Americans love pets. We pamper them and even consider them a member of the family, but at what cost?
After spending more than a month's rent on vet bills, Ada Calhoun wrote this Salon.com article on how much is too much to pay for your pet:
I asked Dr. Mann the most he'd ever seen an owner pay for a pet's treatment.
"When I worked at an emergency animal hospital," he said, "I saw someone spend $25,000 to save a dog." (The dog had a systemic infection resulting from an untreated wound.) Dr. Mann also told me about pet owners spending thousands on chemotherapy for a pet so they could have a few more months "to say goodbye."
"That seems extreme," I said, thinking Dr. Mann and I would have a chuckle together about people spending what, for some, is a year's salary just to have three more months with a pet, no matter how beloved.
"Well, what's more important, a dog or a car?" Dr. Mann asked. He wasn't laughing.
His at-any-cost philosophy is not unusual in the veterinary community. That's their job, after all: keeping animals alive. The Humane Society of the United States offers a guide called, "What You Can Do If You're Having Trouble Affording Veterinary Care." Some of their suggestions: "Consider taking on a part-time job or temping," and "Pawn your stuff. TVs and VCRs can be replaced. Your pet can't."