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Financial Aid for Urgent Veterinary Care

What Is Urgent?    •    Online Sources for Financial Aid    •     Life Support Decisions    •     JCHS Financial Aid

What Is Urgent?

Our Goal is to help individuals in immediate need provide necessary veterinary care to save the life of their own animal or one they have just rescued.

We may pay a dollar amount or a percentage of the bill (as a grant or a loan) at the veterinary clinic of our choice.

This financial aid will usually cover the cost of diagnostics and simple treatment. We rarely have enough money too cover complicated treatment plans.

You are eligibile to apply providing you reside in Johnson County (Iowa) or in contiguous counties:   Benton; Cedar; Iowa;  Linn; Muscatine; Lousia; or Washington.

Note that Johnson County Humane Society defines a veterinary emergency as:

an animal's life-or-death situation (not routine medical care) that calls for immediate action by a veterinarian

Photo: Fletcher the cat and Sara

Here are some examples of veterinary urgent care that we might fund:

•  a male cat who can pee only in tiny amounts (may have a plugged urethra)

•  an animal hit by a car (may have internal injuries)

•  an animal with a laceration that won’t stop bleeding

Here are some examples of routine veterinary care not likely to be funded:

•  vaccinations or treatment for parasites

•  wellness exams or allergy shots

We are fortunate to have two 24-hour emergency vetmed clinics in our area:

Blue Pearl Pet Hospital—319-841-5161 (formally Eastern Iowa Veterinary Specialty Center)
755 Capital Drive, SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 (map)

Emergency Veterinary Service of Iowa City—319-338-3605
3030 Northgate Drive
Iowa City, IA 52245 (map)

Care Credit—A credit card company for health care, including veterinary care. With a comprehensive range of plan options, for treatment or procedure fees from $1 to over $25,000, they offer a plan and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every budget. But it’s 21% interest. In addition to Care Credit, Blue Pearl Pet Hospital is partnering with Green State Credit Union to offer payment options for their clients. Application information appears on their home page.

Graphic: cat in bed.
Graphic:  Sick pup being licked by mom.

Pet Health Insurance

North American Pet Health Insurance Associationan independent source to help those interested in insurance for their pets determine what pet insurance should be provided

Poison Control

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Centerthe American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals compilation of toxic plants, drugs, and information about making your home poison safe

Before you down load our financial aid application, do some homework. Check out the web resources listed below to see if you may qualify for assistance. Explore these options first.

Online Sources of Financial Aid for Urgent Veterinary Care

Trouble Affording Vet Care?—good ideas from HSUS

Pet Owner Aid, Spay/Neuter Resources, and Rescue Group Assistance

American Animal Hospital Association

Assistance Dog United Campaign—Operated in association with The Assistance Dog Institute, this nonprofit helps people with disabilities find funding to purchase service dogs. Phone: 800 284-DOGS (3647).

Brown Dog Foundation

Canine Cancer Awareness Org

Cody’s Club—When facing radiation for your companion animal, this group may be able to make a tough decision easier. Cody’s Club provides financial support for those who face radiation treatments on a limited income, and also emotional support services in the form of a hotline and in-person group that meets monthly.

Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance (FVEAP)—Seniors, people with disabilities, people who have lost their job, good Samaritans who rescue a cat or kitten—any of these may need financial assistance to save a beloved companion.

Frankie's Friends—Dedicated to finding cures and saving pets with cancer and other life-threatening conditions.

God’s Creatures Ministry—Helps pay for veterinarian bills for those who need help

The Magic Bullet Fund—Helps people who have a dog with cancer but cannot afford treatment costs.

Modest Needs—you can INSTANTLY change the life of a low-income family by clicking ‘Learn More or Invest Points’ and authorizing Modest Needs to make the grant of your choice. If you do, we’ll fund that application instantly.

The Mosby Foundation

The Pet Fund—financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need urgent veterinary care.

RedRover Relief
—Helps homeless or recently rescued animals suffering from life-threatening conditions that require specific and immediate emergency veterinary care. We strive to serve Good Samaritans and rescue groups who take in sick or injured animals. In certain cases, LifeLine can also assist senior citizens and low-income families pay for immediate emergency veterinary care.

