Facing unemployment, one of your first concerns is how you are going to take care of your family. This includes furry, scaly and feathered family members as well. It’s tough enough to afford food and medical costs for the humans so pet food and vet bills become luxury items that are expendable. Sadly, the state of the economy, the housing market crash, and the jobs crisis have forced many people to give up their pets to others or simply move out and abandon them.
Big unexpected vet bills are one of the main reasons people are forced to turn their backs on their fur babies. When the cost to fix the dog surmounts the cost to fix the car, the choice is seemingly clear. Other expenses creep up like food, grooming and litter. Belt tightening on monthly expenses leads owners to cut the leash.
Rescue groups are doing all they can to keep pets and their owners together but surrenders are up and adoptions are down. Shelters are already packed full and financially strapped due to over population. The additional surge of abandoned pets places more animals in jeopardy of being euthanized. This is particularly heart breaking when many people want their pets but simply can’t afford them.
Because of this organizations across the country are coming together to try and help people and pets affected by unemployment and underemployment. They realize the importance pets play in the lives of their owners and vice versa. Pet ownership is proven to fight depression and most financially vulnerable people exhibit signs of depression. For their pets these programs can mean the difference between life and death.
If you need help to afford your pet or want to help other people keep their pets check out the following organizations:
AAHA Helping Pets Fund provides emergency and non-elective veterinary care for pets with low income through AAHA accredited vets. The practice applies for a grant on behalf of the animal and can award up to $500 in services per family per year.
Help-A-Pet has no overhead and uses every resource they have to provide financial assistance nationwide for the medical care of pets whose owners are unable to afford the expense of veterinary services, medicine, or medical supplies for a sick or injured pet.
Your local ASPCA may offer or refer you to a low cost clinic to keep your pets’ shots and medications up to date.
Pet food banks can be found across the country to supplement your pets’ nutrition when you can’t afford it. In some states Food Stamps benefits can apply to pets too so be sure to check with your local Department of Social Services office to see if you can qualify.
The question many groups will ask is if they could help solve the problem, whatever that may be, would you still keep your pet?