Troubled Times for People and Pets

By isak, April 22, 2009

Keeping People and Pets Together During Hard Financial Times

A recent trend has been with people struggling to keep their pets during these difficult financial times. We hear of some people who forgo purchasing their medication or eating properly so they can afford pet food. Or a senior citizen who has given half of her daily food from Meals on Wheels to her cat because giving up the comfort of a beloved companion animal is not an option. We even receive calls from people who have found a pet abandoned in a home and need assistance to get help for that animal. But instead of abandoning a pet in a foreclosed home or rushing to a decision to surrender a pet for financial reasons, people should realize that they have other options. The human-animal bond is too strong to risk adding the emotional distress of giving up a pet on top of current financial troubles.

Changing Your Financial Lifestyle

Following are some tips that may help you or others in your community keep their pets.

  • Don’t be afraid to discuss your financial situation with your veterinarian and ask him or her to prescribe only those vaccinations or treatments which are critical to your pet’s health. If the cost is higher than what you can immediately pay, ask your veterinarian for a payment plan.
  • Reduce or eliminate luxury items for your pets, including treats and toys, and reduce visits to the groomer or dog spa. If your pet requires frequent grooming or bathing, consider learning how to handle these tasks yourself, or ask your local animal shelter or rescue organization if a volunteer can provide the service for a reduced fee.
  • If you are struggling to pay your pet sitter or dog walker, consider asking family, friends or neighbors (including responsible older children) to pet sit or dog walk, so you can reduce or eliminate those costs.
  • Check with your local Meals on Wheels to see if pet food is available through the organization’s “We All Love Our Pets” initiative. With support from the Banfield Charitable Trust, grants are available to local Meals on Wheels agencies to provide pet food to clients. For more information, visit www.mowaa.org.

People and their beloved pets should never have to be separated, especially in a time of crisis. Although many people are feeling the effects of the economic crisis, we are all in this together. And, together, we can help our neighbors in need — and their pets — get through it.

reprinted from the National Humane Review

Do you know someone having problems? Here are some more tips that may help. You can print them out to give to them… or pass them out to their friends in case they know someone who may need help.

4 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Yuster says:

    Dear Whoever;

    I am living on a limited disability income, but have spent much of my own money rescuing and raising litters of kittens from feral colonies. I have taken on several cats abandoned by their owners, when they left them behind, after a home foreclosure. I
    am raising 3 additional manx, all brothers, that were abandoned on my doorstep, with a note that the Queen wouldn’t nurse them anymore. I have purchased $$ 25.00 cans of KMR to raise the nearly 100+ kittens from feral colonies since 2011. I ate less, and I did skip taking needed medications, to afford raising, and getting low cost worming + vaccinations for these kittens, before trying to place them in 4ever homes. I still feed a few unwanted (or lost strays), and have 6 of my own; all rescues as described above. I am still paying on last years hospital bills. One of the Manx has a sinus cavity problem, but I have NO WAY of Affording Veterinary Care, especially as this cat might need a Catscan or MRI. What can I do? I live in one one the most expensive counties in the country, but cannot find anyone to help me with this Manx. I’m in Montgomery County , MD. Further, because I have seizures, I do not drive, and Taxis will not take any animals. Who can help me? How do I find the right Vet., and then How can I even get there? Plus, I use a cane, and have a spine disease, so I cannot even carry the Manx (named Shortcut).

    • isak says:

      Have you contacted local cat rescue groups to see if they can help? Sometimes these groups work with vets that either deal almost exclusively with rescue groups (so they charge less) or their vet gives them a discount because of the volume they bring. Here’s a list of Montgomery County area groups.

      If they tell you they cannot help, ask them for someone who can. Maybe they know someone who is not on this list.

      What is the sinus cavity problem you are seeing?

What do you think?

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