My friend Melaina from the Calgary Humane Society posted a link to a Calgary Herald article on her Facebook wall. It talks of how our recent recession has affected pet care right here in Calgary. It’s a sad situation to say the very least.
Her post and the related article are timely. Only two weeks ago one of our past clients who remain a loyal fan of Poooh Busters asked me if there were any resources available for pet owners who struggle with the costs associated with regular pet care. Annual shots and check-ups specifically.
The story posted by the Calgary Herald talks mostly of extreme cases where charges were laid against the pet parent for neglect, allowing their pets to suffer from injuries they sustained or from an illness. They couldn’t afford to get their sick or injured pet the care it required so they just went on letting their dog or cat suffer until it had to be put down.
The person I’m referring to loves her doggies and cares for them as any responsible pet guardian would. Her only trouble is she lives on a fixed income and when these little extra costs for simple shots and check-ups rear their ugly head; she is at a loss to find the funds required. She is a responsible pet parent and didn’t just ignore the fact that her dog’s shots were due; she cares enough about her dogs to take the initiative to seek out and ask about financial assistance to help her cover the costs involved.
Unfortunately after I spent some time asking around, it appears there is no such subsidy in existence. With so many human subsidies in place for people in need, the last thing our municipal, provincial or federal governments are going to do is set aside tax money for general pet care subsidies.
Although the City of Calgary Animal Services did recently open a low cost spay/neuter clinic to help with those costs. This was put in place with hopes that it will decrease unwanted litters and slow the ever-increasing the pet population. But they aren’t able to help with the basic care of annual shots and check-ups.
The only advice I was able to offer was that she try to get her vet to give her a break on his price or at least allow her to make small payments.
So what does one do in this case? It’s a great question and if anyone has any ideas or answers, I’d love to hear them.