Best Friends—great resource!

Injury/Disease Specific Assistance Programs

Big Hearts Fund—cardiac-condition related care for cats and dogs

Resources for Dogs with Cancer—recognizes a caretaker of handicapped pets that need some special attention, and a little extra help

Photo: Clancy the cat's injured eye
Photo: Hunter the grey cat on his bed

Breed Specific Assistance Programs

Berner Emergency Health Assistance Fund—financial assistance for purebred Bernese Mountain Dogs for treatment of accidental injuries or catastrophic medical conditions

Boston Terrier Rescue Net

Boxer Rescue Foundation
—financial assistance for rescued boxers while in foster care

Chow Chow Club’s Welfare Fund—financial aid to rescue volunteers for basic medical services needed to make homeless purebred Chow Chows adoptable

CorgiAid—may have cart loans for corgis

Keeshond Sunshine Rescue Foundation—financial aid for medical expenses of rescued Keeshonds in foster care


Labrador Lifeline

Pit Bull Rescue Central—financial assistance for medical care; spay/neuter assistance

PYRAMEDIC Trust—for Great Pyrenees

Westimed—for West Highland White Terriers

Life-support Decisions*

Our fears of the unknown cause an incredible amount of avoidable grief. There is much we can do proactively that will make our inevitable parting easier. When our pets face life-threatening problems, we face four options:

•  do everything possible to treat the problem;

•  do everything possible up to a certain limit, then terminate treatment if the response doesn’t meet our needs or expectations;

•  focus any care on making the animal comfortable or ensuring her safety (and other’s safety too, if necessary) rather than treating the problem; or

•  euthanize the animal.

Grafic:  White dove.
Photo: Dennis Cowles, DVM drawing blood from Benny the cat held by Brenda Corso

Answers to the following ten questions will help you formulate advance directives for your pet. Putting your thoughts on paper while your pet is still alive will help you when the time comes that healthcare decisions need to be made about her future.

1. What do you believe your pet values the most about his life?

2. How do you feel about death and dying?

3. Do you believe you should do everything in your power to preserve your pet’s life as long as possible?

4. If you don’t believe in prolonging your pet’s life as long as possible, what physical, behavioral, or bond conditions would cause you to either initiate or to terminate treatment?

5. What conditions might cause you to at least temporarily treat the conditions listed in question 4?

6. How much pain and risk would you be willing to put yourself, your pet, and others through if recovery seemed likely?

7. What if the chance of recovery were poor?

8. Would your pet’s age affect your choice to treat or not treat her?

9. Would any religious or personal views affect your treatment of your pet if he developed serious problems?

10. Will financial considerations affect if and how you treat your pet?

*taken from Preparing for the Loss of Your Pet,” by Myrna Milani, DVM.

Photo: Jake the orange cat almost asleep

JCHS Financial Aid for Urgent Veterinary Care

Photo: removing Iris the cat's eye

JCHS has a limited amount of money available to help with urgent veterinary care. It is distributed on a case-by-case basis.

Our goal is to help individuals residing in Johnson Couty (Iowa) and contiguous counties (see above) in immediate need provide necessary emergency medical care to save the life of their own animal or one they have just rescued. Some questions we take into consideration when evaluating each situation include:

•  is the animal’s life in immediate danger?

•  how does the problem present itself?

•  how is the animal behaving right now?

•  when was the last time the animal ate/drank?

•  how much are you (the caregiver) able to help out financially or otherwise? Every little bit counts. Really.

We may pay a dollar amount or a percentage of the bill (as a grant or a loan) at the veterinary clinic of our choice.

We want to help, but can’t unless you complete and submit the following application.

Download the Financial Aid for Urgent Veterinary Care application. E-mail the completed application back to us and we will contact you.

The Financial Aid for Urgent Veterinary Care application is a PDF file.
If you don’t already have Adobe’s Acrobat Reader, download it for free.
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Photo: IHop the tortie kitten

Last update: 013021.1149pm


Contact Us at

JCHS  •  P.O. BOX 2775  •  IOWA CITY, IA  52244-2775

NOTE that we are a small group of volunteers, most of whom work during the day. We will get back to you as soon as we can.



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