The Pet Pay Out
It is no secret that Americans love their pets. We spend more on our furry friends than any other country, by far. It’s no surprise, then, to find out that more and more pet owners are being taken advantage of than ever before when it comes to our beloved companions.
More and more, I am hearing stories about people being taken advantage of with their pets and it sickens me. When emotions are high, intelligence is low, Robert Kiyosaki used to warn. There is hardly a more emotional time than when our sweet, little animals are sick and we take them in for an emergency. Allow me to share what happened to my daughter when her precious cat became ill.
My daughter had a cat named Buhda, which she loved beyond words. Poor little Buhda became extremely ill, so my daughter took her into an Emergency Veterinarian Clinic. It turned out Buhda needed surgery right then and there. My daughter, however, was barely 21 and living on her own. She could not afford the costly surgery and told the receptionist there that it was impossible for her to come up with the $3,000 for surgery.
My daughter asked if there were any other treatments that may help her precious cat. The woman there reassured her and said she could help. The clinic conveniently had a company who could front her the money for the surgery. No kidding. While my daughter was upset and crying because they had told her that her cat was going to die without this surgery, they, without missing a beat, put her on the phone with a pet credit card company and had her fill out a verbal application through her tears. I find this appalling and extremely coercive. I also believe it should be illegal.
The clinic and the credit card company played on my daughter’s emotions at that should never happen. Imagine if you were in a hospital and your child needed an expensive surgery and they just so happened to have an attorney there who encouraged you to sign over your home in order to pay for some life-saving treatment. It sets a dangerous precedent and should not be allowed.
What makes matters worse is her cat, Buhda, was beyond saving. He died in surgery and my daughter walked out with nothing but her tears and a whopping $3,000 debt. She called me right after and told me what happened. I was horrified. I called the state's attorney's office and searched all over for advocates, but there was nothing we could do. She had been taken advantage of and she was stuck paying.
I know how much people can love their animals because I know how much I love mine. I have two of the sweetest dogs on this planet and I adore them. However, I urge you and anyone to not go into debt for your pet. I sat with my daughter and explained, we may treat them like our children but they are not. Our pets give us unconditional love at the times in our lives when we need it most but I can guarantee, if they could talk, they would not want us burdened with debt.
If you can’t afford to pay cash for their treatment, don’t get the treatment. Their lives are so short when compared to our own, which already seems unfair. Each time my daughter made a payment on that high-interest loan, she was reminded of the pain of losing her beloved pet. It took quite some time for her to pay off that debt and it was not easy for her. If this happens to you, I urge you to consider a second opinion, especially if they recommend something that is beyond a cost that you can afford.
Remember, you will outlive your beloved pet. Don't let debt add to your grief when the inevitable happens.
The lesson here is: choose a vet carefully. This makes all the difference. A few months ago, my youngest got his driver’s license. He took his pup for a car ride and didn’t listen to my warnings about keeping the windows up when driving. Our Aussie jumped out the window into traffic and broke her hip.
However, the difference here is the quality of care our vet gave our dog. He rushed her into the office and they immediately took x-rays. When the vet came back, he explained how a very expensive surgery would be the best option but if my son could not afford that, an alternative plan could be drawn out and she would heal in time. My son took the option he could afford without guilt. Of course, he wished he could do more but he felt grateful for a doctor who understood his limited finances.
I am certain that the majority of vets out there love animals. After all, they dedicated their entire life to helping them. There may even be times where an expensive surgery is truly the only viable option. However, there are some unscrupulous people out there ready to make a quick buck out of those who are emotionally distraught. I don’t want you to be on the other end of that and I certainly don’t want you to go into debt in order to care for your pet.
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