Ark Animal Sanctuary – Week of February 22, 2021

3 years ago

Recently we took two cats to the vet: Jake, who had to have a CT scan, biopsy and dental, and Claire, who was spayed, tested and had a full panel of blood work. They needed this medical attention in order to correct health issues and to eliminate pain. 

The bill for all of these procedures was $2,100, which we had anticipated since we were given an estimate before the appointment. If you consider everything that was done we felt that the cost was reasonable. We had done a fundraiser to help raise the money and so many people came to Jake and Claire’s rescue. We raised approximately $1,200. Once Jake and Claire were back home we posted an update on their visit and what the cost was. We put the price out there in hopes of educating people on what it costs to own and care for an animal. 

We had one response that I was not prepared for and it has stuck with me. The response was that the cost was ridiculous and they wanted to know who the vet was. At first I chose to ignore it, but then I kept thinking about it and thought that it did deserve a response, so here goes. 

If you own an animal and have taken it to the vet, then you know that owning a pet is expensive and that you need to be prepared for costs like this. If your pet has been altered and vaccinated, then you know the price can go from $300 to even more just for that one procedure. If your pet gets sick and needs surgery they are going to rely on you to get them the help that they need. Once you take an animal into your home it is your responsibility to provide food, water, shelter and vet care.

Routine vet care can cost anywhere from $100 to $200 (these are just estimates) and it could go higher if there are health issues. Vet care is a an essential part of responsible pet ownership. If you own a pet and are shocked at these prices, it tells me a few things , like you have not altered or vaccinated your pet or you have a very healthy pet that has not required any major vet care. If it is the latter, then you are very lucky and so is your pet. 

In today’s world prices have gone up and we have to adjust our lives to those increasing costs. Pets and vet care go hand in hand. If these prices shock you and you are thinking of getting a pet then perhaps you should re-evaluate your decision. No animal should ever be denied vet care especially if they are in pain. While I believe that everyone should be able to own an animal and get to experience the love of an animal, I do not believe that you should get an animal if you can’t afford to properly care for it.

The cases that we see at the sanctuary break our hearts — animals that have never been to a vet their entire lives that are in need of medical care, or animals that have never been altered left to have litter after litter. We make sure that every animal that passes through our doors gets what it needs. No matter what the cost, we find a way. We are a nonprofit with no guaranteed income but we have a mission to give the best care possible to every animal we come in contact with. 

I know that I have written many articles about this and there is a reason for that. We are passionate about the work we do and we never want to see an animal denied vet care or anything that they require to live a long and healthy life. Please do your homework. Make sure you can afford an animal before you get one. If you think, “I will worry about it when and if something happens,” is that really fair to the animal?

Thank you for your continued support and, as always, thank you for reading our column.