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The University of Tennessee

The College of Veterinary Medicine

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Veterinary Social Work » Commonly Asked Questions

Commonly Asked Questions

Does UT VSW shelter or find homes for unwanted animals?

No, UT VSW does not shelter or find homes for animals. Depending on the situation, your local Animal Control or Young-Williams Animal Center might be appropriate contacts.

Does UT VSW offer veterinary medical advice?

UT VSW is a people-service. Although we work closely with the veterinary medical team and clients, we are not veterinarians. We do not offer veterinary medical advice. However, UT VSW can help people think through treatment decisions and euthanasia decision-making processes by discussing non-medical related issues.

Who should I call if my animal is having a veterinary emergency?

You can call or transport your animal to your primary veterinarian's office, local veterinary emergency hospital, or UT Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Where can I find out more information and driving directions for the Pet Loss Support Group?

You can click the following link: Pet Loss Support Group or call the PAUSEline at (865) 755-8839 if you need more information.

Are there any resources to help pay for veterinary medical costs?

Animal medical care can be expensive, and unfortunately, there are not many resources available. Depending on your animal's situation, the following resources could be helpful:

  • Are there any family or friends who appreciate the relationship that you have with your animal that might be willing to give you a loan?
  • For some people, CareCredit is an option. You can find out more information and apply online at CareCredit's website: The card works similar to regular credit cards. Applying for a low introductory interest rate credit card could also be a consideration.
  • Is it appropriate and/or do you qualify for financial assistance through various animal organizations? ***Many do not offer more than a few hundred dollars, and some do not allow the animal to be treated prior to application. The Yorkie Angel Patrol website has a list with links to the most common programs. Once at the home page, scroll down and click on "Financial Assistance."
  • Pet health insurance programs such as VPI, AKC Pet Health Care, etc. offer coverage with a monthly fee and deductable for selected illnesses and/or injuries. (Please see individual plans for application process and coverage details). For most, there are limitations and exclusions to coverage, and medical emergencies are not covered unless you are already enrolled and the condition is not already an exclusion.
  • You can establish a medical savings account for your animal(s) by saving a small amount each month. Ask your veterinarian to help you establish a savings goal by providing realistic estimates for a serious trauma or emergency.







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