary care and normal expenses such as purchasing food, toys, bones and any accessory necessary to a pet's wellbeing. Families with children in particular may find it hard to take care of day care, food, education and more , so if they must cut corners the first thought goes to the individuals at the bottom of the ladder: their pets.

Problem is, that some families are struggling up to a point where the only option that remains at this point is giving up their pet. With shelters already normally overwhelmed with pets even before the economic prices, this often means that any pet surrendered at this point will need automatically be put to sleep because of lack of room. Another big problem is that most no kill shelters as well end up being full, but since they do not euthanize they will not take the pet but rather they will direct to a normal shelter that eventually will. Therefore, the fate of these poor pets victim of an economic crisis remains unaltered, they eventually will be put to sleep.

A lot of pets are often surrendered because of their medical conditions. Their medications and care may have become an enormous burden at a time like this. It can never be emphasized enough the importance of investing in pet insurance.  There are some programs like PetAssure that will cover pre-existing conditions. They may not be exactly insurances by they may offer somesubstantial savings.  It is surely worth a try and talk to a representative to see how much the savings may amount to.

Most insurances require upfront payments and this can be deleterious to owners that are going through financial harship. A one night hospitalization with an IV line may easily amount to several hundreds of dollars. Pet emergency hospital will want the payment upfront. They will have big signs stating so. It is unfortunate that many pets are put down because of this.

There are however, some financial institutions that are willing to help out. Care Credit is one that offers the possibility of using a credit care for pets to help owners struggling with finances. An application can be filled and taken to a veterinarian. They offer no interest plans as long as monthly payments are made.

   Another option is to visit non-profit organizations that offer low cost health care. Interested owners should call their local shelter for information about these low cost practices. Other institutions they lend a hand are:  Help-A-Pet, IMOM, Angels 4 Animals, the PetFund and God's Creatures Ministry. 

When financial crisis arise, difficult times may await pet owners. It is sad, that many owners really love their pets but simply cannot afford caring for them any longer. It is a very unfortunate instance, when this happens, however,  taking a life long companion to a shelter should be the last resort, only to resort to when all other venues have been completely considered. 



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