Info for Vets

As a veterinarian or veterinary practice employee, what should you expect when working with PAWS to utilize the VET Fund? Below are a few FAQ’s which may be helpful. 

What does PAWS need from you?

All applicants must apply for Care Credit before they will be considered for a VET Fund grant. You can help by ensuring they have completed this application. If they are declined or are approved for $1,000 or less, they meet our minimum financial requirement. 

The most helpful thing you can provide is a detailed estimate of what needs to be done for the animal. We recognize that not everything can be anticipated, but we need this information to determine next steps. It also determines how much the owner will contribute toward the total bill. 

A PAWS representative will also call to talk through the procedure(s), how much someone may be approved for, next steps, etc. We’ll want to ensure that the animal is spayed or neutered, generally well cared for, and 

This is considered a grant rather than a loan. Grant recipients must put 25% toward the total estimated bill before PAWS grant approval funds will be sent to their veterinarian’s office. 

How much does PAWS offer in assistance?

A limited number of grants toward the non-routine and/or urgent care of dogs or cats in need of veterinary care are available to residents of Centre and immediately surrounding counties per month. Grant recipients must pay 25% toward the total estimated bill before full PAWS grant approval will be sent. Priority is given to Centre County applicants, or those referred via Allegheny Spay/Neuter Clinic. Grants are made available based on the discretion of fund administrators and availability of funds. 

What pets qualify for assistance?

Funds are intended to be utilized heavily for treatment as opposed to diagnosis. The prognosis after surgery or treatment must be fair or better, as determined in the sole and absolute discretion of a licensed Centre County Veterinarian. The prognosis must include a predicted survival rate of 50% or better for survival beyond 6 months. 

The animal must be spayed or neutered. If not, it will be done at the time of surgery/care if the vet determines that it will not jeopardize the health of the animal. If it cannot be done at the time of surgery/care, the owner must agree to have the pet sterilized within a set time frame utilizing the PAWS Spay/Neuter Assistance Program, at no or low cost to the Grantee.

Any instances of suspected neglect or mistreatment of the animal will result in Grantee application denial and the owner will be encouraged to formally and immediately relinquish ownership to of the animal to Centre County PAWS or face investigation by the Centre County Animal Cruelty Officer.

Routine expenses such as those related to vaccinations, deworming, and regular blood testing such as FIV/FeLV combination testing; cosmetic procedures such as tail or ear docking or declawing, do not qualify for assistance. 
Any animal owned by a breeder or used as part of an active breeding program does not qualify. 

What follow-up care is included?

Unless expressly noted otherwise when funds are approved, follow-up care is the responsibility of the animal’s owner. For example, many surgeries require a 2 week follow-up and/or suture removal appointment, which would be included in the approved grant. Complication expenses related to a surgery are considered on a case-by-case basis, and will not be approved if they are a result of an owner not following after-care instructions. 

What are some examples of commonly approved procedures?

  • Accidents resulting in fractures or trauma
  • Pyometra 
  • Splenectomy 
  • Foreign body removal
  • Amputation
  • Enucleation 
  • Perineal Urethrostomy
  • Full mouth extractions and/or emergency dental work
  • Essential skin tumor removal
  • Non-”heroic” orthopedic surgery 
  • Basic diagnostics required to accompany any of the above procedures 

What are some examples of procedures that are not commonly approved?

  • Routine care (heartworm testing, vaccinations, deworming)
  • Flea or parasite treatment
  • Extended hospitalization and care for unstable animals with uncertain prognosis (parvo treatment, endocrine emergency) 
  • Elective procedures (tail docking, ear cropping, declawing)
  • “Heroics” or experimental procedures
  • C-sections or care for animals involved in active breeding programs
  • Tumor biopsies and other non-essential diagnostics

What if the animal is not spayed/neutered at the time of care?

If the animal is not spayed or neutered, we ask that it be done at the time of surgery/care if you, as the veterinarian, determine that it will not jeopardize the health of the animal. If it cannot be done at the time of surgery/care, the owner must agree to have the pet sterilized within a set time frame agreed upon by you and PAWS. Spay/neuter surgery is completed at no cost to the Grantee.

Do you pay existing bills?

Funds are not available for procedures or treatments that have been performed. The VET Fund does not assist with already incurred vet bills. 

How will we receive payment?

Grant recipients must pay 25% toward the total estimated bill before full PAWS grant approval. The remaining balance can be invoiced to the Dr. John Thomas VET Fund care of Centre County PAWS. 

Any questions regarding the application or distribution of funds can be directed to