(Closed) Should you own pets if you can't afford them?

posted 4 years ago in Pets
Post # 31
Member
217 posts
Helper bee

We adopted two kittens almost two years ago from a shelter. We had just moved to a new a city, new apartment, and had started new jobs that paid decently but not well by any means. Looking back I don’t think it was the most responsible thing we could have done. 

One of the kittens started getting sick a couple months after we adopted them. I had to take him to ER vet at 1am when my then Boyfriend or Best Friend was out of town and they advised me to put him down becuase he was exhibiting sings of FIP which is an incurable fatal disease that affects <5% of cats. I couldn’t bare to do it without my SO so I took him home. 

He ended up getting better for a while but then he went back downhill. We spent around 3-4K on blood tests, exams, two ER trips, a two night stay at the ER vet and lots of different medications. Unfortunately he passed away at 6 months old and it broke my heart. I loved that kitten more than I can express. Luckily his sister has been okay and we adopted another cat because she did not take to be alone very well. 

Since he passed we have switched them to raw food and pamper them like crazy. We could afford emergency vet care again but it would be very hard with all the wedding bills we have coming up. 

I think that having a contingency plan for what to do in the event of an emergecy is very important. 

Post # 32
Member
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

This really comes down to how stupid and irresponsible it is to have an unspayed cat. She could have avoided the entire situation. There is simply NO excuse. There are free options for pet owners to get their pets spayed and neutered everywhere, and as others have said, you can pay about $50 out of pocket if you can’t find the free options. It is absolutely idiotic that she wouldn’t take on this basic responsibility. 

Post # 33
Member
1550 posts
Bumble bee

I think it depends on your definition of “afford”. We just paid $2,000 for our cat to have a little holiday at the vet. I think that’s reasonable. $5,000? I would pay it. But I could understand that people don’t have that much cash lying around. This is emergency care and unexpected and unavoidable costs.

But…if I was dumb enough to not have my cat spayed, then I think I’m obligated to fork out however much it costs when she gets pregnant and has kittens. That’s a completely avoidable cost!

Post # 34
Member
492 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I agree with you; there are several pet insurance options available for a pretty minimal amount per month,  so if you’re not prepared to pay several thousand for emergency vet bills you should fit insurance into your budget if you want to own a pet. And totally agree with everyone on the spaying omg! So irresponsible.  

Post # 36
Member
325 posts
Helper bee

Nope but I think what people in the world don’t realize is…there’s PET INSURANCE! And you can pay a monthly fee so if your pet gets sick and has to go into an emergency hospital, you won’t have to pay the entire cost. I wish people would know more about pet insurance to save themselves the hassle of trying to come up with the money they cannot afford. 

Post # 37
Member
325 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
aphroditejones:  I just said this! But I think a lot of people don’t agree or are too cheap to even pay for pet insurance which infuriates me. I pay $25 a month so 90% of the costs are covered. I wish more people would consider pet insurance.

Post # 38
Member
1449 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016 - St. John\'s Lutheran Church

View original reply
LilliV:  I was on board with this thread until this post. You understand that yours was an extreme situation, but I would push back against the idea that unless you have almost 20 grand sitting around in the bank, you don’t deserve to have a pet. 

OP, I agree that basics – food, vet care, medicine – are musts. But I know lots of people who wouldn’t even spend $17,000 on surgery for THEMSELVES. That is insane cash to drop. I’m not saying it’s right to let your pet die because you can’t afford surgery – it’s not. I just have personally observed that I don’t know anyone who would spend more than about a month’s salary to save a pet’s life, especially an older pet. This is coming from someone who spent my entire savings a couple years ago to get my eight-year-old cat surgery. It was worth it, but I would have understood if someone in that same position had put the cat down.

Post # 39
Member
1149 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I get annoyed when people post on facebook or craigslist that they’re looking for a free pet, because they can’t afford to pay for their pet.  If you can’t pay a fee to obtain your pet, how can you afford to provide food and vet care for said pet?  Everyone should adopt from animal shelters, because those pets come fixed.  While pet insurance is useful, you still have to pay for the bill upfront and then wait for the insurance to reimburse you and insurance will find any way they can to avoid paying you.  I don’t necessarily think people should have thousands of dollars to pay for vet bills, but they should be able to provide food, shelter and basic veterinary care for their pets.

