"poor" people owning dogs

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  • #449105

    Elisabeth
    Member

    I put poor in quotes because I don’t mean very poor like in poverty, but a person with a tight budget, like lower middle class. Anyways, on to my question. What do you all think about a family owning a dog when they know that if an emergency came up they would not be able to spend more than about $1000 to "save" the dog. I firmly believe in not getting a pet until you can easily budget for high quality food, toys/chews/entertainment, proper equipment, shots and other health related needs, even $30/month health program at the vet. But I do not expect in any way to be able to pay more than $1000 for a totally out of the blue emergency for the next 15 to 20 years of our lives. So what do ya’ll think a responsible owner should do?

    #449152

    Susan
    Member

    I agree, that’s why we waited so long, then she got pancreatitus and we spent $1500 in vet bills. Then the bunnies got Gi stasis, and their goes another $1500! It went to our credit cards though. I grew up in the country with everybody owning cats and dogs that lived outside and letting nature take it’s course if they got sick, or they’d shoot it to put it out of it’s misery. I didn’t want that to happen to us.

    #449153

    Deborah
    Member

    In another thread I went on and on about the right to bear children and own dogs…when we HAVE to have a license to drive or work, (in certain professional capasities…). We don’t live in a perfect world, do we? I would like to agree with you, but somehow it doesn’t seem right. I would agree with you in the way that if a medical issue should arise, they more than likely may not be able to pay for it, however I have heard many a story about a family "making do" and putting their money toward the family dog rather than clothing needs for their kids or other materialistic situations. Life is not always so organized like you plan yours. I know that I certainly can afford my 4 dogs…and 2 cats. I think that there are many kinds of loving people who have dogs and not much money…and it doesn’t make that they should be judged so harshly or not be able to have dogs. (Maybe a smaller breed? Cheaper in the long run?). Having said all that I’ve said, there many people with less means that have no business owning dogs, not to mention those with lot of means who really have no excuses…but don’t those horrible characteristics have everything to do with their morals? Not so much with what they can or cannot afford…?????????????

    #449154

    Susan
    Member

    I agree it’s a moral issue. You’ve got people that can afford dogs, but leave them chained up outside and lonely, just give basic food and shelter. You can have a homeless person with a dog and that maybe the happiest dog in the world, just him and his buddy.. The same is true with people, there are so many that have no business having kids… but then there’s nothing we can do about it, unless they’ve been charged with animal abuse or child neglect, then they keep having them and authorities keep taking them away.

    #449155

    Rachel
    Member

    I have to say I imagine that a lot of the animals that are given up are probably due to people not having the money to care for them. I believe like children, pets are a priviledge, not a right. Everyone considering a pet should make sure they have the resources to provide adequate care. I don’t think someone can be labeled a "responsible" pet owner if they can’t provide solid nutrition and healthcare.

    #449156

    Deborah
    Member

    While Rk makes a good arguement, I don’t, however agree with the idea that dogs are mostly given away due to not having the means to fund the animals health and welfare. I know that most of the dogs given up to the sheltering umbrella is due to lack of training and having to deal with the bad behavior or habits that come along as the consequence …or lack of time responsible to deal with their needs, so the dog is left lonely, often neglected and disliked because the dog was either purchased as a X-mas gift or for whatever reason…usually the wrong one. A dog is a blessing. He/she comes to the home in either a baby "state" or adult, but either way it’s like adopting a child in many ways. The dog doesn’t have a maturity of older than a two year old child…in his/her entire lifetime. You have to really, really want a dog to love and have love you in order for this relationship to feel like he/she is a family member and NOT a darned responsibility…a thing that is forced upon you and taking you away from things you would rather be doing, you know?

    #449157

    Rachel
    Member

    Gonty, you may be right. I am definitely not an expert on the subject but I bet in addition to people not being prepared for the amount of work and attention a pet needs is also not having the money for care. They all go hand in hand as what should be prerequisites to owning an animal – education, time, commitment, an appropriate home, and financial stability. I wish love was enough, but unfortunately its not!

