Pet Assistance: How To Care For Your Cat When You’re Cash Poor

Posted: February 14, 2021 by Anita

pet assistance

These are challenging times we are living in. During these tough times, it can be difficult affording food for yourself – let alone having the money for food for your cat.

There are food banks out there for humans, but what do you do when you can’t afford to feed your cat? Or take it to the vet?

In a recent study by Best Friend Animal Society, one of the top reasons pets are surrendered to shelters is financial reasons. It is a heartbreaking decision – no one wants to give up the cat that they love so much.

There are resources out there to assist you should things become difficult financially. We all know about food banks and the help that they provide in feeding individuals and families.

But there are also resources for owners who have a hard time taking care of their cat when things get tight financially.

In this article, I discuss pet assistance programs and other resources cat owners can contact when things get tough.

What is a pet assistance program?

Pet assistance programs provide help with animal care to individuals and families who are struggling financially.

As cat owners face the stress of dealing with a pandemic, and unemployment, animal welfare leagues, animal shelters, and churches are stepping up to assist.

Some organizations help pay veterinary bills, some help with food, and some offer free or low-cost spay and neuters. Others assist pets that meet specific requirements.

These are all awesome resources for owners facing financial issues but giving up their cat is not an option.

And the great thing about exploring these resources is re-homing your cat doesn’t have to be an option

In researching this article I came across the organization, “Animal Farm Foundation” whose goal is to promote a more collaborative approach to pet assistance programs that I’ve never considered.

The Animal Farm Foundation believes that to separate the needs of pets from the family’s needs creates a barrier – it says our pets are not really part of our family. This group is pushing to have pet assistance resources be part of a holistic approach to helping low-income families and individuals who are suffering financial difficulties—a one-stop-shop for both human and animal assistance.

To read more about the Animal Farm Foundation collaborative approach to pet assistance, click here.

Pet assistance for low-income families and individuals allows cat owners to hold on to their pets instead of having to give them up to shelters which could lead to death for the animal.

Types of pet assistance programs

There’s no Red Cross or FEMA, or national network that coordinates pet assistance programs.

The concept of helping pet owners has become a grass-roots movement as animal welfare, advocate groups, and caring individuals have begun pet assistance programs in response to the needs of the community and its pets.

These organizations have one or more of the following types of pet assistance. Each organization has its own rules and requirement. You will need to research each organization separately to determine if you qualify for aid.

Pet food and pet supplies

Pet food pantries and food banks provide pet food for pet owners who cannot afford it. Even before COVID-19, the need for this type of assistance was important to low-income families, the elderly, the homeless, and other community members who are in need for whatever reason.

To find an organization offering free pet food distribution and pet supplies such as cat litter, the first place to start is your local pet shelter and rescue organization. Some of these organizations might have pet food and supplies on a limited basis. However, some pet shelters have the financial resources to offer free cat food.

An excellent online resource to start is the website “Feeding the Pets of the Homeless.” Feeding the Pets of the Homeless is the only national organization focused on providing for the pets of the homeless.

While Feeding the Pets of the Homeless central social platform is the pets of the homeless – their outreach also includes low-income families and individuals impacted financially.

What is valuable about their website is their search engine. If you put in your zip code or city, it will provide a list of your area resources. This organization’s website has plenty of information on pet food donation sites.

Spay and neuter

Some animal welfare organizations, rescue organizations, shelters, and vet clinics offer low-cost spay and neuter services.

Petsmart Charities has a database that you can search to find a clinic near you.

Some organizations offer free spay and neuter services or vouchers for spay and neuter services. Finding a clinic that offers free spay and neuter takes a little bit more search effort.

And it might involve making a few phone calls to clinics to see if they are offering free spay and neuter. To begin your search, check out the website “Love That Cat.com.”

Finally, you can search Google.com by typing “free spay and neuter near me.”

Pet financial aid and low cost vet care

For pet owners struggling to make ends meet, there are financial aid programs out there that can help cover vet care costs.

You can find a great resource for finding financial aid programs offered by animal welfare organizations; check out the Best Friends Animal Society (the largest sanctuary for homeless animals) by clicking here.

Again, another option is to do a Google search for “free veterinary care for low income near me“.

Where to go for help

I believe the best place to reach out to when needing assistance with caring for your cat is your local humane society.

Many humane societies are connected, either through social networks or business partnerships, to private and public programs that can get you the assistance you need.

From there, Google search is another great source of information. If you don’t have access to a computer or internet connection, try your local library, friends, or neighbors.

What you can do to help

Is there a pet food pantry or bank in your area? Why not start a free pet food pantry in your community?

Or hold a pet food drive where folks can donate pet food to give to your neighborhood pet food pantry.

Conclusion

There are resources out there to assist you should things become difficult financially. We all know about food banks and the help that they provide in feeding individuals and families.

But there are also resources for pet owners who have a hard time taking care of their cat when things get tight financially.

Pet assistance programs provide help with animal care to individuals and families who are struggling financially.

As cat owners face the stress of dealing with a pandemic, unemployment, animal welfare leagues, animal shelters, and churches are stepping up to assist.

The very best place to reach out to when needing assistance with caring for your cat is your local humane society.

Many humane societies are connected, either through social networks or business partnerships, to private and public programs that can get you the assistance you need.

Looking to help others? Why not start a community pet food bank?

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