Wednesday, June 8, 2011

There is something very wrong here.....

Before I start on my rant.....something right happened. My FOLLOWERS are back! Just as mysteriously as they disappeared, (way back in January, I think) they are now back. So I'm happy about that!

Now back to the scheduled post ......
I took my ONE dog to the vet for her annual check-up and shots. I had already purchased her license in January. She is healthy....although not feeling very well today. I think its because of the shots yesterday. If she's not herself by tomorrow I'll have to give them a call.

Anyway, this visit set me back $325.....it was more than last year because she was due for booster shots on two different 3-year shots. The actual office call was $42 and the rest was for tests and preventive medicine.

How many times do we see ads on TV and in the mail BEGGING people to PLEASE adopt a pet. I want to know.....how in the world can the average person AFFORD to have a pet with prices like this. According to the news media, The Humane Society is being criticized right now for putting down so many cats and dogs here lately. I guess just too many people no longer can afford their beloved pets and have left them off in hopes that they will find good homes.....causing serious over-crowding. The Humane Society states that they find homes for 100% of the animals left with them who are healthy.....but only 40% of those left with them ARE healthy. The other 60% are animals with health issues......and medicine is expensive. This is accounting for the pets left off with them....it does not take into account the unbelievable amount of cats and dogs abandoned on the streets and left to fend for themselves. It's truly heartbreaking.

I know that I absolutely cannot afford to have more than one pet. Additionally, I feel bad because I can't really give her all of what she needs. Although they are not horrible, she needs to have her teeth cleaned before they DO get horrible..... and the vet charges $331 for this. Right now I'm brushing her teeth with (ugh) Chicken flavored toothpaste. She's really very good about me messing around with her mouth but it doesn't do the thorough job a professional cleaning would do.....however, its about $315 cheaper, so that's what I do. I know people who have 3 and 4 dogs......I just wonder how in the world they can afford them!

So right now I feel like I'm sitting on top of a mountain and just throwing money up in the air to watch it fly. It seems like every time I turn around here lately.....I'm having to pay out something big. The upgrading of my computer and a new battery backup was $250; fixing the back-room computer (older one for the grandkids) $150; the vet bill $325. Homeowner's insurance renewal payment $250. Retina doctor's payment; $150. My daughter's refrigerator quit on her and since she has NO money.....three guesses who will probably have to help her. And that also makes me think about my OWN refrigerator.....I can't really remember how old it is. (sending tiny prayers upward for its continued good working condition)

But I'm getting off track......back to the issue of homeless pets. I think we need to work on some sort of plan NATIONALLY to assure that people can have pets (a huge joy in my life, and I know a huge joy in the lives of so many others) without it costing them a small fortune. Adoptions are just not going to happen when people know that mandatory vet visits and shots are so expensive. I'm not looking for a hand-out.....I would volunteer some time to help out in exchange for getting a discount on the vet bill and required shots. What do you think? Does your state have organizations where pets can be taken for their shots at a much more reasonable price? The Humane Society here is supposed to be cheaper, but my daughter didn't think there was that much difference; it was still expensive.

I think a program should be set up where you can get a coupon for a discount at your regular vet's office. If you have to go to a different location, you know as well as I do that it will be crowded and long lines with pets in tow is not a good thing.....not to mention all the paperwork and medical histories on each pet. A nightmare! Make it available to anyone willing to give their own time, thus avoiding the cost of checking out financial history on each individual. I would be willing to volunteer my time doing something for so many hours to ensure that I could afford to get my pet all she needs. Now I just have to think of what jobs could be done on a volunteer basis with minimal supervision and no training required (which would be costly).....jobs that would save the state money, so they could justify paying toward your vet bill.

Hmmmm.....you know what? My ex-boss is now a Senator. I think I will write him and ask him to think about this. Please offer me some suggestions that I can put in my letter to him. Who knows....maybe Michigan can be the first state to start something that will become a National program, allowing many families the option of keeping their beloved pets instead of having to give them away because they can no longer afford them. The more hours you volunteer, the more coupons you get toward your vet bill. Please get your thinking caps on......and thank you.

18 comments:

Orea said...

