Save on veterinary care

February 2, 2011 9:04:40 PM PST
When 10-month-old Campy got sick, Zachary Taylor took him to see a veterinarian here at the PAWS Wellness Center in Greys Ferry.

"It meant a lot," Taylor explains. "Because I called around for a couple other places and there was no other place that I could really afford. Even now, I had to borrow money off of a friend to bring her here, but it's still really affordable though."

When pet-owners' budgets get tight, it's often the animals who suffer.

"A couple of things can happen," explains Melissa Levy of the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society. "I think some people feel they have no other choice by to abandon their pet if they're not able to afford proper care. Other people keep their pets, but don't provide the proper care and then they start to see illnesses and other issues that come up with their pets, or unwanted litters are born if they can't afford to have their pets spayed or neutered."

The PAWS Wellness Center provides low-cost basic vet care, including vaccinations and spay-neuter operations.

"At a minimum, animals need to be properly vaccinated," Levy says. "That's the law and that's really the step that helps prevent disease and other issues from arising over a lifetime. So, at a minimum, we recommend one visit a year to a veterinarian to obtain proper vaccinations. It can be very inexpensive. We even have walk-in clinics where for $20 to $25 you can get the vaccinations that your pet needs."

Spaying and neutering operations not only prevent unwanted litters but also help animals avoid certain diseases.

"Spayed and neutered animals are less likely to get some forms of cancer," Levy says. "They are more likely to live a longer, healthier life if they're spayed or neutered."

The PAWS Center also has limited funding to provide free veterinary care to low-income pet owners who receive public assistance. But their funding is running out, and they're looking for donations so they can continue to provide those services.

To find out more about the low-cost services provided by PAWS, click here.

And here are some other resources for low-cost veterinary care:
Pennsylvania SPCA
The Spayed Club of Sharon Hill
City Kitties
TreeTops Rescue
No Nonsense Neutering in Allentown, Pa.
Humane Society of Berks County
Chester County SPCA
Prancing Paws Animal Rescue

If you need help paying emergency veterinary bills, here are some funds that may be able to help: The Pet Fund
Angels for Animals
Brown Dog Foundation
Cats in Crisis
Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program
Canine Cancer Awareness
Diabetic Pet Fund
The Mosby Fund
Feline Outreach
Cats in Crisis