If you’ve ever struggled to medically save the life of a dying pet, you know the end-of-life costs can be extravagant if you choose to try prolong life instead of just ending it. A year ago, I wondered in an article — Deducting the Cat — why pets weren’t considered part of the family and eligible as tax deductions for their veterinary care. I was delighted to learn this week there is now a move afoot to allow a $3,500.00USD “pet deduction” on your income tax.
A bill making the rounds on Capitol Hill marries two feel-good propositions — tax cuts and pet ownership — to generate a novel idea: A tax break of up to $3,500 per person for pet care expenses.
The measure is a legislative long shot. But it’s been championed by a veteran Hollywood tough guy and by a conservative Michigan congressman, and has drawn the enthusiastic support of animal rights groups eager to promote pet ownership during economic down times.
“We think this is as much a health care bill as any,” said Nancy Perry, vice president of government affairs at the Humane Society of the United States. “It’s a human health issue to ensure that pets are provided with better care because of the role they play in our families.”
We hope this bill will become the law of the land. There is no downside to finally giving pet owners an incentive to spend money on the health of their pets.
We shouldn’t have to make a choice between euthanization and providing extra care based solely on our financial ability to pay for services.
With a $3,500.00USD tax deduction available, our pets will be able to enjoy longer, healthier, lives because they deserve it, not because they have to earn it.