As medicine advances to not only heal humans, but the pet population as well, we should begin to wonder what makes a family and how we want our federal government to respond to the needs and wishes of everything that makes up the “family unit.”
There was a time — not too long ago — that when your cat or dog became sick, you euthanized the animal and found a new one.
Today, things are different. People want their pets to live a long and healthful life and they are willing to pay for animal hip replacements, blood transfusions and even kidney transplants.
Our cat, Jack, is 15-years-old — that’s 76 in people years — so he’s dealing with kidney issues that attack almost every cat his age, and he never really fully recovered from major surgery last December. We love Jack a lot. We want him to live pain-free for as long as possible.
If you or your child were sick, and if you had to pay medical bills out-of-pocket, you would be able to deduct those expenses from your taxes.
If your domestic animals are ill, you are not allowed to deduct a single dollar from your taxes to cover their healthcare.
I realize we are in significant danger in the USA right now as banks and brokerage houses teeter into tumbling, but there are ordinary people in the world with common needs and regular wishes, and one of those yearnings is to be able to afford proper and appropriate healthcare for their pets.
Survival of those that depend on you should not be measured in dollars and cents — but for many pet owners in America, there is a hard choice coming between making the mortgage payment and keeping your aging pet alive in a dying economy.
We are fortunate that we can meet Jack’s medical needs — but there are a lot of people you meet in the animal hospital waiting room who are there with broken hearts and shattered pocketbooks — and you cannot help but feel the woe and the remorse building within them as they wrestle with the final decision between happiness and viability while asking why life has to cost so much when death is always so cheap.