Financial assistance

Financial Assistance Funds

Thanks to the generosity of donors, we are able to offer financial assistance to eligible clients who are unable to afford veterinary care for their pet and qualified Minnesota rescue and shelter organizations.

Applicants should review the below information and discuss their specific case with their VMC veterinary team before applying. Financial assistance is only available for care and treatment at the VMC, and all pets must be seen by a VMC clinician before being eligible. 

We are grateful to donors who make our financial assistance program possible. We rely exclusively on fundraising efforts to provide financial assistance to families. While our goal is to serve as many pets as possible, our resources are limited. Applying for funds does not indicate that requests can be met.

Chirpy, served by the VMC Shelter & Rescue Animal Fund to repair a congenital heart defect

Chirpy, served by the VMC Shelter & Rescue Animal Fund to repair a congenital heart defect

Financial assistance for individuals

Financial assistance for individuals

Application process
Discuss your interest with your VMC veterinarian and complete the application for one of our financial assistance funds during your visit to the VMC. The application requires that you apply to Care Credit for the high end of your estimate before moving forward. Care Credit funds must be exhausted before any financial assistance is applied from the VMC. 

Financial assistance funds include the VMC Companion Animal Fund. Some funds are specific to an area of care within the VMC such as emergency and critical care, urgent care, and oncology. Your VMC veterinarian will help you determine which fund best fits your case.

Please note that with the exception of emergency euthenasia, all applications must be submitted before your pet is discharged.

Applicant responsibility
Clients are responsible for the initial exam fee at the time of the exam. When applying for financial assistance funds, all available credit must first be exhausted from Care Credit before the client is eligible. (Clients must apply to Care Credit using the high end of the estimate provided to them by the VMC.) Financial assistance funds cannot exceed the maximum amount available as dictated by the fund. If the total bill is under that amount, grant funding cannot exceed the bill. Clients will be eligible for financial assistance grants from any given fund one time every three years, or one time every five years for oncology financial assistance funds. Clients will not be allowed to use grant money awarded on subsequent visits. 

The University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center has sole discretion to deny any grant application. If you have any questions about applying for financial assistance funds, please ask a Customer Contact Center representative who will be happy to assist you. 

Financial assistance for rescue organizations

Financial assistance for rescue organizations

VMC Shelter & Rescue Animal Fund
The VMC is committed to helping all animals receive the care they need to thrive. In addition to the non-profit discount rate for eligible organizations, the VMC Shelter & Rescue Animal Fund subsidizes the cost of specialty veterinary care for animals under the care of qualified, Minnesota-based 501(c)3 non-profit organizations.

To request an application, please contact Deb Haak at

Your email must include:

  • your rescue/shelter’s organization name,
  • a copy of your organization’s IRS letter of determination confirming that your organization has 501(c)3 non-profit status,
  • your role within the organization,
  • the name of the animal in your care, and
  • your VMC case number if the animal has been seen at the VMC