See also this page for links to other financial assistance sites.
To qualify for financial assistance, a home-based caregiver must be willing to appropriately treat the cat's diabetes. Appropriate treatment includes:
- Blood glucose hometesting--preshots (before every insulin shot), frequent mid-cycle spot checks, and occasional full cycle curves--and, if Internet access is available, public posting of those blood glucose readings.
- Low-carbohydrate wet or raw food--unless other medical conditions require a different diet.
- Insulin injections.
- Veterinary attention to infections or other situations that cause physical stress.
- If Internet access is available, active participation on the Feline Diabetes Message Board or the Forums on Diabetic Cat Help or Diabetic Cat Care.
DCIN's Financial Assistance Program does not finance past costs, and it usually does not cover veterinary costs. It especially does not pay veterinary costs for glucose curves (which caregivers usually can perform at home) or fructosamine tests except in unusual situations. It does not pay for a cat's food or litter. The costs it normally covers are for insulin (which must be prescribed by a veterinarian) and hometesting equipment. And depending on a client's financial situation, DCIN may only cover a portion of those costs and may ask a client to reimburse part or all of the postage for shipping supplies.
All caregivers requesting financial assistance must provide complete contact information and appropriate information about why there is a financial need. Appropriate information about financial need usually starts with a budget of income and expenses for the household in which the cat lives, which require information for all persons living in the residence, not just the individual applying for assistance. (DCIN may have follow-up questions.) DCIN does not require significant detail; it is trying to get a general idea of need to determine how to best place its limited resources. The caregiver also must explain her/his attempts to obtain financial assistance for treatment costs elsewhere, with the results. (**See Coordination with Other Charity Groups below.)
In addition, a 501(c)(3) organization must provide evidence of its tax-exempt status and a copy of its latest annual filing with the Internal Revenue Service (Form 990 series). A municipal shelter/animal control facility must provide a copy of its appropriated budget for the current fiscal year.
For the application, DCIN also needs:
- Complete contact information for the cat's diagnosing or treating veterinarian if requesting assistance with vetting or insulin costs. We also need a copy of a current (written within the last year) script for insulin.
- Complete applicant contact information, including street address, phone number(s), email address, and Facebook site URL.
- A statement of the cat's condition--including how it was diagnosed with diabetes, any other known or suspected acute or chronic conditions, and all current treatment protocols for diabetes and other medical and behavioral conditions. This statement should include a copy of the results of your cat's most recent blood work, urinalysis, and other lab or imaging procedures done within the past six months, a copy of your cat's insulin prescription, and your cat's vaccination and FIV/FeLV status.
- The name of the Internet caregiver group you have chosen and your user name.
- The type of insulin your cat has been prescribed and what hometesting system, if any, you are using.
- A current full body and facial picture of your diabetic cat.
- The number and species of other animals in your care. Please indicate if any of those other animals have special needs.
- The number of persons living full- or part-time in the residence and their relationship to the individual applying for assistance.
- Your agreement that DCIN can post the nature of its assistance for your cat on its blog, Yahoo group, Facebook page, and other Internet sites used for DCIN fundraising. If an individual caregiver (not a rescue/shelter) is uneasy about this requirement, DCIN can keep the real names and location of the caregiver and cat confidential by the use of pseudonyms.
** Coordination with Other Charity Groups
Assistance from other charitable groups does not preclude assistance from DCIN. However, such assistance may affect the nature and amount of assistance that DCIN provides.
All applicants seeking DCIN assistance must disclose all assistance they are requesting or receiving for their cat from any national, regional, or local charitable organizations, such as IMOM or the FDMB's Lantus Land Emergency Fund (LLEF). Applicants and recipients also must disclose all such assistance received for the cat in the past year. Those receiving DCIN assistance must disclose to DCIN information about assistance sought or received from other charitable groups while receiving DCIN assistance.
Should a cat, in our opinion, appear to be a "Lantus ISG kitty," DCIN requires a guardian to apply for LLEF assistance before DCIN will become involved. This includes needs that appear not to be "emergency treatment," such as insulin and diabetic supplies, given that LLEF's assistance may include such items. The guardian will need to submit LLEF's notice of assistance or denial to DCIN before DCIN will consider assistance. This requirement applies both retroactively and prospectively, except for cats fostered or adopted through DCIN.