Is pet ownership a only a privilege of the rich?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Hovey Hollow, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    Working in the vet field for many years I have run across this additude alot and I have to dissagree. Here's the senario:
    Family gets new puppy. Puppy gets XXX horrible disease or hit by car, or any of the other hundreds of calamities that can happen to a puppy. It is going to cost $$$$ to fix said puppy. Family doesn't have $$$$ so tearfully decides to have puppy put down. Vet staff or friends or co-workers or whoever says if they didn't have the money to fix XXX then they shouldn't have an animal to begin with. (This is usually said behind the family's back.)
    So my question is: Is pet ownership only for the rich or at least financially stable? Do poor (or even middle class) people not deserve the benefit of pet ownership because they can't afford to treat the worst that can happen. What about if they can't afford vaccines and routine health care? The best foods?
    Here's my opinion. I think that the benefits of pet ownership are immense. I think children learn responsibility and love and respect for the living by caring for a pet. If a family can't afford the very best I don't think they should be excluded from learning these things. It would be great if every animal in the world could get its shots and be cared for with the best money can buy, There are so many unwanted animals being euthanized each year but there are some that say that someone shouldn't adopt them if they can't afford to take the best care of them.
    Now I am not talking about the people who buy a status pet, such as a Pitt Bull or "Rockweiller", tie it in the backyard, neglect it, feed scraps, don't notice that the thing is wasting away from some awful disease, and don't care when it dies and just go out and buy another one. I'm talking about people who genuinely care about their animals and do everything in the limited means to take care of their animals.
    I've always seemed to be in the minority in my opinion at the vet clinics I've worked at. I just wanted to know what the opinion is among regular people. So what do you think?
     
  2. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate

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    I think like you.
    Angie
     

  3. kmaproperties

    kmaproperties Well-Known Member

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    Animals are not people, they are pets, workers, food etc. this is my neighbors story 1000.00 to get chemo treatments for a dog with no guarantee of beating the cancer. sounds like rich people choices to me. puting down a pet is hard but must be done, they are not a human.
     
  4. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

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    I would place us in the lower middle class financially, I think? But there are places for low cost vaccination packages and spay/neuter clinic, so you do have the option of having puppies and still getting them shots and procedures. Now I do have to confess that if something like expensive long term chemo or something of that nature was required, I would be hard pressed to provide it for a dog. But I think I would also question whether if I had that kind of money, shouldn't I be feeding hungry children somewhere?

    Anyway, our two new puppies don't seem to mind one bit that we aren't living in a McMansion, lol, they seemed to approve of the yard and the woods, rolled in my wild grass, inspected the chickens, and like to nap on the rug in the living room and my daughter's outgrown bean bag chair. They like us and we like them, so life is good right now.

    hollym
     
  5. IwannaFarm

    IwannaFarm Well-Known Member

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    It would be awfully nice if Vet expenses weren't so darned HIGH!! I mean, come on... last time I took our cat to the vet, they said "His teeth are a little yellow...you're gointa want to get them cleaned soon" asked the cost - $200!!! Here my hubby and I haven't been to the dentist in 2 years, and they want me to pay $200 to get our cat's teeth cleaned??
     
  6. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    I don't know where I'd place us in the financial scenario, but will tell you, I opt not for the medical stuff for my pets.

    When my grandfathers 11 yo dog was attacked by the neighbor's dog, we opted to have him put down, until she (rightfully so) volunteered for him to have the no-guarantee surgery.

    He had the surgery, to date (going on 5 years now) she has only given us $60 of a $3K surgery.

    He is alive, today, and just as healthy as he was prior to the attack. Would I ahve changed my mind? No, I still would have put him down.

    My dogs get the absolutely necessary shots...and those I administer. I'm not willing to pay for someone to give them to my animals and charge me extra for it. They don't need the shots, in my opinion, from diseases we are not inareas affected. The only reason I do rabies is the slightest chance they are infected by bats, which isn't as rare in our area as it should be.

    Our other 15 yo dog has tumors. He is still able to function, barks for no reason, like he always has, isn't wasting away, etc. As soon as I feel he's suffering, he'll be put down. No treatments for the cancer, no special medications, just a little extra TLC, holistic foods and vitamins.

    My cats have never been vaccinated. Never have, never will. The only reason 2 of them aren't fixed is because the prices they charge here are too high. I will eventually get them done, but it will have to be at the same time, and every time I have the money, something comes up...and I can live with the meowing, plus they don't try to get out...which is VERY odd for a cat in heat.

