Veterinarian Collaboration

Our goal is to help with affordable pet care

Do you own or work at a veterinary clinic, and want to help make animal companion care accessible to low income and in-crisis families?

1 in 7 households in Ontario are both low-income and have a pet, and you can help ensure these families have access to the veterinary care they need. Any step, no matter how small, makes you part of the greater effort to solve this problem. Here are some simple ways to be part of the solution:

  1. Refer eligible clients to PAWS’ programs if they are struggling to cover their pet’s bills and especially if they feel their only option is surrender or euthanasia. We are glad to assist you or your client with the application process, please email your questions to us at apply@pawscanada.ca. All enquiries are handled confidentially.
  2. Educate your clients about the cost benefits of preventive care.
  3. Inform your clients of the existence and potential help of pet insurance and veterinary financing companies.
  4. Offer deferred payment or installment payment options for those who cannot cover a large bill upfront.
  5. Create your own pet food bank at your clinic, for use by your clients and the public.
  6. Provide appointments, prescriptions and prescription food at a discount to struggling families or those with chronically ill pets.
  7. Host ‘preventive care days’, where clients can bring their pet in for a basic wellness check, vaccines or other routine procedures at a reduced cost. Advertise these days to the community at large so that those without a veterinarian can attend.
  8. Develop a community outreach program to assist struggling pet owners in your community on a wider scale.
  9. Donate or help advertise fundraisers for pet food banks, PAWS, Animalert, the Farley Foundation and other groups dedicated to improving access to affordable pet care.
  10. Start your own in-house charitable fund to assist struggling families in covering the unexpected costs of emergency care.

We at PAWS work with multiple veterinary clinics across Ontario to ensure that everyone can access the veterinary services they need. If you’d like to work with us or learn more, please email us at outreach@pawscanada.ca.

Frequently Asked Questions

By contacting us at apply@pawscanada.ca, applications can often be done in real-time, as our Program Administrator closely monitors incoming applications and can usually respond in a timely manner.  However, we would not be able to immediately respond to clients that come in during the evening or early morning hours, as we do not have the volunteer base to monitor the applications 24/7.

Yes, veterinary clinics are welcome to apply on behalf of their clients and use their clinic’s contact information, as we understand not everyone has access to an e-mail or a phone number. We still require that the entire application form be completed and the proof of income before any application can be approved.

 i).  application completed online and proof of income is sent in

 ii).  the application is reviewed by the Program Administrator, to confirm if our criteria are met.  The location of the applicant and family income are the key criteria components.  Income requirements are based on the LICO table that is published annually by Stats Canada and is posted on our website.

 iii).  the Program Administrator checks to insure we have the available funds before approving any applications

iv).  the applicant is then contacted:

  1. a) if denied, we state the reason and provide alternative resources to contact for financial assistance
  2. b) if approved, we e-mail the applicant to let them know the amount being approved, to advise as to the min of $25 expected to be paid by the applicant, to let their vet know that we will subsidize the vet bill, and also that we pay the vet directly. We do not pay applicants directly, accept 3rd party type invoices, nor do we prepay for any services.

Once the vet has completed treatment(s), we then request that the vet e-mails us a copy of the invoice issued to the applicant. Upon receipt of the invoice, a cheque is issued and sent out within approx. 48 hrs or 2 business days. If the vet will not accept a cheque, we can sometimes make exceptions and pay the bill using our Visa card.

In the event that a companion animal needs to be treated by more than one veterinary professional or will require medication for the same illness/procedure, we would pay a max of $400 to be used for all services. For example, if the total vet bill is less than $400, we would be able to payout anything remaining from the original $400 to a specialist, for medications, etc.