Dog Rufus with vet surgeon Caroline Watt at Merton animal hospital

Veterinary Care Fund – practice information

The Blue Cross Veterinary Care Fund helps owners and their pets who may struggle to afford veterinary care.

Due to very high demand, we've had to temporarily pause accepting any new practice registrations for our Veterinary Care Fund. But please scroll down to complete our ‘Register your interest for our Veterinary Care Fund’ form and we’ll get in touch when we have further updates.

In the current cost of living crisis, we recognise that more and more owners are struggling to afford and access routine vet care, let alone unexpected bills due to accidents or emergencies.

With this in mind, we have created our Veterinary Care Fund, which can contribute up to £300 (£250 plus £50 VAT) towards any treatment providing it fits our guiding principles below:

  1. The prognosis should be good
  2. Treatment preserves a good quality of life
  3. Any surgery should be anticipated to be curative
  4. The client does not have the financial means to fund treatment
  5. The client understands that:
  • their pet's medical history and treatment charges will be provided to Blue Cross through the application process
  • Blue Cross may contact the client to either give help (in relation to their pet’s funding) or to request their help by sharing their pet’s story or becoming a supporter of the charity

Within the cost limits, euthanasia is included, whether as the sole treatment or the conclusion of a course of treatment. We do not provide support for ‘at home’ call out charges, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture or other related treatments. Please note we no longer contribute towards neutering costs or preventative treatment such as vaccinations, flea or worming.

If you have not used the fund previously, we’ll ask you to complete our short practice registration form to sign up below and agree to our guiding principles together with our finance supplier form, so that we can set you up on our payment system to ensure straightforward payments now and for any future cases you may wish to apply for.

You’ll also have access to our framework and support package which provides guidance on delivering pragmatic cost-effective care.   

The process

An application can be made for a pet once in a 12 month period, providing that the treatment required for the pet meets the above principles. The fund can be offered to any client you feel is in need, up to a maximum contribution by Blue Cross of £300 (the amount of funding allocated to each case will be confirmed within two working days of receipt of your application.

There is no requirement for the owner to contribute if treatment costs do not exceed the contribution offered by Blue Cross, however if they are able to pay some costs then it means we’ll be able to help more pets and their owners in similar situation. 

We hope that offering a fund with simple clear criteria and a straightforward application process will help you and your teams help as many pets and owners as possible with veterinary care costs. In turn, we want to support veterinary teams faced with emotional demands at a time when the profession is under more strain than ever, by giving support where the prognosis is good, but client finances are an issue.

The application process is designed to be simple and straight forward for you with minimal paperwork. Your practice simply needs to complete the application form when you have a suitable case.

Funding is allocated on a first come first served basis, so this should be completed as soon as possible to ensure that we can allocate funding towards your case – otherwise we may need to turn down your request as we may not have budget remaining. In all cases, applications for funding should be received within four weeks of the treatment taking place. We will not be able to help towards any applications which fall outside of this period. We’ll issue a purchase order number for each case you apply for.

Once treatment is completed, you will need to send the below to us within four weeks of your initial notification:

  • pets clinical history
  • client’s invoice showing total treatment costs
  • an invoice made out to Blue Cross for the contribution amount (including VAT) quoting your unique purchase order for the case 

We will make payment according to our standard payment terms (30 days from invoice date).

Blue Cross will regularly audit applications to ensure that they meet our guiding principles to confirm our funding is being used for appropriate treatment and cases.

Register your interest for our Veterinary Care Fund

Please state which group
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, you’ll assess a pet's eligibility against our guiding principles and providing it meets these (and the owner is aware of any additional/ongoing treatment costs), then we’d encourage you to offer our Veterinary Care Fund support. You’ll need to make us aware as soon as possible of your intention to offer support via our application form to ensure funding is available. In all cases, funding needs to be applied for within four weeks of the treatment taking place.