    I will do self medicating if they ever have a need. Only 1 time did our dogs gte kennel cough, and that was only after bringing an infected dog into the yard. Treated them with ammox from the feed store for $12 a bottle, whereas the vet wanted a $40 office visit and $50 for the meds...per dog.

    I'd rather spend my life with animals, than people, so to say I'm not a caring individual or a bad pet owner is bunk. It shouldn't be any different for poor folks who love thier pets than it is for the rich ones. What should be changed are the costs...it's the vets, if you ask me, who are catering to the rich, not just the rich willing to pay.
     
  7. Bink

    Bink Well-Known Member

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    I think if a person has the will and the money to lavish health care on their pet that equals that of humans, more power to them. If they don't, and can only afford to put their animal down humanely, that's good too, and they shouldn't be judged for it.

    But for some to imply that all pets should have health care that's often better than that of the neighbors or of folks in other countries, well, that's just silly and indulgent.
     
  8. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    You don't have to be rich to be a responsible pet owner. That said, I also believe that if you can't afford pets or children, you shouldn't have them. Pets can be the more expensive of the two on occasion. I had a Sheltie that I dearly loved; she got quite ill at the age of 10 and the vet said she probably had cancer. He could "attempt" to give her another year or two by operating and treatments at a cost of $1500 to me. Her chances were about 50-50. I had her put down, since her quality of life would have been questionable at best.

    But ALL responsible pet owners should at least be able to afford shots, neutering, and the occassional illness or treatment of injuries. There's nothing sadder than letting a pet suffer needlessly and there's nothing that makes me madder than a person who will neglect or mistreat their animals. My son has pet health insurance on his dog and cat. Also ..... look and ask around about vets in your area. We use an older vet; an old fashioned guy who charges less than half than most younger vets working in state of the art facilities, etc.
     
  9. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The sniping vet staff are just using their personal/biased standards. They think it is worth it to pay $300 but if it were $5000 (or whatever) they'd rethink that. Pets are animals. It's tragic we can't be as compassionate with humans as we can and should be with animals.

    I agree the value of having a dog (and giving the dog a chance if it has no expensive illness/injury) outweighs this idea that every hangnail deserves a vet podiatrist. Every one who owns a pet should provide healthy wholesome food, shelter, neutering, and appropriate legal shots and tags, and a painless death when that's approprite based on nature of their health/their owner's resources/opinion of what's best for the dog. If someone else pays for part of this that's ok.

    I ran into a bias in a vet. He was the one we went to the year we lived in FL. When I had to move to UK we sought a home for our dogs, not wanting to put htem thru the 6/12 quarantine to come to UK (thankfully a thing of the past now, but too late for me and mine). One I placed, the other I couldn't and feared her personality, 12 years old, and connection to me would make any placement tough, and likely to get her dumped if I weren't careful. I asked our vet to put her down. He refused- they had a motto "never put a healthy dog down". They'd kenneled them for us and this dog had gotten nervous diarrhea after 7 days in the kennel. They proposed I kennel her there- paying for it- forever until they found a home for her if ever. I had figured this old girl would die if I put her in the 6 months kennel quarantine in England and had no better expectation for the same without visits from us. Luckily I found another vet- exArmy and had actually quarantined one of his dogs 6/12 in Hawaii and talked me thru whether I should try that in England- who let me be the best judge of what's best for my girl.
     
  10. IwannaFarm

    IwannaFarm Well-Known Member

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    I think the biggest question is the quality of life for the pet.

    The vet said "His teeth are a little yellow". I'm not going to pay $200 for 'a little yellow'. Is he suffering? heck no. He still eats like a pig, loves me everytime he passes by me, and is a very happy cat who likes to sleep under my bed all day, same as always, and come out to sit by my feet after the kids are in bed... same as always.

    If he were suffering, acting funny or something, then I would consider paying the money somehow.

    Fact is, he's an indoor cat. When the vet wanted me to get a distemper shot for him, I inquired the price - $50 plus visit charges. I finally looked up what it was for - a disease he has no chance of getting since he's an indoor cat and we don't see any other cats.
    Rabies I will have done when he needs it since there's always a chance of mice biting him or something.
     
  11. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I totally agree.
     
  12. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    Don't waste your time and money...when I was bit by a rat and inquired about rabies, they told me that a mouse or rat wouldn't survive whatever gave them rabies, and would succomb to it to fast to pass it along.
     
  13. IwannaFarm

    IwannaFarm Well-Known Member

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    Isn't rabies required by law? Even for an indoor cat? I know it's not likely anyone would care, but I believe in going along with the law so long as it doesn't go against God's law.
     
