It's a pet parent's worst nightmare.  Your dog or cat gets hit by a car, attacked by another animal, or is diagnosed with a life threatening illness. You suddenly realize you can't afford to pay the high cost of Veterinary care that could save your beloved pet's life.  What happens if you can't afford critical vet care, do you have any options?  

🐩 No one should have to say goodbye to a pet they love and cherish because they can't afford critical Veterinary care.

A few years back while volunteering for the Phoenix county animal shelter, a woman brought in a beautiful German Shepherd.  He was clearly an older dog. I always have a soft spot for senior pets so I went over to greet them. The woman was sobbing because she had to surrender her precious dog to the shelter.  

What to do if you can't pay for critical Veterinary care. Financial assistance for veterinary costs.   Injured dog or pet, sick dogs, pets, dog,  High cost of veterinary care, economic euthanasia
I can't imagine being faced with saying goodbye to one of my pets because I couldn't afford veterinary care.  What could be more heartbreaking?

I said "Don't worry, we'll take great care of him and find him a loving home".  The woman just shook her head.  She didn't speak, she just gave our Intake staff member the dog and quickly left, still sobbing. The dog had a cancerous tumor and she was dropping him off to be euthanized.  She couldn't afford treatment and there wasn't an available rescue to help pay for it.  She couldn't even afford to have him euthanized at a Veterinarian's office.

I was so shocked.  I couldn't believe she had to leave him there to die.  I could see it tore her apart to leave her dog like that, I felt horrible, especially for the dog. I knew that being unable to pay for expensive Veterinary care is often one of the reasons people surrender pets to a shelter.  I didn't judge. I wasn't walking in her shoes so I couldn't know the circumstances she was in that led her to believe she had no other choice.

I cried all the way home that day.  I still think about that sweet dog and wonder why nothing could be done for him.

In the animal health world, the gut-wrenching choice to say goodbye to a pet primarily because pet owners can't afford Veterinary care is known as "Economic Euthanasia".  

Because no pet parent should have to say goodbye to a pet they love and cherish when they can't afford life saving Veterinary care

This post is sponsored by Waggle® . I am being compensated to share information about  Waggle, a crowdfunding organization that helps families who can't afford Veterinary care for their pets. As always, Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them only shares information we feel is relevant and helpful to our readers.

🐕 "Each year, an estimated 500,000 pet guardians in the U.S. face a harrowing moment: The realization that the potentially life-saving treatment their pet needs is beyond their reach." -Waggle

Waggle is a crowd funding platform that provides a much needed service for people who are at risk of not being able to afford critical medical care for their beloved pet. Waggle partners directly with Veterinary providers, nonprofits and pet parents to help provide options and second chances for cherished pets.

🐶Waggle's mission is to  "Provide a last-chance safety net for pets in medical crisis by creating a network-based solution to end economic euthanasia of pets🐱

We've all seen requests in email or on social media from various crowdfunding sites, some non-profit and some for-profit. A dog or cat has a serious injury or illness and the pet owner can't afford Veterinary care, so they reach out to the public for monetary donations.

In cases where we know the pet or their owner we want to answer the call for help and donate.  However, sometimes the  pet and owner are total strangers.  I don't know about you, but when I don't know the pet or their family, I'm suspicious.  Sadly, the internet is fraught with deception, and online requests for monetary or other donations are no exception. How do we know the need is real and that the person making the donation request isn't a spammer? The truth is, we don't.

Waggle is the only pet-dedicated crowdfunding platform that partners directly with leading veterinary providers, non-profits and pet parents.  This process verifies the recipient and ensures the need for help to pay for critical vet care is real. 

The partnership between Waggle and it's Veterinary partners ensures that funds go directly to the pet's medical care.  This gives me confidence!

Waggle has many pet success stories, one of which is Cece a six year old Portuguese Water Dog from Connecticut. Cece had been playing in the yard with a neighbor's dog when she suddenly collapsed.  She couldn't stand or put weight on her back leg.  When her family took her to the veterinarian, they discovered Cece needed surgery to remove a damaged ligament in her knee.  A "false" ligament then had to be inserted to stabilize her joint. Afterwards she would need weeks of rehabilitation and therapy. Waggle helped raise $2,000 to help get Cece the critical veterinary care that would help her walk normally again.

