Helping A Pet that is In Distress Because the Owners Can’t Afford Vet Care.
For true pet lovers, one of the most frustrating and heartbreaking times is when they hear of a pet that is suffering from an untreated ailment or issue because the owners cannot afford to take it to the vet.
The usual first thought that passes through the minds of most people is “why does that person even have an animal if they can’t afford to take care of it?” Clearly a valid question – but not often one with a common answer, and certainly not one with a great solution.
Most pet owners try to provide at least the basic of medical care for their animals. In today’s’ economy, more and more people are finding it difficult to come up with the “extra” money to look after their pets. Unlike many years ago when pet care seemed to be minimal, pet ownership is more of a luxury item now. A Divorce, Separation, Death, Job Loss, Personal Medical Issue or Poor Financial Choices can suddenly put any pet lover/owner into a position where they do not have the funds available to look after their ill pet. And while it may not be entirely their fault, it is certainly not the fault of the pet. And with this in mind, the pets medical needs come first.
As a friend, co-worker or neighbour that has knowledge of the animal, you may find it put upon yourself to steer the issue in the right direction.
If you are comfortable with the owner, let them know you have heard they are having a problem and see what you can do to help. Often the pet owner simply feels overwhelmed and by realizing that other people are aware of the situation this might be enough to get them into action.
Options to suggest to the pet owner include, calling around to different veterinary clinics to see if one of them offers a payment plan. Have them (or yourself) contact the local Humane Society to see if they have access to any funds, or can put the pet owner in touch with a group or organization that may have access to funds to help the pet out. Suggest a local bank, credit union or other financial institution that may be able to provide a loan. Advise the pet owner that there are credit cards available strictly for the medical care of pets. This information will be available at any local veterinary office. Inform the pet owner that they most likely have something in their home that they could sell to obtain some cash to put towards their pets care. With options like Kijiji, Craigslist and a multitude of other sales sites they won’t have to pay for to run an ad. In addition, most grocery and convenience stores have boards available for ads of all kinds.
Find out who they feel may be able to offer them assistance such as other family members, friends, co-workers or neighbours. Often times, they may be too embarrassed to ask so you may be able to do that for them.
Remember the main issue here is the PET. Making sure that it is not suffering or going without vital medical attention is the goal of everyone involved. If you cannot get resolution for the pet, you, or someone else, will need to contact the SPCA of Humane Society for the well being of the pet. Having the Humane Society get involved will ensure that something finally gets done with regards to helping the pet. It will either force the owner to act, or result in the animal being removed to where someone can take care of the situation.
While this may feel like a terribly unpleasant thing to do (and possibly cost you a friend or two) there will be no better feeling than knowing you helped an animal that certainly could not help itself! This feeling will far out way the feeling of knowing that some animal is lying sick in someone’s home for weeks or months before it finally dies on its own.