Pet Ownership

Financial help Spay Neuter

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Finding Financial Help to Get Your Pet Fixed -

There is one thing every owner of a cat or dog can do to help reduce the number of unwanted animals in this country. That one thing is to have your own pet spayed or neutered.

The reason?

For every 10 animals surrendered to pounds and shelters across the country, less than FOUR come out alive.

If you want to do the right thing, but think you can't afford the surgery, there are some options:

1) Talk to your vet
If you have a good relationship with your veterinarian, ask them to give you the "rescue" or "humane society" rate. Explain your circumstances. Offer to make payments or to work a part of the cost off at the clinic - or at their home. If you vet won't work with you, perhaps it's time to find a new vet.

2) Shop around
The cost of the surgery can vary wildly from vet to vet, and your vet may not have the best price - call around to see if there's a vet you can afford. The Humane Society has a list of their veterinary clinics by state, as well as charities other organizations that can help with the cost of spaying and neutering, as well as other medical conditions.

3) Find a spay/neuter clinic
Especially in larger urban areas, and occasionally in rural areas, individual vets offer low-cost spaying/neutering one day a month. There are also low-cost clinics devoted to ensuring pets have their basic inoculations, as well as ensuring pets are spayed or neutered. Look in the phone book or Google "spay neuter clinic". all-around emergency and animal solutions website, including information on spay and neuter clinics by zip code.

4) Contact a local rescue group
If your vet won't work with you, a local rescue group, humane society or even animal control may know of veterinarians who offer discounts or run their own clinics. You might need to drive a a bit, but the difference between $100 around the corner and $50 in the next town may make it worth the trip.

5) Nationwide/Statewide programs
There are also state and nationwide programs that can help. You receive a certificate and the name of a relatively local vet who will perform the procedure.
A referral service, that also works to educate the public on the importance of getting all pets fixed.
This site has a list of programs listed by state, for all 50 states, as well as general cat information, and information on low cost immunization. The site is cat specific, but the references are to both cat and dog clinics.
This is an animal rights and welfare site, but also has a list of clinics and supportive vets by zip code.

- What you can do to say "thank you"
These are programs and clinics run primarily by donation and volunteers. If you vet decides to give you a break on a price, it's their good deed for the week and any discount will come out of their pocket. Show your gratitude. If you can, volunteer your time. Clinics always need old towels and blankets for bedding. Offer to foster an animal (rescue groups will provide food and reimburse you for expenses). Include your vet on your Christmas card list. And when you can afford to, donate money yourself, so someone else's pet will benefit.

Finally, even if you think you can't afford it, getting your pet spayed or neutered WILL save you money in the long run. Not only will you prevent yet another litter of unwanted puppies or kittens, but your animal will be happier and healthier too.

More about this author: Pat Gray

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