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

posted 5 years ago in Pets
Post # 76
Member
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

No, they should not. It really pisses me off when I see homeless people with dogs. How can afford to feed and care for them if they don’t even have house??? No way is that dog getting check ups, heart worm medication, flea and tick treatment. That’s just cruel. Turn your animal in to a shelter so it can go to someone who can take of it properly.

I just lost my Jack Russell to cancer and I am DYING for another dog, but guess what? We can’t AFFORD one right now. In his lifetime, I spent well over $10,000 and that was for a healthy dog. He just managed to get into a lot of trouble. The worst was a rattlesnake bite to his eye. He did not, and was not going to die but the vet told me that unless he got anti venom, he was going to be in agony until he healed. That was $900 right there, not to mention the opthomologist and the millions of other vet visits.

He turned out just fine and kept his eyesight too. But that was a huge hit. He also ate a bee (stung on the tongue) and my brother was playing tug of war too hard (I told him quit being so rough and told me I was coddling my dog). Well, it turned that my brother had injured my Jack-another $900 down the drain.

These things happen ALL the time and it’s not cool if you aren’t prepared for these situations. I wish I would known about pet insurance because that’s affordable. But I bet homeless people have more important problems, so yeah, they have no right to keep a pet if they can’t even help themselves.

Also, people who just figure they will put their pet to sleep if they can’t afford fix any non-fatal problems, should NOT have a pet. Period.

Post # 77
Member
499 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

This is why I have pet health insurance for our two dogs. After we meet our deductible, it pays 80% of injuries and accidents. One or two expensive surgeries would wipe us out, but we can afford a monthly premium no problem. You don’t necessarily have to have a massive wad of cash on hand for emergencies. 

Post # 78
Member
9388 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

I’m so torn.  On the one hand I think that someone who is agreeing to take care of another life should be able to take care of it–get health insurance, have enough for the co-pays and for things that aren’t covered (like spaying or neutering).

On the other hand, living in a shelter all one’s life is no way for an animal to live.  

What would be great is if we had a more social healthcare for pets.. perhaps for each pet you own you need to pay $X/month for state-wide pet insurance, on a sliding scale so that those who have less pay less.. and then any vet visit is covered by the state-wide pet insurance.  

This is similar to how car insurance works in certain places (like Manitoba).  The beauty of state-wide insurances like that is they can get really cheap, because everyone is buying in.  In Manitoba they even refund people at the end of the year (the same amount per person) if the state doesn’t end up using all the money paid in premiums.

Anyway, that would be my dream, as it would allow anyone who has the time and love to own a pet do so, and would ensure all animals get the healthcare they need.

But of course, considering how hard it was to get the US to even accept universal health care for humans, I know my head is in the clouds, hah.  Maybe in Canada and Europe, though, where universal health care and other social insurance programs aren’t so foreign!  LET ME DREAM. 😛 

Post # 79
Member
823 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2017 - Sea Cider

View original reply
mrshmc1204:  no.

I just spent $18,000 in two months to diagnose and remove my Pom’s death-trap gallbladder. I’ll likely spend another 12k on her next year, placing a trachea stent. Our Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has cost us 30k+ in four years (accident prone moose-dog), and our cat started the year with a lung cancer diagnosis, followed by a secondary infection post-tx.

we are able to do all of this because we have pet insurance (TruPanion is the BEST).

Post # 80
Member
1011 posts
Bumble bee

To me it’s kind of a hard question… I am really really struggling financially (FI went through summer savings in like a month for car repairs, then had a wreck, had to get a new car, etc) so I’m working a job, waiting for another to start back, have an interview for a third and waiting to hear back on a fourth. Thinking about applying for a fifth (overnights). Anyway, there’s no way I could afford any of that (I can’t afford to take myself to the doctor… i think the last time I went was back in 2009) and my credit cards are canceled (I had to go into debt settlement when my ex drained me dry) BUT even after all that, I have my dog on a plan with her vet where I pay $33 a month and it covers everything. Well all visits, shots, everything. The c-section probably wouldnt be covered, but anyway. It’s just hard to say because while yes affording them for every need is awesome (including emergency care) there are those who have them and can’t even afford food for them. There are places that offer pet insurance though. Which is always another option. 

Post # 81
Member
899 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

I know what OP is getting at….

But that’s kind of like saying, “Well, if your kid gets cancer that lasts for 4 years or have a kid with a life-long illness or anything other kind of emergency that leads you to paying hundred of thousands of dollars…maybe even a $1 million plus….you should never have a kid.”

How many of the Bees on the TTC board are this financially lucky? And then coming over and commenting on here?

