How does Tails of Help work?

Tails of Help is dedicated to providing financial assistance for pet owners who find themselves unable to afford essential health care for their ill or injured pet. Approved by the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, Tails of Help assesses qualified applications and provides funds to assist with care of the family pet.

Applications are made by participating veterinarians, and are determined by available funds and meeting the program criteria for financial and medical need. If the application is approved, funds are disbursed directly to the treating clinic.

  • All applications for Tails of Help assistance are made directly by participating veterinary clinics.
  • We do not keep a listing of participating clinics.
  • Any Alberta clinic can participate at any  time.

Essential health care is considered to be treatment without which the ill or injured animal will die, require humane euthanasia, or cause undue suffering to the pet. 

If you do not have a regular veterinarian, you can find one here.

We are currently conducting annual fundraising efforts to develop our reserve fund. As of December 2013 Tails of Help began approving applications and providing funding for treatment to keep pets healthy and with their loving families.

What to do if your pet needs help:

  1. Read the qualifying information further below here for details about pets and owners that can qualify for Tails of Help assistance.
  2. Contact your veterinarian
  3. Be prepared to show supporting documents for proof that you are:
    • An adult resident of Alberta
    • In need based on one of the Financial Need Categories as shown below
    • Prepared to contribute to the cost of care for your pet and follow the veterinarian's instructions regarding after care
  4. Your veterinarian will do the rest.
    Please feel free to ask them to contact us for any questions that they may have about submitting an application.

Qualifying Patients:

A veterinarian or their designate will need to evaluate the animal to determine eligibility for funding. The following  will be considered:

  • Is an "owned animal" presented to a participating veterinary practice
  • Is ill or injured and veterinary care is required
  • Is the condition such that failure to treat would result in the death of the animal or would require euthanasia for humane reasons, or would necessitate the surrender of the animal.

The intent of the program is to provide essential health care for ill or injured pets. Services such as wellness exams, vaccinations, and spays and neuters currently are not funded through Tails of Help.

A Qualifying Owner: 

  1. Is an adult resident of Alberta
  2. Agrees to contribute to the cost of care for their pet
  3. Agrees to follow the directions of the veterinarian regarding aftercare
  4. Provides the nominating veterinarian with supporting documentation of financial qualification in one of the following categories.

FOR ALL CATEGORIES OF APPLICANTS, applications for Tails of Help funding must be submitted by the veterinary clinic. ALL PET OWNERS SEEKING AID FROM TAILS OF HELP MUST SEE THEIR VETERINARIAN for their pets' diagnosis, treatment, and any application for Tails of Help funding.

The application process now has 3 major financial need categories in which potential applicants may be eligible:

  • Specific Criteria Applicants
  • Low Income Declaration Applicants
  • Declared Financial Need Applicants.

1.   Specific Criteria Applicants - this category has simple clear criteria where the pet owner must provide specified documentation to demonstrate the financial need: 

  • ·         Assured Income for Severely Handicapped (AISH)
  • ·         Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
  • ·         Alberta Works
  • ·         Resettlement Assistance Program Form
  • ·         Letter from a Registered Social Worker
  • ·         Letter from a Domestic Violence Shelter

2.    Low Income Declaration Applicants - If a pet owner's household income is below the low-income cut-off (LICO) rates adopted by Tails of Help, then they may meet the financial needs criteria.

3.    Declared Financial Need: Clients that do not qualify under the Specific Criteria or the Low Income Declaration requirements, may still be eligible under Declared Financial Need. Clients in this category may include persons who are experiencing emergency situations, such as large medical bills which use up a large portion of their income, or other extraordinary circumstances in which they are experiencing financial hardship. 

Clients in this category must provide detailed information and evidence on their financial position to qualify for assistance. Any application in this category, and supporting documents provided along with it, will be assessed by Tails of Help on a case-by-case basis.  Further information or documentation may be requested by Tails of Help to verify the financial need of the client. 

FOR ALL CATEGORIES OF APPLICANTS, applications for Tails of Help funding must be submitted by the veterinary clinic.

ALL PET OWNERS SEEKING AID FROM TAILS OF HELP MUST SEE A VETERINARIAN for their pets' diagnosis, treatment, and any application for Tails of Help funding.

  • We do not keep a listing of participating clinics.

  • Any Alberta clinic can participate at any  time.

If you do not have a regular veterinarian, you can find one here.