Treatment should fit within our guiding principles:

  1. The prognosis should be good  
  2. Treatment preserves a good quality of life 
  3. Any surgery should be anticipated to be curative
  4. Client does not have the financial means to fund treatment
  5. The client should understand that:
  • their pets medical history and treatment charges will be provided to Blue Cross through the application process
  • Blue Cross may contact the client to either give help (in relation to their pet’s funding) or to request their help by sharing their pet’s story or becoming a supporter of the charity

Within the cost limits, euthanasia is included, whether as the sole treatment or the conclusion of a course of treatment. Please note that we no longer contribute towards neutering costs.

We can contribute up to a maximum of £300 including VAT, however the amount will be confirmed to you at point of application.

When you’ve identified a suitable case, simply complete our application form to ensure funding is available (please note that all applications need to be made within four weeks of treatment taking place), and then you’ll need to send through the pet’s medical history, client invoice and your invoice to Blue Cross for our contribution for payment within four weeks of initial notification.

Once you complete our online application form, we’ll give you an immediate answer and let you know that we have allocated funds towards your case. We would also notify your practice contact should funds become low or unavailable as soon as this was the case and update this webpage to advise accordingly.

In recent years, the number of species kept as pets in the UK has dramatically increased along with the knowledge and skills required to keep them. Therefore, our funding is only available for pets commonly domesticated in the British Isles such as:

  • cats
  • dogs
  • rabbits
  • rats
  • mice
  • guinea pigs
  • hamsters
  • gerbils
  • ferrets
  • degus
  • chinchillas
  • small birds such as budgies

Generally, a pet can receive support once in a 12 month period. If a client has multiple pets that require treatment, then you can apply for each one once in a 12 month period. However, please contact us should you have a scenario where a pet does require support again and we can review available funding.

If the total cost of treatment is more than our maximum contribution amount, then yes, the client will need to be able to cover the outstanding costs. If the owner feels they do not need the full contribution amount, it will leave more funding for other pets, however there is no obligation for owners to pay towards costs which fall below the amount which Blue Cross is able to offer.

Together we can help more pets and owners if we keep treatments as cost effective as possible. Although the scheme covers both diagnostics and treatment, we suggest using response to treatment as a diagnostic tool where possible. Carry out only diagnostics that will directly affect treatment choices and select treatments that have the best chance of being effective.

Providing that the treatment required meets our guiding principles below, it's covered. 

  1. The prognosis should be good 
  2. Treatment preserves a good quality of life
  3. Any surgery should be anticipated to be curative
  4. Client does not have the financial means to fund treatment
  5. The client should also understand that:
  • their pet's medical history and treatment charges will be provided to Blue Cross through the application process
  • Blue Cross may contact the client to either give help (in relation to their pet’s funding) or to request their help by sharing their pet’s story or becoming a supporter of the charity

We would not generally expect the fund to be used to support breeding, chemotherapy, spinal surgery or home visits. Please note we no longer contribute towards neutering costs or preventative treatment such as vaccinations, flea or worming.

Support is no longer available for stray or abandoned pets due to limited funding.

You’ll need to submit the pet’s medical history, the client invoice, and your invoice to Blue Cross for our contribution within four weeks of the original notification. 

Your invoice will need to be:

  • on headed paper
  • dated
  • display your practice's VAT number
  • made out to Blue Cross (many practices find it best to create a Blue Cross account and transfer any contribution amounts to this for invoicing) for the contribution amount including VAT (for example for the maximum £300 this would be £250 plus £50 VAT) 
  • quote your PO number (please contact us if you are not sure of this)

Our standard payment terms are 30 days from the invoice date and monies are deposited directly into the bank account you provide. We make two payment runs a month.

Yes, all your sites can have access to the fund.

No, but if you did wish to do some fundraising for us, we’d really appreciate it, and it would allow us to help more pets and their owners access veterinary care.

We will notify clients of the Veterinary Care Fund should they contact us and explain the principles of the fund. We’ll explain that they need to speak to a veterinary practice and ask them to sign up to the scheme. It will be the practice’s decision to access the fund. Additionally, the practice will decide whether the pet and the treatment required meet the guiding principles.

We intend to promote the scheme to wider audiences, starting with promotion at pet food banks and surrounding localities from summer 2023.

That’s great news – simply complete our practice registration form above and we’ll be in touch.

More from Blue Cross

— Page last updated 26/06/2024