Pet Owners Struggling to Pay Their Animals’ Medical Bills Increases During Pandemic

Waggle’s analysis of recent fundraising campaigns posted on its site finds more pet owners than ever are struggling to pay their animals' medical bills.

Waggle’s Findings

Waggle.org saw a 35% increase in the number of pet owners, shelters, and rescue groups asking for help paying for animals' veterinarian bills, surgeries, and emergency care in the last two months.

A majority of the campaigns posted during the peak of the pandemic mention families and nonprofits struggling due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Most of the cases were in the states hit hard by the virus: New York, New Jersey and California and urban areas.

Pets In Need During Pandemic

Santiago created a fundraising campaign for her dog Donna’s surgery after the virus outbreak caused a huge economic hardship.

“Due to COVID-19, I recently lost a lot of my wages due to a reduction of hours. Additionally, my savings accounts both had to be emptied out due to my family members facing the same kind of economic hardship,” Santiago says. “As my family relies on our three incomes, my two parents and I, we’ve realized that we’re in a massive hole. Additional excruciatingly high veterinarian costs were not a precedented thing in our budget, especially not during these times.”

And Maci, an adorable five-year-old terrier mix, ended up in a shelter during the peak of the pandemic. The facility and its thrift shop, the main source of income for the nonprofit were closed due to the virus. The group’s funds were low. Luckily the group created a fundraiser on Waggle and Maci got the surgery she needed.

Help For Pet Owners During Coronavirus Crisis

If you or someone you know is suffering financially due to the coronavirus outbreak and having a hard time paying for a pet's veterinarian bill Waggle.org can help.

Waggle’s goal is to end economic euthanasia.

Ending Economic Euthanasia

When pet owners, shelters, or rescue groups can't afford an animals' medical care, sometimes they end up having to put the pet to sleep.

Waggle estimates about a half-million animals are euthanized each year because of financial constraints. Waggle expects that number to skyrocket with the pandemic.

Some pet owners say it's one of the worst moments they've ever experienced: They rush their treasured dog or cat to the animal hospital to find their best friend needs thousands of dollars in veterinary care to stay alive. With treatment, the prognosis is excellent for their pet, the problem is, they can't afford the bill.

This situation could happen to anyone of us at any time.

How It Works

Waggle offers pet owners, rescue groups, and shelters in need a policed, contemporary, and smart way to crowdfund an animal's medical bill.

The company makes sure the money raised goes straight to the veterinarian or animal hospital. Waggle requires pet owners to send in multiple pictures of their pets, their animal hospital's contact information, and the actual estimate for their care.

Then Waggle allows the owner to create a fundraising page on the company's website for free. They can raise up to $5,000 through Waggle's site to help pay for their animal's vet bill. The campaigns also depend on pet owners sharing the links and letting people know about the hardship they're facing.

The pet owner never receives any of the money raised. That helps eliminate doubts about fake fundraising campaigns.

The company's founder and CEO, Steven Mornelli, calls it an innovative solution for saving beloved pets. "Waggle is a trustworthy means to help families who have lost hope. We provide a trusted solution," he said.

The Waggle Foundation, (Waggle's nonprofit arm) works with charitable foundations that donate toward some campaigns, and also works with influencers, like Lil Bub, and major foundations like GreaterGood.org and Maddie’s Fund.

Waggle is currently seeking foundations, corporate sponsors and social influencers to work with to help even more pets in need.

Interviews:

If you'd like to interview someone from Waggle.org about our findings, we can make that happen!

Waggle can schedule on camera, Skype, Facetime, Zoom or phone interviews with Mornelli. We can also arrange for your media outlet to interview a pet owner in need for your story

We have active fundraisers across the country, if you’re looking for a pet owner or shelter/rescue group in a certain area.

Just email: press@waggle.org or call (860) 532-0203.