A Pathway to Hope September Newsletter THINKING ABOUT PET INSURANCE? -Jessica, Pathway to Hope Adopter Food. Treats. Crates. Leashes. Collars. Toys


A Pathway to Hope September Newsletter



-Jessica, Pathway to Hope Adopter

Food. Treats. Crates. Leashes. Collars. Toys. Pet owners think of buying all these for their pets. One thing most do not consider is how they will pay for medical bills if their pet becomes sick or injured.

My family has had dogs my entire life. My first dog was a Miniature Pinscher named Hershey. I was very lucky that Hershey was healthy almost her entire life. During the last six months of her life, she developed kidney issues that required various medications, vet visits, blood work, ultrasounds and subcutaneous fluid injections. After she died, it didn't take me very long to realize I would get another dog. I also knew I would purchase pet insurance for the puppy to help defray any unexpected medical bills.

I was so happy and excited to adopt my 6-month old lab/shepherd mix, Ziva. She has such a great personality, so smart and fantastic around children. She loved to run around the yard, play with her toys, and chew on her Nylabones. A few days after I adopted her, I purchased her pet insurance. After all the research I did, PetPlan was the best choice for Ziva. Her first premium was very reasonable, and I was pleased with all the conditions that would be covered. I printed her policy and filed it in my desk. I thought, "I won't need this any time soon."

About five weeks later, I noticed Ziva starting to sit down during our walks, sleeping a lot more and grunting when she was laying down. After a few days, I brought her to the vet where it was thought she had panosteitis (puppy growing pains). Ziva's doctor told me to monitor her. When I came home from work one night and she was limping very noticeably on her back right leg. I immediately made an appointment with her vet for an X-ray. The X-ray showed severe hip dysplasia in both hips. Her right side was worse. Her femur bone was not even in the hip socket. Her doctor was astonished that she was even able to walk.

Three days later, Ziva had an appointment with an orthopedic specialist. The doctor took one look at the X-ray and said Ziva was at 'end stage'. The only option was surgery and without it, Ziva would lose the use of both legs. We decided Ziva would have a Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO) on her right hip as soon as possible then another FHO on her left hip later. Four days and a lot of tissues later, Ziva had her first surgery. Did I mention it cost $2,600?

Ziva's surgery went very well and within a week, she was putting more weight on her leg as she walked. Ziva began therapy sessions to get her back on her feet. Cost? $728. At this point, I heard money pouring out of my savings account, but I knew it was necessary in order for Ziva to have maximum use of her hip and leg.

It was right around the time Ziva started her therapy that I filed my first claim with the pet insurance company. Even with everything in order, I thought "If this is anything like 'human' medical insurance, I am going to have a fight on my hands for them to pay this.". Within a week, I received an email stating that my check was in the mail. I read the email three times. I didn't believe it until I had the check in my hands two days later.

When I did my research, I never realized there were so many pet insurance companies out there. One website that was incredibly helpful was petinsurancereview.com. It lists all the insurance companies, links to their websites and client reviews. Here are a few things to know and research about pet insurance:

The pet owner has to pay all medical costs when their pets have treatment. The insurance companies do not work through the vets. They work with the pet owners. So yes, you may initially feel the pain in your bank account, but a reimbursement check will soon follow (as long as it is a covered condition).
Find out the claims process. How quickly do claims need to be filed? How fast will you receive a reimbursement check?
Some insurance companies offer co-pay and deductible options. Both of these affect your premium and how much you would have to pay if your pet needed treatment. Make sure the policy premium, co-pay and deductible fit your overall budget and what you are comfortable paying if your pet needs treatment.
If your pet currently has a condition (such as hip dysplasia or diabetes), find out if it will be covered before you buy the insurance. Most companies do not cover pre-existing conditions.
Some companies are very upfront about what they will cover, but they may not be as clear explaining what they don't cover. If you own a breed known for specific medical conditions/genetic diseases, ask if it would be covered before you buy.
Some companies will cover a condition one time and then it becomes a pre-existing condition and it won't be covered in the future. Find out if conditions have a time limit.
Waiting periods are very common. Waiting periods are the amount of time after your policy is effective that condition(s) will not be covered. This is good to know upfront so that there are no surprises in the future.