Don’t get me wrong, I agree to an extent. You need to afford to feed and water your dog, get them leashes, keep them updated on their shots and everything else that goes along with it. But if your dog gets into a completely freak accident or gets seriously ill requiring thousands upon thousands of DOLLARS immediately, I don’t think someone is a “bad” owner if that’s not something they’re able to chalk up right away.

For instance, there was an adorable older dog at a shelter near me who was given up because his owner couldn’t afford him anymore. His owner was elderly, and one night his home got robbed. Both the owner and his dog ended up getting shot. They both survived (with the dog becoming permanently paralyzed) but the owner couldn’t afford the medical/equipments costs for both of them now. I wouldn’t call him a “bad” owner. Who on earth could have predicted such an event would happen????

And I agree with a lot of Bees, the situation OP mentioned isn’t even a freak emergency. Getting your pet fixed is under “Basic Needs” and should be required from every pet owner unless you’re a breeder (which breeders I tihnk should go through training and ceritification and such, but that’s another story).

 

Post # 82
Member
2639 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa

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amanda1988:  “considering how hard it was to get the US to even accept universal health care for humans…”

I think you may be confused. The US still does not have universal health care. The Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) just states that we must by law have health insurance and made it easier/more afforable for low income people to have insurance. But those of us not on gov’t healthcare (Medicaid, only for the poor, or Medicare, for senior citizens) are still paying for private insurance (and now it costs us twice as much).

Really off-topic, I know! But I wanted to be sure you knew what’s actually going on down here. I really like your idea for universal pet care, though!

Post # 83
Member
9388 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

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gingerkitten:  Fair! I know its very different than what I had in Canada, but not the ins and outs–I’ve been on employer provided healthcare before and after so it hasn’t really impacted me.

Post # 84
Member
731 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

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mrshmc1204:  I’d encourage you to check out the Atlantic magazine right now. I hear you when you say people should be resopnsible, and I too am a responsible pet owner. However, everyone has different limits to reasonable emergency expenses.

Atlantic is running a well researched article right now saying most Americans can’t afford an unexpected bill of less than 1000 dollars. By your reasoning then, most people shouldn’t own pets. Cats and dogs in shelters would then die because they would be unable to find a home.

What about humans? Your argument could extend to people too. Perhaps low income people should be forced into abortions since kids are expensive? Low income people should not get to marry because something could happen to the other spouse and if you can’t afford to take care of the spouse like a SAMH then you shouldn’t do it? I doubt you youself could afford an extra bill of one million dollars…which is the estimated cost of some cancer treatments. so perhaps you shouldn’t have a SO or kids? Because accidents happen and the world is messed up?

I think you are shaming poor people and that is not ok. Everyone is low income to another person  (aka a 1%er). You can say your friend should have pet insurance (and I think that is really what your argument should be about) but I think you are gravely narrow minded to judge who gets stuff based on finances. Life happens, and it sucks sometimes. Thank a higher power every day you were born into a life of privilege, but don’t piss on those who arent.

 

Post # 85
Member
1156 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

Vet care is a basic expense, along with food and water. If there is an unexpected expense like what happened with your friend what happens if they don’t have that money lying around? There’s pet insurance, or there’s something called care credit. Not recomended except for emergencies. I used care credit when I was younger and racked up a $300 surgery expense on my turtle (Yes turtle, ha). It’s basically a credit card for health expenses including pets. I think anyone should be able to have a companion animal in their lives but they need to be prepared for unexpected costs instead of ignoring them.

Post # 86
Member
1011 posts
Bumble bee

I think ultimately people need to be prepared. But sadly you can’t be prepared for everything. I have health insurance, but it’s outrageous and I have a 10k deductible. I have already told everyone I know if I am in an accident or something, don’t bother because I’ll never be able T come up with the 10k. And I don’t know about all places  but I know when I went to the doctor, they made me pay up front. Granted, if you can’t pay, it’ll go to collections, but that means you can’t get credit if you need it because you’re a risk. Same with care credit. It’s great… if you qualify for a credit card. 

I love animals, don’t get me wrong. I like them better than people, but do we tell people who end up homeless to put their children up or adoption? Or if they fall on hard times are people told “you must give them up!” If I fell on hard enough times and had to give up my animals, I’d starve so my animals could eat. I’d prostitute myself to make money to pay vet bills. But if a person is a good client, and their pet desperately needs care, a vet could be willing to be paid out. And falling on hard times and sending them to a shelter can’t guarantee they won’t be euthanized if someone doesn’t adopt them. 

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