Waggle, a new crowdfunding source founded by Steven Mornelli, allows veterinary practices, pet caregivers, and rescues to post cases of potential economic euthanasia – the process of putting a pet to sleep due to financial concerns – and request the funds to care for animals in need directly from donors.

Economic euthanasia is a devastating reality for certain animal caretakers who cannot afford the necessary treatments for their furry family members’ illnesses. Sadly, it is sometimes the only viable option, even in cases where the pet’s conditions are treatable. Families choose to euthanize because it seems like the kinder alternative to letting the animal suffer without treatment.

While hard data on how many animals lose their lives prematurely due to their caregivers’ financial constraints is unavailable, Karma Rescue, a Santa Monica, California-based rescue organization, estimates that around 500,000 animal guardians per year are forced to make this decision.

Waggle is hoping to greatly decrease that number. Veterinarians can post their patients’ cases along with medical information, treatment plan options, and anticipated results, requesting funds from individual donors, corporate sponsors, and foundations. Rescue organizations and individual pet guardians can do the same. The donated money goes directly to the pet’s assigned veterinarian to cover the treatment.

Mornelli hopes that Waggle can help save pet’s lives.

“Heartbreaking economic euthanasia is simply unacceptable,” he said, “for both the pet guardian and a pet in need.”

Dr. Rob Olson, a veterinarian on Waggle’s advisory board, is optimistic about the potential impact of the crowdfunding source.

“As veterinarians, we have long witnessed the sad reality that financial restraints often result in pain and suffering, and even unnecessary euthanasia of the pets we treat,” he said. “Waggle offers an innovative solution by connecting animals and pet parents in need with life-saving resources.”