    #449158

    Sue
    Member

    Well, RK I think I do qualify as an expert on this subject after 15 years of sheltering/ACO law enforcement. You are correct – people that have animals in such bad shape that cruelty complaints have been filed – you require vet care – they have no money for so they sign the animal over. They have money for fancy hair doo’s & fingernails – huge TV’s & new cars – just not for the dog. Or they just plain admit "they ain’t spending no money on the dawg". I would always give them a choice – pay the judge or pay the vet. Then of course there’s the lot of them that got the dog free or found it stray so "ain’t spending no money on that dawg" either. we also often find when checking vet records for an owner surrender that the vet told them the dog needed treatment or surgery etc – but they chose to dump it in the shelter & tell us they were moving, no time for, kids allergic or what ever. But the REAL reason was "ain’t gonna spend no money on the dawg".

    #449159

    Deborah
    Member

    Wow…is that right? I stand corrected. I’m sad that is what happens to "dawgs". I don’t work in a shelter. I am aware of many situations here in my province. In my town, where I live, there are a few shelters. Poverty is not prevailent here. The issue sound very different. We are also not living in the U.S. and we have less poverty in our country. I’m Canadian. But, I do stand corrected and I’m extremely sorry to hear it…

    #449160

    Sue
    Member

    I believe there are a lot of dog issues that you don’t have up there that we do here. BYB’s, puppymills, dog fighting. At least from what I have read that is the case. You are very fortunate in that but I would guess it won’t be long until you do.

    #449161

    Elisabeth
    Member

    Thanks for your thoughts everyone. I like to hear everyone’s perspectives. I hate that I was a person that gave up their dog to a rescue group because we didn’t have enough money, but on the other hand, we did everything we possibly could, maxed out credit cards, quit spending on absolutely everything, we didn’t get each other anything at all for our anniversary, which the dogs sickness happened right before. The vet bills just kept climbing. The sad thing is he ended up dying anyways and I know the rescue group spent sooo much on him also as they gave me a detailed account of what happened to him. Anyways, thanks again for the responses.

    #449162

    Sue
    Member

    That is a whole different story anne. You did everything you could do & then gave him to someone else that could better afford to do the rest. I have no problem with that. You did not just let him suffer. I also have no problem when someone has a pet that is suffering – euthanized. That is an option. What I was pointing out was the people that KNOW the pet is sick, in pain or what ever & does nothing. I am sorry for your loss.

    #449163

    Rachel
    Member

    Yes, I agree. Yours was a much different situation and it sounds like you did everything in your ability (or anyones!) I read on Craigslist where someone posted that she had a new dog but was very poor and the dog got sick, and unless readers donated money to her she wouldn’t be able to take him to the vet. I couldn’t understand why she would have adopted the dog in the first place if she couldn’t afford to care for him! Also, I see a lot of people trying to get rid of their animals because they can’t afford food or basic necessities. Or someone who says I would like to get my kids a pet but cannot pay even a small rehoming fee. Yikes – if you can’t afford $50 then you certainly can’t afford a pet!Also, it makes me sad that animals owned by homeless people have to be cold and hungry. I think they should concentrate on taking care of themselves rather than trying to keep a pet in bad conditions with them. Those are the situations I am talking about. Not at all yours and I am sorry for your sadness.

    #449164

    Deborah
    Member

    Anyone that would do as much as you did for your sick dog, without even having funds…is a HERO. You did right by that dog in every way. You should walk in that… In Montreal, like every province, we have our share of poverty…but I live in a small town outside of the island…and it does not have poverty. I know that there are horrid shelters in the city "Centre Ville", (down town), and they have dogs that are given up for many reasons, just like ya’all are talking about. My comment earlier was strickly about this tiny affluent town I reside. I am aware of the raw disadvantages of a large city…which is why I chose to live in this bubble. I"ve "been there, done that" and at this age I’d really like to reward myself and be in surroundings with less upset. I live in a doggy town…ON PURPOSE. Now, at this stage of my life, I have earned it. Also, I LOVE this site…it’s so rich with so many different types of people and opinions…I choose this FABULOUS site as well!!!! You are all so intelligent and informative. THANK YOU…

    #449165

    Susan
    Member

    After my dog and rabbit both were sick I decided to invest in pet insurance (VPI). I wish I would have done it the day I bought the animals! Would have saved me probably $2000 dollars. It cost $11 for my rabbit and $30 for dog each month, I included cancer rider for my dog since my neighbors dog died of cancer because they didn’t want to pay for chemo and surgery. I’d probably be just as good to put aside money in a savings account just for pets, but I’d probably end up spending it on some other emergency that would come up.

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