The human-pet bond holds many well-researched benefits to the individual and the wider community. An owner’s financial constraints can endanger the bond between pet and owner when veterinary care is out-of-reach.
Helping pensioners and disadvantaged owners to save their pets through provision of veterinary care, so that bond is preserved, is Pet Medical Crisis’s mission. Our Motto: ‘Keeping pets and their people united in health‘.
Victorian Vets with suitable clients may apply
Pet Medical Crisis (PMC) is now proud to be operating in association with all Victorian Vets. We are pleased to have assisted owners and pets from over 70 Veterinary clinics across Victoria and are expanding to cover more regions in 2020.
Any Victorian Veterinary Clinic is welcome to apply for funds to assist a pensioner or disadvantaged person whose pet is in danger of being unnecessarily euthanised. Once a plan of care is known and it is established that the owner has exhausted all avenues of funding and is in dire need of assistance, the Vet is asked to reduce the cost of care to ‘at-cost’ to see if the owner is able to then proceed.
The owner must commit to putting in as much as they are able and if not sufficient to get their pet over-the-line, then PMC is consulted to see if we can assist in bridging the gap between ‘at-cost’ veterinary care and what the owner can afford.
Case Selection Criteria
PMC has been established to financially assist pet owners in necessitous circumstances who meet our criteria and cannot afford full costs of veterinary treatment. The basis for this criteria is that the pet owner is on Centrelink benefits and explain their financial and social circumstances.
Good examples of appropriate recipients would be persons having to consider unnecessary euthanasia for an otherwise saveable pet because they are:
- aged pensioners who would have little or no opportunity to repay the veterinary cost
- persons receiving an Australian pension or are on a health care card concession
- persons with extraordinary necessitous circumstances
- unemployed persons without financial security
Examples of inappropriate requests would be:
- owners who find veterinary bills to be a drain on their finances but they are employed and able to repay costs for their pet’s surgery
- people who are financially secure and ineligible for Centrelink support
- non-emergencies who are not in a life-threatening state
- pets who are as yet undiagnosed and without a plan of care
- owners who have not exhausted other means of funding
Criteria for case selection are outlined below:
- The pets illness must constitute a genuine emergency or have a degree of urgency where the only other alternative would be avoidable demise or euthanasia purely due to financial constraints.
- Available to screened owners in ‘necessitous circumstances’ to assist their companion animals experiencing a medical crisis.
- No specific breed, gender or age restrictions apply.
- Once treated, the patient should have a fair-to-excellent long-term prognosis. These funds are unfortunately not accessible to terminal cases.
- The total veterinary costs are not fully funded by PMC. The veterinary clinic will discount the overall fee (to cost where possible) and the owner decides how much they are able to contribute. PMC is then consulted to see if sufficient funds are being held to bridge the gap usually to a $1,000 limit per case.
- Funds are only paid to the veterinary hospitals account for the pet in care; no funds are paid to individuals or owners.
- Suitable cases may include but are not limited to minor dog/cat fight wounds or trauma, acute intoxication, abscesses, ocular prolapse, dental surgery, surgical conditions e.g. gastrointestinal foreign bodies, spinal cord decompression, shunt repairs, etc.
- Medical cases are frequently beyond the scope of the charity as they are not confined to a short period of intervention and resolution of problem. For example ongoing insulin or cushings disease medications etc Each decision is made on a case-by-case basis.
Applications for funding can be made by the Vet Clinic or the owner via our online website: www.petmedicalcrisis.com.au and clicking top right link “Need Help“.
Many veterinary clinics across Victoria have used Pet Medical Crisis’s services previously and have a private phone number to call the CEO, Jennifer Hunt, who can give a decision regarding funding on-the-spot. Other cases should be done via the website application www.petmedicalcrisis.com.au or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recipients of Pet Medical Crisis Funding will be asked about their privacy needs with relation to social media posts: – whether their social and financial status can be disclosed (eg. name, single parent, disability pension, suburb etc) can be disclosed or not. We ask for consent to have local, state or national media cover the story of their pet and the PMC’s assistance. This enables acknowledgment of the PMC and the opportunity to ask the public for donations to continue our work. Where possible the details from communication with the owner, vet and charity are documented in an email to all parties to keep everyone on the same page regarding expectations.
Owners reneging on accepted agreements such as media stories, privacy requirements etc. following engagement with the charity to assist them, may be liable for reimbursement of any donations dedicated to their pet’s care. The manager holds full discretionary power over funds and how they are administered.
NB: Please ensure that clear photos/videos are obtained of every case prior to, during and after the procedure, as these will be used by the Facebook / Instagram / LinkedIn etc community page, media, websites and for further fundraising purposes.