You make a good point. I hope there is an answer. I know there is pet insurance, but to purchase it for six cats (all adopted rescues or shelter pets) and a dog, well, that isn't affordable either. I hate the thought of having to put a price tag on a beloved companion's life, because they are priceless to me, but reality makes it necessary sometimes.

Thanks for your ideas.

Orea
http://orea-highervoice.blogspot.com/

ethelmaepotter! said...

I love it! Not sure how it would go over with the vets, though - after all, they've put a good bit of time and money into their educations and then to offer discount services cuts into their profits.
Our state offers low-cost immunizations several weekends in early spring, at various locations. $5 for cats, $10 for dogs.
I've never checked into the cost of pet insurance, but I'm sure it must be ridiculously high.
Consumerreports offers a few tips, but they're mostly just good, common sense:
http://www.consumerreports.org/pets/0307vet3.html
We always buy flea/tick treatment meds online, which saves a LOT over the vet's cost. AND our vet is relatively inexpensive - I got a quote for surgery on one dog from a Nashville hospital that was 3 times the amount our local vet charged!
On another note, good for followers reappearing! Blogger has been having issues, one of which is that many people are finding themselves unable to leave comments. I still can on some blogs, but not on others. Strangely, I can log into my blog, write and publish, but cannot leave a comment even on my own blog!

Mikey said...

Good post, as always! I hear this loud and clear. I have 12 dogs and 14 horses. It's extremely expensive. Your vet is a lot higher than mine... I personally work fill in for my vet, which cuts costs. I give my own shots except for rabies. Our HS does do a rabies program, you get your rabies shot and license at the same time, very cheap, I think it was less than $20 per dog. I know the total was under $200. But I had to take 9 or 10(?) dogs with me and that was a huge fiasco. Not to mention it's not always close to my area (drive 30-70 miles one way to do it).
I don't know how other people do it. My big dogs need less dentals than the lil dogs. I can usually scrape my big dogs teeth, but the lil ones bite me, lol, so they get done at a cost of $150. If I was you I'd shop around for better cost. I know the "big town" vets cost twice as much as my small town vet. He is highly amused by me (why I don't know) and gives me a break on a lot of stuff. Maybe you could see if your vet needs fill in help? Even working as a receptionist when needed helps. Personally, I was just there one day (I'm there every week, I swear) and the phone was ringing, everyone was busy and I started answering it. I've worked on and off for him for years now, and just do fill in stuff now, but it still gets me a discount.
Wade being a farrier helps with the horses. That's a HUGE cost that we don't have to pay. Plus, him getting out and about with other horse people helps find us deals. He brought home a $100 water tank the other day that we needed to replace the old one the horses destroyed. He does stuff like that all the time. Trading goes back and forth in our community. I recently got a cutting torch setup (cost $150 on Craigslist, I got free from my cousin) we already had a smaller one, so we gave it to a friend who has a shop, with the condition that if we needed it we could borrow it anytime. He in turn unexpectedly dropped off a gift certificate for $50 to our favorite restaurant.
In this economy, we're all in the same boat and we just do what we can to help each other. Do you know someone who could give shots for you? You can order them online (like the distemper parvo shot) and have someone give it for you. I give shots once a year to a client's ponies. They buy the shots, I give them when I come do their feet, and they pay me an extra $30 for something I've told them I'd do for free. They don't have to haul to the vet, or pay the outcall, which would be $30 anyway. It's a win win.
Excellent post, you got me all fired up and I wrote a book, lol.

glnroz said...

we used to have 2,3 pets, but now we have none. I kinda feel bad about that, but the point of Vet bill prices, it is prohibitive...

Mary said...

I to am 2 years over due for Freddy's shots. He's got one more year on his rabies but I don't want to take him to his doggie play parks because of it. I really don't know what I will do if something terrible happens to him, he's my whole life. When I got Freddy 3 years ago, I was fully financially able to take care of any medical problem, which played a big part in my decision to get him. Now, my pocketbook is almost on E. Petco is offering low cost boosters at the end of June which I will do. There is no way I can get the blood work and preventative care he should have right now. As silly as it may be, I would give my last dime if I had to for Freddy. And that's about all there is.

