Cost of Compassion

One of the Hillsborough Animal Health Foundation’s main goals is to foster an understanding of veterinary health care and its key role in responsible pet ownership. Sometimes, pet owners don’t perceive the value of a conscientiously followed veterinary care program or the costs involved. That is why the foundation has created the Cost of Compassion, a FAQ that seeks to explain what constitutes caring, competent veterinary service and how it contributes to a pet’s quality of life.

Why is veterinary care for my pet(s) so expensive nowadays? Sometimes I believe I’m spending more on my pet’s health care than on my own!
Isn’t the cost of veterinary medicine out of sight and unreasonable? I mean we’re 'just' talking animal care. I thought my doctor really cared and would go the extra mile for me.
Should I be wary of 'bargain basement' veterinary care? If so, why?
Aren’t there any really low-cost spay and neuter clinics in Hillsborough County? I want to do the responsible thing, but it’ll cost an arm and a leg.
I understand there’s some sort of low-cost spay/neuter program available in Hillsborough County. How do I know if I qualify?
If my veterinarian doesn’t clear up my pet’s problem, can I get a refund?
My veterinarian says my pet’s office visit, shots, surgery, medication, etc. adds up to a couple hundred dollars or more! I just don’t have that kind of money all at once. What about terms... a payment plan that’s fair to both parties?
Why is there such a wide range of prices for the same procedure(s) among veterinarians?
I’ve heard that there may be pet health insurance available. Is my pet eligible and what is covered?
My injured (sick) pet needs to be seen by a veterinarian for prompt attention, but:...I just lost my job... I don’t get my next paycheck for another two weeks ... I barely have enough money to put food on the table ...etc.
I’ve only been able to pay a portion of my bill and my veterinarian won’t release my pet until full payment is received. What are my rights? Can he/she do that?
I recently took in a stray that appeared injured, possibly hit by a car. I took him to a veterinarian and paid the initial bill. I am unable to afford further treatment. Is this my reward for trying to do the right thing?
Why can’t Foundation-member veterinarians advise, diagnose and/or prescribe over the phone and save me a whole lot of time and money?
How much should I anticipate spending for veterinary care for a new puppy or kitten initially? On an annual basis thereafter?
Does my pet have to get a full set of inoculations to get a rabies tag and license? What shot(s) are absolutely necessary for my dog/cat and how much do they cost?