Waggle Crowdfunding for pets, crowdfunding platform for pets, crowdfunding for a sick dog
Adorable Cece, cuddling with the human sister who loves her to pieces!

Cece's owners Tom and Margaret had this to say in appreciation of the help they received from generous donors, Waggle, and their expert veterinary partners:

"Tom and I want to thank everyone for their donations and get well wishes for our Cece. She is home from The Saybrook Veterinary Hospital and is doing well. We would especially like to thank Dr. Suzanne Magruder of the Saybrook Veterinary Hospital for telling us about Dr. White who performed Cece`s knee surgery. Dr. Magruder also initiated us to get financial help through Waggle Org. We also want to thank the whole staff of the Saybrook Veterinary Hospital. Their kindness and help was greatly appreciated."  --Tom & Margaret Mazzella

You can read more about Cece's  heartwarming story here.

A heart wrenching story was Kenji, a 2 year old Welsh Pembroke Corgi who needed $1,200 to treat severe wounds following a viscous attack by another dog.

Kenji is a sweet, gentle dog who touches the heart of everyone he meets.  A neighbor's dog escaped out the front door of his house and attacked Kenji, unprovoked.  The dog's owner tried to get him off Kenji but to no avail. It took several minutes for the dog to let go of poor Kenji.  Following the attack Kenji's wounds were severe and he was rushed to the animal hospital for immediate treatment.


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Sweet Kenji, viciously attacked by a neighbor's dog.

Kenji needed surgery to clean and drain his wounds.  Although he was sent home with drains inserted in the affected areas, after a few days his condition worsened and he had to return to the hospital.  This poor sweet boy needed more surgery!  Kenji will need numerous follow-up visits and constant attention for quite some time as he fights to fully recover.

Read more about Kenji's frightening ordeal here.

I can't even imagine how frightened Kenji's mom must have been seeing her furbaby viciously attacked like that and fearing for his life.  What a nightmare.  I'm so glad Waggle was able to help Kenji's family fund the critical veterinary care he needed.


Visit Waggle on Social Media and follow along with more of Waggle's success stories to see how they are changing lives for pets and their owners.


Providing critical funding for pet parents at risk of losing their beloved pet, simply because they can't afford critical Veterinary care.

Do you ever worry about not being able to afford critical Veterinary care?  Please leave us a comment and share your thoughts!


Hindy Pearson said...

I can't imagine how heart wrenching it is to surrender an animal, or have him put down because someone can't pay the vet bills. It doesn't seem right does it, but they definitely can seem astronomical, even for what we think is the smallest thing. Witnessing it first hand as you did had to be incredibly sad. I'm glad to know how many families Waggle has helped, and with continued donations they can help even more.

Lola The Rescued Cat said...

Waggle is doing such great things for pets and their owners, and we just love their mission. We're also going to write about them - as our mom gets moving on it! Luckily, Lexy and I have been healthy, and the only special thing either of us has needed is my acupuncture

LaylasWoof said...

I have never heard of them and it is great to see that there is someone out there who can help. I am blessed as Layla is a client of PAWS so we are covered in so many ways. Thanks for this great information

M. K. Clinton said...

Thank you so much for this information! I didn’t about this organization. I’m following them too!

DawgBlogger said...

Thank you for sharing. Having to let go of a pet because the inability to pay for medical care is devastating. Using up a huge amount of credit and paying it off for years to come hurts too.

Crowdfunding is an awesome tool.

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

I can't fathom ever having to give up one of my dogs. I would literally rather be homeless or sell everything I own in this world than lose my fur babies!

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Yes, they really are. We've been so lucky too not having astronomical Vet bills for anything. I love that Waggle is very transparent, you don't have to worry that the cases are a sham.

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

I'm glad too that there's an organization you can trust when you make a donation. I'm glad you have coverage for Layla - a catastrophic injury or illness can be even more tragic if you can't pay for treatment.

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

The more I research Waggle the more I see them doing so much good for people who can't afford critical Vet care.

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Yes, giving up a pet simply because you can't pay the Vet is tragic. I can't even imagine that. It would certainly hurt to rack up tons of debt but I'd rather pay for the Vet care for years than lose my furbaby.

Beth said...

This sounds like a service to help people afford veterinary care for their pets! In the past I've donated a few times to strangers and then wondered if I should have.

Impurrfectlife said...

