Working in emergency veterinary medicine can be an incredibly difficult and heartbreaking career path, but one with plentiful rewards. Although we often see pets and their families at their lowest, we know we are doing our part to help. Nothing is more rewarding and uplifting than seeing an extremely ill pet walk out the door with a wagging tail after untold hours of care, devotion, sweat, and tears. However, as with all service industry businesses, our help can be limited by finances, but our community funding and programs mean we can help more pets than before. Unfortunately, not many people know about all the assistance our community offers, so our Pet Emergency Clinic and Referral Center team wants to share information about the resources available should you need assistance for your four-legged friend’s care.

AlignCare: How we work together helping pets

While AlignCare’s main goal is to ensure all pets have financially accessible preventive health care to avoid serious, preventable problems later, they also provide financial aid to patients in emergency situations. Some stipulations must be met to qualify for AlignCare, but signing up for this program can provide financial assistance to help keep your furry friend healthy and happy. 

AlignCare offers incredible benefits for patients in need by covering 80% of your total bill, taking away much of the stress and struggle associated with financially caring for your pet in an emergency. This allows you to focus on decision-making regarding your pet’s best care, rather than basing your decision on finances. We’ve recently seen two patients who qualified for AlignCare’s benefits, and removing the financial burden from these families was tremendous. With bills totaling more than $1,000, AlignCare’s coverage ensured the pets’ families were responsible for only $200 to $300. Our hospital director could not have been more pleased with the AlignCare partnership to provide essential care, saying, “After seeing so many clients stressed due to financial restraints, AlignCare is the epitome of lifesaving. There are several layers to any visit with a veterinariantaking away the most stressful one allows us to serve our clients and patients that much more.”

The Hambone Award: How we care for pets together

The Hambone Award check is gifted to veterinary clinics with true hero stories, and the Nationwide Hambone Award is gifted to pets with the oddest insurance claim of the year. Some claims are funny, while some are traumatic, but the traumatic stories often have a heartwarming ending. Such is a recent case with two missing German shepherds. After missing for 22 days, the dogs were found by their owner at the bottom of a ladder inside an abandoned missile silo. After rescuing her scared, malnourished pets, the owner tried treating her dogs at home, but was not as successful as she’d hoped. Fortunately for the two dogs, their condition was not severe, and they recovered uneventfully with veterinary care. 

Since treating these dogs, we’ve used the Hambone Award check to cover a portion of bills for clients who have reached their financial limit. Over the two-year span of having this award, we have provided financial assistance to more than 10 clients and patients, including Frankie Wicker

Spokane Humane Society: How our partnership helps pets

In our area, the only other veterinary clinic that has partnered with AlignCare is the Spokane Humane Society, which helped implement the program in our community. Our local humane society performs numerous services for our pet population, including providing a no-kill animal shelter and low-income spaying and neutering. We’re proud to partner with such an organization to ensure the pets in our community are well-cared for. 

Murci’s Mission: How we rescue pets together

Murci’s Mission is an animal rescue that takes in animals with limited options, places them in foster care, and provides veterinary care until they’re healthy and ready to be adopted. We partner with Murci’s Mission when pet owners cannot manage any available treatment or payment options. Although relinquishing their pet to an animal rescue is the last resort for many pet owners, it can help save a pet’s life. We work together with Murci’s Mission by providing veterinary care for their rescued pets, and by offering this option to clients.  

Hope House: How we help more than pets in our community

Hope House, a shelter for women who suffer from homelessness, along with addiction or mental health problems, is another Spokane community organization that we champion. Although helping pets in need is a cause near and dear to our hearts, we wanted to do more for our community, so three or more times per year, our team fills a giant crate with donations for Hope House residents. To help us support these women in need in our community, we’re always accepting donations of clothing, pet food, blankets, pillows, feminine hygiene products, baby food and formula, and canned and boxed non-perishable food items. 

If you’re unsure if you’re a candidate for financial assistance through one of the partnership programs we’ve outlined, contact our Pet Emergency Clinic and Referral Center team.