  14. rzrubek

    rzrubek Flying Z

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    Rabies is here, along with city license for dogs and cats. I think that as long as a person can afford the basic shots, wich i can buy at the feed barn for about $7, then they should have the right to keep a pet. If you have the money to blow on $1500 cancer treatments then go for it but don't try to make somebody else feel they have to also. Its a dog for petes sake, let it go.
     
  15. froggirl

    froggirl Feelin' Froggy

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    I know I'm going to hear about this but...
    When our Lab, Goose was 9 months old he was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia in both hips. It could be fixed with surgery on both hips at $3000/hip or basically he was looking at 4 good years then would need to be put down. My hubby and I made the decision to have the surgery based on three things: 1)we were already very attached to Goose and couldn't imagine what it would be losing him in 4 years, 2) we had a resposibility and an obligation to this dog to make sure he had the best possible life and 3) we have no children therefore the money (although we could not afford it at the time) would not be depriving our children since we didn't have any. So I guess I feel that if you're going to get a pet be prepared to to what you can to keep it healthy and prevent it from suffering...that could mean spending big $$$ or puting it down. It's a personal choice and I'm happy with my decision...so is Goose!
    [​IMG]
     
  16. IwannaFarm

    IwannaFarm Well-Known Member

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    I have to admit there is a big difference between pet owners with kids and pet owners without. I've known many who have pets but no kids - and their pets become their children! Nothing wrong with that, like you said, it's not like you're depriving your kids of something by spending the money.

    But if/when we find something is seriously wrong with our cat, I doubt we'd spend that kind of money (easy for me to say now, but I'm pretty sure DH wouldn't go for it).
     
  17. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    I'm sure Goose appreciates it and you do too. I am NOT against spending money on animals IF you can afford it and are willing to do it. I just feel that if you don't it shouldn't exclude you from having pets.
     
  18. cricket

    cricket Well-Known Member

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    Last year my father passed away and while we were at the funeral, my Great Dane got out of her pen and was subsequently hit by a car. She could have been saved with surgery but would have walked with pain for the rest of her life. She was only 12 mos old. It would have cost in the range of about $5K not counting the ambulance required to take her to Auburn. We had her put down. I miss her horribly and still cry over her. I miss her enough that when it comes time to leave this farm, it's going to be difficult to not "take her with us" (yes, I know that's gross)

    Flip side - My sister has no children and no husband. She makes a ridiculous amount of money. Her 2 cats are her family. One had thyroid problems so she spent the $3K for treatments. Cat is now 19 yrs old and you wouldn't know he was ever sick. She is forever telling me what we can afford and what we can't. (I have 2 children plus the multitude of critters) She goes to the vet every time one of those cats sneeze...The vet LOVES her! I, on the other hand, give my own shots which I buy in bulk.

    Would I have gotten the surgery for Philly? You bet cha... However, her quality of life would have been poor and for a giant breed, it's just not fair.

    Do I think pets are for the rich? *&$% NO! The rich think so though and I let them keep believing it and just go do my thing. It gives them something to bellyache about...
     
  19. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    I think basic shots are in order to be a pet owner.Would I pay a bunch on care for BooBoo? Yep,I did,dont regret it for a moment,just glad I could afford it,and got a good four(Was it five?) years after cancer surgey X 2(within one year,a muscle tumour),with a great quality of life. She finally died after she was all worn out,joints getting sore,and finally heart failure after a full,wonderful life span. Glad I was able to provide for my best friend. :bow:

    But I wouldnt put down someone who couldnt pay.We couldnt afford expensive pet care as a kid,and we did put animals down.

    Bottom line,provide the basic shots,and do the rest as best you can within your own personal situation.

    BooBoo
     
  20. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I believe this too.

    You have some responsibility to finance your valued companion pet's health expenses. If you can't, then have what you can afford. Same goes for kids. Many people know they can't afford a good living for their kids, yet they will choose to have them or not.
    I am not rich, but I find some way to alleviate my dog's suffering to get back to better health. Having said that, if the catastrophic illness does not have much value for the animals quality of well being, then they have a better option than do people with humane euthanasia.

    I also worked for 2 vets years ago. I never heard them take an attitude to belittle anyone who could not afford their services. Sometimes it would be ridiculous to put a dog down for a minor expense. They wouldn't do that. The vet's responsibility is to inform the client what can reasonably be done and at what price. It's also their responsibility to inform a client if that client is not responding to reasonable pet ownership. A catastrophic or expensive option isn't for the vet to judge, OR his staff if the client makes a decision to euthanize. They vet clinic is there to do a service and not to pass judgement upon the worth of an individual person. I would have no use for such arrogance.