Oh reading the start of this post broke my heart. I also have deep empathy for those who are trying their best but just don't have the funds to pay. So glad Waggle provides an opportunity for struggling pet parents to get care for their pet. I'm definitely going to share this.

FiveSibesMom said...

Such an excellent and informative post. I volunteer with The Wally Foundation, and they help families/rescues/fosters of dogs diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy. At times, I am asked if there is any help for dogs who do not have epilepsy for people who fear they have to give them up. I've had two dogs go through CCL and meniscus surgeries, we dubbed them the million dollar bionic dogs! (A bit of an exaggeration, but we did spend crazy $$$$ in surgeries and follow-up rehabilitation & care for them). Lots of credit card payments and over time at work! Scary times...the vet thought our one who blew out both legs at the same time, was not going to make it as both of her legs ligaments "shredded" and a year later her brother blew out one, and the other the following year (due to poor genetics). Happy to report that both dogs recuperated well. One is now having some serious arthritic issues, but we were told that would happen with the extent of her injuries. I don't know what I would do if I had to give them up (or worse in Chloe's case) if we could not pay for their medical expenses. So heartbreaking to think about. This is *so good* to know about. I'm Pinning this to share with others. Such a valuable resource. Thank you, Cathy, for highlighting them and how they can help.

Ruby's Rescued Life said...

What a great post, Cathy! I think this is so much more common than people realize. I can't imagine having to make this choice and I am so glad pet owners now have an option like Waggle!

Skippy said...

Waggle sounds like a wonderful idea! But I would also urge people to look into pet health insurance. I always thought it would be too expensive and probably wouldn't cover much. But it cost less than I thought and getting it foe my for my last dog turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. He was young and healthy and I didn't think I would need it for more than maybe a torn ACL or meds for a bad stomach. Instead in less than a year he suffered serious injuries from a dog attack and then developed a serious illness. He didn't survive the illness, but thanks to his insurance, I was able to try everything we could to save him and give him the best care possible. So if you have a young healthy pet and don't think you need insurance, yes you do. And if you have the resources get it before you need it.

Sweet Purrfections said...

I'd never heard of Waggle. I don't know how much longer Sweet Praline would have lived if I could have afforded veterinary care for her. The vet told me that she only had between 1 month to 1 year to live, even with treatment. I sometimes wonder if that was true. I had the vet euthanize her 1 month later because she had gone downhill. I do know I couldn't afford the treatment required for additional veterinary care at that time.

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

I don't donate to crowdfunding cases that I don't know personally anymore, there have been too many scams! I like Waggle because they work directly with Veterinarians, Shelters, and pet parents and they offer donors transparency into the case.

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

I know, it's so hard to hear but it does happen and people can help. I'm glad there is an alternative to euthanizing your critically ill or injured pet or surrendering them to a rescue.

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Oh my goodness Dorothy, I didn't realize you went through so much with your dogs' injuries! That can be financially devastating! I'm so glad it worked out for you but so many people would feel they had little alternative but to give up or euthanize their cherished pet. I shudder to think about it. Thank you so much for sharing my post and for sharing your experiences with your huskies.

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

Oh, thank you so much Kristin, I really appreciate that! I agree, it is much more common than folks realize. Working with shelters and rescues, as we do, we see it all too often. It can be so heartwrenching. I love the great work Waggle does, and how their process works.

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

I'm so sorry about losing your dog, Skippy, I know how heartbreaking that is. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I agree wholeheartedly that pet insurance is a great thing to have, I blogged about it in April of this year. For those who don't have pet insurance, or if their pet insurance doesn't cover all the costs for critical care, Waggle can step in to help. I always encourage people to get pet insurance if they can.

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

I'm so sorry, that must have been just heart-wrenching for you not being able to afford to try to help Angel Praline. I sometimes feel the same way about my childhood dog - I wonder if my parents could have helped her but couldn't afford it. She was 17 years old and perfectly healthy until that fateful day when she just collapsed for seemingly no reason.... my Angel Ginny.

meowmeowmans said...

Waggle is awesome! Our friend was able to get a critical medical procedure done for her cat thanks to a successful Waggle campaign. Thank you for sharing about the great things they are doing for pet owners. :)

Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them said...

I'm so happy to hear that! Thank you for sharing about your friend's successful Waggle campaign.

Mark Taylor said...

Nice post...

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