|Purred: Sat May 7, '11 6:46pm PST |
|I've been reading this thread for awhile and decided throw in my two cents tonight. To me, it just comes down to knowing what you can afford and being realistic about it - no matter what your income is.
I am somewhere in the moderate income area, and I know that with my five cats, I'm at my limit in terms of space and finances. For me to take another in, some things would have to change. It isn't that I couldn't afford the food or litter for another one or two. It's me wanting to be absolutely sure I can afford regular vet care and especially emergency care if someone gets sick. Had to have an emergency visit for one of mine last weekend for a bad vaccine reaction - wiped me out til payday, but I'm glad I was able to get her the care she needed.
I work for a small humane society. We have a "good samaritan" program where we will help people within our service area with veterinary bills. Usually it's for emergencies, but it can sometimes be for regular care or even euthanasia. I love that we have this program, but there are a few people who frustrate me - they continually take in new animals when they have no income or very limited income. We've had instances where people have let the condition go for so long because they could not afford the vet that the animal has suffered greatly and cost for treatment is now sky high.
I think most everyone can plan for vet care and emergency care - setting aside a few dollars here and there so that you can at least pay something up front when you walk in the door. Or, establish a relationship with a veterinarian by just doing regular care and paying right away and they are more likely to let you pay in installments in the case of emergency or if your pet needs tests or expensive treatments. If you walk in and they don't know you from adam, they're less likely to take a chance that you will pay later on.
I know this from experience because my income level has fluctuated over the years, and I have had to do installments, but I had a very good relationship with my vet and that's why they allowed me to do it.
So all of this means that I don't think being low-income means you are a bad pet owner or that you cannot provide what your pet needs. Quite the opposite, in fact. Again, I just think that no matter what your income level is, you have to be prepared for the broken leg, the accidental ingestion of something toxic, a pet having an underlying condition that you weren't aware of, etc.
Nobody expects the cute little puppy they found in the road to test positive for parvo or to have mange - but it can and does happen, and it's something we all have to think about. For me, that's the real issue.
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