Here are a few ways to help pay for cancer care and pet cancer research.

Cancer is not a topic anyone ever wants to deal with, especially when it comes to a loved one, human or animal. The questions and emotions associated with a cancer diagnosis are intense and often long-lived. During the course of treatment, one concern is the cost of cancer care. Sadly, paying for cancer care can be an added stress to an already difficult situation. Here we will explore some options for helping pay for cancer care in pets and how to donate to cancer research. Together we can help each other get through difficult times and advance pet cancer care.

Angel Donations

An angel donation is when you make a payment towards the care of another person’s pet. To do this you contact the hospital where a pet is being treated and put money on their account. This can be anonymous or in your name. I have seen angel donation at work in one of my hospitals and it is truly heart-warming. I have a client that decided to make a donation once a month after her pet passed in her memory. This donation was given to one client per month. Owners receiving this money were always so excited and appreciated the act of kindness. This act has resulted in these owners then making their own angel donations to others, so now multiple families donate periodically. These acts of kindness go a very long way in helping support someone treating their pet for cancer. Please consider making an angel donation, it feels great and really helps.

Funding Resources

Multiple resources are also available to help pay for pet health care. Each resource will have its pros and cons when it comes to fees, eligibility, assistance available and exclusion criteria. Below are some of the more common methods pet owners choose to help pay for cancer care or health care in general.

  • Care credit- This is essentially a health credit card that can be used for both human and veterinary health needs. Care Credit is accepted at many veterinary hospitals and helps owners by allowing them short-term financing of their health care bills.
  • The Pet Fund- this non-profit offers direct funding to owners for health care via an application process. Their website also offers an extensive list of resources for pet owners when it comes to funding pet health care both cancer-related and for non-cancer needs.
  • Crowdfunding- This resource utilizes websites where you can create a profile and share your needs with others. Crowdfunding can be used to pay for just about anything and I have certainly had clients use it to pay for cancer care. In some instances, I’ve seen owners raise money in excess of what they actually need. Some of the more popular crowdfunding sites are http://www.giveforward.com/ and https://www.gofundme.com/.

Pet Cancer Research

Now we move to the big picture. How can we work together to fight cancer? The fight against cancer is not just in the clinic on a patient-by-patient basis. Progress happens when we can address cancer on a larger scale via research. Thousands of cancer research trials are going on at any given moment. Enrolling our pet in a clinical trial contributes to research. To find a cancer trial near you simply search the AVMA health studies database. This database covers all pet health research.

Funding research is the other way you can help fight cancer. Running a clinical trial is very expensive so funding for cancer research is always needed. Multiple organizations fund cancer research in pets and take donations to distribute to various studies. Each year researchers from across the globe apply to have their research funded. Some of the most common sources of research funding include the Morris animal foundation and Canine health foundation. Both of these organizations are very respectable and contribute tremendously to research. A donation to these organizations can help fund pet cancer research.  

Lastly, consider a donation to your alma mater or local university. Cancer research occurs at universities nationwide. Most universities accept direct donations to help fund pet cancer research. Both my alma mater and local university do some very important cancer research and they would appreciate your support.

Together we can make a difference.

M.J.Hamilton, DVM, DACVIM(O)  

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