Sunday, April 8, 2012

Come On Pet Owners, How Poor Are you Really?

Often I encounter a pet owner pleading online for help with their sick, injured, or dying, pet. They always seem to have the line “I cannot afford to take it to a vet, please help”. I roll my eyes nearly every time I see this, my typical response is “If you can afford a computer and Internet service, you should be able to afford to take your pet to the veterinarian.”. Yet when you say this to somebody their typical response is something like “I am on my cell phone!”. To me there is no difference, if you can afford a computer and Internet, or a cell phone, you darn well can afford to take your pet to the vet.

Veterinarian care is expensive, no doubt about it, but so are many things, coffee, shoes, car payments, and a lot of other things that really are luxuries not necessities.

Lower income people who want to have pets need to understand that sometimes pet ownership means making a sacrifice on other things in order to put money away for emergency vet care. And believe me I was there once myself (lower income I mean).

I worked part time for minimum wage raising a kid as a single parent, paying a mortgage and so forth, even with the widows pension I got (my first husband had passed away) I was still living on less than a welfare mom with one kid. I made sacrifices and lived frugally. I had no cable, no Internet, no cell phone, so ya, it does piss me off when some jerk driving a $15,000 new car bitches about not being able to afford vet care for their pet.

At least get your pet to the veterinarian so you know what is wrong, how bad it is, and how much it will cost, before you rush around taking advice from strangers on the Internet who may not know what they are talking about.

Owning a pet should be a serious commitment, that animal's life and health are your responsibility. If it dies because you were too cheap to sacrifice a cup of coffee, or could not live without a cell phone, it is your fault.

Don't be going online looking for free veterinarian help, complaining you are poor when you have 20 pairs of shoes in your closet and case of beer in the fridge. That ain't poverty.

I should add that I sympathetic when a person cannot pay expensive treatment costs, as these costs can get into thousands of dollars, but I have little sympathy for the person who gets a puppy then complains two weeks later when it is sick that they cannot afford to take it to the vet, what on earth were they doing getting a puppy in the first place? My sympathies are with the pup.

The same thing for the person who breeds there dog then finds themselves in an emergency situation requiring a caesarian section, a common risk in breeding some dogs, and complains they cannot afford it – again, then why did they bred their dog?

For the lower income people there are many cheap pets, or simply do as I did (I use to work part time for minimum wage only but always had money for my pet's needs), live frugally and below your means, and if you cannot do that – do not get a pet.

There is also no excuse for not spaying or neutering a cat or dog, if this is a financial concern you think you cannot make, adopt one that has already been fixed rather than taking one that still requires this somewhat expensive surgery – also note it is cheaper to fix male animals than females.

I could go on and on, the point is most people have money to spend on their pets, but have chosen to spend it on other things instead.   To those complaining that they cannot afford vet care for their pet, I ask "How much is your cell phone bill?".  Your pet is a financial commitment, deal with it!


  1. I agree, totally. Some people jump into pet ownership without fully looking at all the aspects just cuz puppies and kittens are so cute!

  2. In a rebuttal, if you cannot afford to feed your pet, it's better to find them a loving home when the opportunity arises!
    Wag and Walk