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Renovation & Design

A heart-wrenching reality for pet owners

There’s a tragedy happening in many homes these days, but thankfully it’s something we have the power and resources to do something about.

According to multiple news reports, the number of people turning in their pets to Animal Services, the Humane Society or pet rescues has increased exponentially since COVID-19 came along and took a big bite out of personal finances.

One way people have been coping with that is by choosing to remove the expense of owning a pet from their responsibilities, which I find to be both sad (always for the animals) and frustrating, as those fur-mily members (as I call them) have feelings that have locked on for life, and have no idea why they are suddenly homeless. Suddenly abandoned.

Where the cost is marginal, and still affordable with some tweaking, I think we owe them more love and loyalty than removing them for a more pleasant level of comfort.

However (BIG however), I’m guessing the majority of people giving up their pets are tortured by it, and have made the decision to part with a loved one only as an absolute and emotionally painful last resort.

When the choice of feeding and caring for your kids over “pets” (have never liked that word) rears its ugly head, at least you know by giving up your furry buddy you’re giving it a pretty good opportunity to find another loving home, with people who fortunately have the financial wherewithal to support their new furmily member for life.

The choice I absolutely do not agree with is putting down a perfectly healthy family member just because it has become an inconvenience. Those people should never have had animal family members to begin with.

The people I feel so tremendously sad for are those who simply cannot afford to feed their furry buddy anymore, and absolutely cannot afford vet bills that can add up to thousands, popping up with no warning during the next visit. For so many there’s just no way to afford that, so their only choice is to try and rehome and if that can’t be found, euthanize to prevent suffering.

So we’ve got the big picture somewhat, let’s talk about what we might do as a community (either our individual community or the larger area population community).

For some time now I’ve been wondering if it would be possible to create a charity individuals and corporations could donate to (don’t need to be pet owners) that would provide emergency financial support for people who can’t afford to provide their furry family with the medical help he/she needs.

They would apply through their vet office.

Another idea I’ve had rumbling around of late is for people who can’t have pets for whatever reason, but would love to, is to open the door to friends or family members to help with their furmily expenses, becoming an extended member of that lucky pet’s family.

One dog or cat (or whatever) may have a few extended family members helping out with the expenses involved in paying their way, which would be a heartwarming way for people who love animals but can’t have one to gain visiting, hugging, and patting rights from an allergy meds/vacuum free distance. An idea worth exploring methinks.

The friend/family donors shouldn’t take that much to organize if word is put out in a “no guilt for no” understanding by all involved, and the charity idea I spoke of just needs some animal loving organizing force to saddle up and take the reins, either salaried, or volunteer.

Losing an animal family member to illness is torture, but maybe even worse is giving them up, still out there, but never again to be with the people they call family. Let’s be supportive in whatever way we can folks. Have a great weekend.

Comments and column ideas welcome at lmustard1948@gmail.com

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