If you can’t afford your vet bills, there is some help

More and more pets are being surrendered to animal shelters because people can’t afford to keep them, especially the vet bills, which have gone up, just like everything else. 

"But there is help" says Lori Weise, with Downtown Dog Rescue.

They have partnered with aligncarehealth.org - a national nonprofit that works with local communities to improve access to veterinary services for underserved communities. It’s like a Medi-Cal for your pets, explains Weise, saying that once an owner qualifies, it applies to pets for life.

The usual client is an elderly, or disabled person on a fixed income like Shane Avery. He’s had his service dog, Catherine, since she was a puppy and "was able to handle the veterinary bills for a while". His constant companion, the now graying black lab suffers from chronic allergies and a perennial ear condition that got so serious it became life-threatening. 

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"Align Care payed for 80% of the $1,000 plus bill," he said "with DDR taking care of the rest".

For the folks at Downtown Dog Rescue, it’s one of the more than 400 cases they’ve helped since May. That’s 400 fewer animals going to shelters like theirs, which is full of loving, sweet animals that were loved by someone and had a home, until their families had to give them up.

If you are looking for a pet companion, or a great place to donate – and get a tax deduction, please consider them, and check them out at downtowndogrescue.org