Many shelters and rescue organizations offer free or low-cost veterinary care for routine services, such as spaying or neutering, vaccinations and microchipping. There are also a variety of state and national charities that help pet owners in need pay for veterinary care.
One way to find local resources is to check with your municipal shelter or other reputable rescue groups. Many of them maintain lists of organizations to help with various needs. The Humane Society of the United States also maintains a list of charities on its website. These charities help with everything from paying for prescription medications to covering emergency bills.
If you cannot find free veterinary care, you may still be able to reduce your bills. Ask your vet to work out a payment plan so you do not have to pay for it all at once. If it is not an emergency, spend some time calling various veterinary clinics to find the best price. If you live near a veterinary school, consider going there for care because they are often less expensive than private practices.
Some veterinarians also offer special deals from time to time. Many offer a free or discounted introductory exam to give new clients a general idea of their pets' health. Preventive care, such as regular checkups, can help prevent larger emergency bills.