Medical treatment for pets isn't cheap. It isn't even reasonably priced. It is down right expensive. I can understand how some pet owners decide not to seek medical treatment for their pets. It's not that they don't want to, but they can't afford it. My case alone was $7,000. That's mortgage payments, car payments, groceries, gas for the car...living expenses for a family. Pet insurance makes your pet's medical options affordable and completely puts your mind at ease knowing you will not need to struggle with tough decisions about whether or not to get treatment for your pet. Most importantly with pet insurance, you and your family will not feel the financial strain.

-Ziva's mom


Most Adoptable


Meet Abby!

Abby is about 1 yr old. She was rescued as a stray when she was 4 months old with her mother, Zoey, and brother, Elmo. Abby is shy, but sweet, and just needs a little time to get to know you. Won't you give this sweet little girl the home that she deserves?

Abby is spayed, fully vaccinated, microchipped and dewormed. She is negative for FIV and feline leukemia.

Contact pathwaytohope@yahoo.com for more information.

Happy Tails


Daisy and Lucy (formerly Lala) are beautiful, happy healthy kittens and are loving their new home and family! You would not know it, but these two girls, in addition to three other kittens were rescued from a hoarding situation. Daisy and Lucy struggled from day one, with upper respiratory problems, then ringworm--but our volunteers were determined the get them healthy and find them homes. Their medical needs virtually made them unadoptable despite how friendly and beautiful they were--everyone wants an 8 week old "healthy kitten"--until we found Chris, Lisa and Sofia, who were willing to given them a chance, despite possible medical complications that could arise. They welcomed them into their hearts and homes. Daisy and Lucy gave the family a run for their money, with medical issues flaring up, large medical bills, and being typical naughty kittens, but they had found their forever home, for better or worse, and their new family gave them the love and care they needed to get to where they are today.

029 dexter

Dexter (formerly Mosby) has been entered into a rescue dog photo calendar! Click here to read Dexter's story and vote for him! If Dexter wins, A Pathway to Hope will receive a donated portion of the proceeds.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, October 15th - Microchipping and Adoption Event
$30 donation to have your dog or cat microchipped
11am - 3pm
Mike's Feed Farm - 90 Hamburg Turnpike Riverdale, NJ

Sunday, October 16th - A Pathway to Hope Reunion
10am - 4pm
South Orange Reservation Dog Park - Crest Drive of of South Orange Ave, South Orange, NJ

Saturday, October 29th - Halloween Photo Event, Costume Contest and Adoption Event
Goody bags, photo contest and portrait of your dog in costume
11am - 3pm
Mike's Feed Farm - 90 Hamburg Turnpike Riverdale, NJ

Sunday, November 20th - Holiday Photos, Microchipping and Adoption Event
Get your dog's holiday portrait taken. $30 donation to have your dog or cat microchipped
11am - 3pm
Jake's Place at Rockledge Garden Center - 1621 Hamburg Turnpike Wayne, NJ

Ways to Help

Foster a Dog or Cat

We are always in need of foster families for our rescued dogs, cats, puppies and kittens. Since we rely solely on our network of foster homes, we can only rescue animals who have a place in a foster home. It is a rewarding experience that your entire family can benefit from (pets included!). If you're interested in fostering, or for more information please contact us at pathwaytohope@yahoo.com.


Monetary donations are always appreciated as many of our rescues come in needing special medical care. A link for donations can be found on our website at apathwaytohope.org. We are in need of dog treats, small martingale collars, cat carriers, litter boxes and frontline or advantage for both dogs and cats. Check out our wishlist as well on Amazon.com!


Follow us on Facebook for updates on our latest events, most adoptables, fundraisers and more! We also invite our adoptive and foster families to share updates about their dogs and cats.