Jamie said...

I don't know how it would work but I love the idea! Have you contacted your vet about helping out?

It does cost a lot to take care of the animals properly. I--well Mark, still drives all the kittys back to small town Iowa--an hour + away, for vet care. It's a huge difference in the cost.

How are you? Man, I am all washed up tonight. Such a rough day, physically. But that is nothing new. Have a happy night. Biggest hugs. :)

Far Side of Fifty said...

I think you should shop around for a cheaper vet. Chance got all his shots including Rabies and 6 months of Frontline and the bill was $235. I clean his teeth, you can get a dental tool at Walmart. IT takes some patience and time, but you can clean their teeth..Vet costs in our area vary too..Country Vets are cheaper:)

Peruby said...

When I obtained my pets the economy was much better. Now, I just hope for the best. Sadly, some folks do not even have health insurance for themselves, so the pets suffer.

I think that is how I came about getting the boxer. Somebody just lost everything and they let him loose. I will never know for sure.

I read every article the paper writes about help for pet care in hopes that somebody finds better solutions.

Our community does the spaying/neutering clinic once a year and now twice a year because it was so popular.

Teeth? I am sorry to say I don't get my dogs' teeth cleaned. My vet never mentions it.

forsythia said...

I never thought of this, but you are right! We aren't poor, and I love our two pets (one is on loan and the other inherited) but I cringe at the vet bills. The dog is getting older, which means it costs more keep him healthy. Just like me!

Cathy said...

We have three cats. I love them to death, but I think they're the last pets I'll ever own. I can't keep up with the vet bills. Mystery got hurt and needed a trip to the vet $700! We're not keeping up with their shots like we should and dread what will happen as they get older and require more care. I wish there was something we could do, but there it is.

dana said...

Beau is costing us a fortune. Lucky cost us two fortunes. But pets are only expensive when you love them and care for their well being. What we need is more governmental regulations on WHO can have animals at all! A dog chained to a post in the sun, with no water, no food and no human contact is not going to cost a penny. THIS is more common and is not considered illegal.

The rest of us have to choose between buying our meds versus our pet's.

dc said...

Seems like the Vet business is cashing in on us. As with all medical care the costs have sky rocketed. I hate government regulation but there needs to be some control over the costs. I think you need to shop around or even go out of town to a smaller town. I know when we lived in Nevada the Vet was about 3 times higher. To do cleaning of teeth for our Brittney they ran "routine" lab. plus xrays. And like you over 300$. We moved back to the midwest and cleaning was about 100$ and the Dr. didn't do any lab, just cleaned the teeth.
For us no more pets, and the cost is a big factor. Besides we can't bear to lose them. Had 2 dogs over 25 years and they were very good girls. No more.

ain't for city gals said...

We have had the same vet for 20 years and though he has gone up bit on his price not anything near what you pay. You make a lot of good points ...a lot of people are just turning their horses out into the desert because they can't keep them and they can't even give them away. My one gripe is actually with the humane society themself...they charge $100 for a kitty...I know that includes their shots etc. but those are acutally donated through the vet...they say they have so many ...I do believe if they would charge $0 more would be adopted and people would take care of them.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I think some people actually spend more $$$ on their pets needs and issues than on themselves. I know a good friend of mine did that all the time with what little money she had. It's a difficult thing to rationanalize sometimes when you love your pet so much. Since she moved to another state with her daughter, she had to leave her pet behind with a friend because her daughter has terrible allergies to the cat. The cat's doing fine, but she misses him....however, she doesn't miss doling out the $$$ for food, upkeep and doctor bills. I'm flabbergasted when I hear what it costs at the vet's office for these animals....geesh!

hapi said...

Hi Golden To Silver Val, Nice blog you got here! try visit my new post: Blog SEO Tutorial: How to Choose the Best Title For Post. I hope you will learn something from it. Have a great day!

dana said...

You either have to post again, or I'm sending Beau to sniff out your remains.

dana said...

It's time to post again or I'm sending Beau to sniff out your remains.

Jamie said...

Missing you. :)