“Though his injuries were minor (and the doctor agreed to perform only essential procedures), he was hospitalized for about 48 hours. And the bill totaled $968.29.” Said Peter Fenton, the owner of a cat who got into only a small accident, which caused him to have to pay much more than he was expecting.
Connecticut is one of a dozen states where pet owners pay the highest amounts for veterinary care with CT households paying at least $1500 annually in vet bills. This only includes routine checkups and vaccines, and excludes the cost for serious illnesses, injuries and diseases. This is just what every pet owner must pay annually to keep their pet healthy.
The number of dogs being euthanized because owners can’t afford high veterinary bills continues to increase every year. According to a 2011 report by the American Pet Products Association, the cost of routine and surgical vet visits has risen 47 percent for dogs and 73 percent for cats over the past decade. The Washington Post states that pet owners spent about $8 billion on vet care in 2000. By 2013, that figure climbed to more than $14 billion.
The Washington post states that an estimated 23 million pets in the United States are in homes where the caretakers live at or below the poverty line, and that typically leaves the animals without access to veterinary care. This just shows that one main cause of so many pets spreading diseases such as rabies, and living in shelters, is due to them not being able to get the veterinary care and vaccines that they need because it’s too expensive for their owners to pay for.
The government needs to require public veterinary clinics to lower the prices of core vaccines, annual checkups and testing for cats and dogs. “I have seen bills run up. I have seen animals hospitalized who clearly did not need to be and animals operated on who did not have to be.” Said Rob Foley to The Washington Post. This shows that not only are vet bills way too high, vet clinics are doing things to these pets that don’t need to get done, causing the owner to pay more than they really should have to. Routine vaccinations can be up to $500, plus checkups, testing, getting your pet spayed or neutered, and screenings. This adds up, and in the end, most pet owners can’t afford to give their pet what they need to stay healthy. If the government requires vet clinics to lower their prices, it will save so many innocent animals from getting sick and having to be euthanized, simply because they couldn’t go to the vet.
Word Count: 446