Post # 40
Member
3169 posts
Sugar bee

Well there’s two things here IMO. Having grown up poor and with pets always they’re not expensive to care for. Desexing etc upfront and then as-hoc vet checks. My mum used to buy cheap pet mince in bulk and they didn’t get the fancy biscuits we feed ours now. There are vets where we are that have special discounts for low income households and there are campaigns where vets do cheap desexing. Unless an accident or disease occurs, its managable for people in almost all circumstances. When our cat got hit by a car and needed his leg amputated by mum talked the vet into a payment plan but if the vet hadn’t agreed she would have figured something out. So, I think it requires a commitment to do the best thing for the animal, not necessarily or just $$$.

Why you would willingly put yourself in a position where expensive medical care could be required I do not know. That woman needs to stop allowing her pet to breed. I also don’t understand people who overcommit and have too many – there’s rarely an excuse. 

Post # 41
Member
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

It depends on where you live.

In my town many can get vet help at lower cost thru rescue and charities. Our local animal shelter has a pet pantry for low income owners to get food and other basics each Sunday. Don’t want the animal in the shelter system because the owner fell on hard times. My grandma had cats and lived on a fixed income. She gave those cats the best life. She had basic vet care, used home remedies and if it got too costly the cat was put down. The cat I remember was 15 when she needed surgery, good long life. The vet was iffy on if he wanted to do the surgery due to the cats age.

Pet ownership should not be for the well off. In many communities resources are in place to help people.

Post # 42
Member
698 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Unexpected things do happen, but if you cannot afford to have vet work regularily done (IE: needles, etc) or a treatment for unexpected fleas, that’s a definite no.  Personally, I also need to make sure that I have a few grand in the bank in case of issues,which we work toward constantly.  We have a half blind cat, a cat that has off and on kidney issues, a 15 year old rescue and an almost one year old kitten.  I’m sure at some point we will need to do something for them.

That said, I understand why someone wouldn’t have several grand in the bank in case, but you should have a plan in case something happens.  As bad as it is, Darling Husband and I have talked about our imits if we didn’t have cash – how much would we put on a line of credit or credit card?  What would happen if we drained our savings because of a different emergency?  Those are things every pet owner should ask.

Post # 43
Member
2357 posts
Buzzing bee

My mother once said “we had pets. They lived they died.”  When she was a kid pets didn’t go to the vet, but they do now. Our society has changed a little, I think when it comes to pet healthcare.

I do think you should you should take your pet to the vet for their shots, flea meds etc. I also take my dogs to the groomers. That being said my grandmother did not take her cat to the vet(inside animal) and that thing lived 15 years and she loved that damn cat!

However, as much as I love my dogs I am unsure if I would fork over $5,000 for a surgery that may save them. One does have to be realistic about these things.

As for the spaying of the cat. I recently was in a situation where a barn cat was dropped off at my mother’s house. We had a helluva time trying to get that damn thing spayed. No one would do it, and we had to take it to the vet first for check ups and then 210.00 later she was spayed.  My friend called local agencies but no one would help. So it isn’t as easy as one thinks, or atleast it wasnt as easy in my area.

 

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by  .
Post # 44
Member
169 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I agree to a point… I’d find a way to make it work since our cats are our babies BUT we barely have savings due to car issues, house issues, and health issues. I would be pissed if you were my friend since you have good intentions but sounds like a Snob to someone without extra money. If a pet is well loved and taken care of that trumps having a huge savings account in my. mind. In my parents area no pets would be adopted since it’s much low income. And my parents always rescue stray barn cats so it’s a sore subject when people say stuff like that especially since if they were put up for adoption they’d be put down. Most people don’t want old feral barn cats.

Post # 45
Member
8751 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
marriedtopizza:  I wouldn’t expect everyone to be able to afford what I did which is why I said it was an extreme example! But to see people trying to crowd source for $500 bills just weeks after adopting a pet angers me to no end. I waited years to get a dog so that i would be in a financially stable place before doing so. If my dog had been old or the doctors said he wouldn’t make it I wouldn’t just throw money at the problem – he had an excellent prognosis and was 11 months old. I had people that could easily have afforded to do what I did say “meh I would rather keep the money” and it’s people with that attitude that shouldn’t have pets in my opinion. 

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