I wasn’t going to use my blog for anything other than my crafting business, but I am sorry I was so incensed with a news report this week I just had to put my thoughts down……..so here goes.
I know there are so many other more important things to worry about for everyone at the moment but my heart goes out to animals. There was a report on the news that the amount of pets being abandoned had dramatically gone up, it came across as such a surprise …………what planet do these people live on? Of course numbers have risen and they will keep rising dramatically. And the fault, as far as I am concerned lays with government and the vets.
This report came 2 days after I had to abandon one of our tortoises, that we have had for 10 years. As you know I am only getting working tax credits as I am now self employed, that amounts to £45 a week. My partner is on Disability Living Allowance (which he has had since the 90’s), which is now under threat, as the government has decided that everyone that can breathe has to get work (thats a laugh what work?) and it costs £37.45 just to walk into the vets room, that is before you have to pay for any treatment for your pet. They call it ‘consultation fee’.
I have just this minute phoned my vet, for research only thank goodness, They have been closed for just over an hour so it was an answer phone. The message told me that if it was an emergency I had to phone another number to speak to a vet. If it was considered an emergency by the vet I had to transport the animal to the vets and it would cost £120 before 11pm or £150 after 11pm, before treatment costs, this had to be paid immediately. If I was suffering financial hardship I had to forget them and contact the RSPCA. In the meantime my most loved pet could be screaming with pain or bleeding to death. How would you deal with that?
My 80 year old mother-in-law, who is always worried about her heating bills, had to pay over £80 to have her beloved dog (of 13 years) put to sleep after a short illness. We paid £70 this week for our 11 year old cat that had a sore throat, £37.45 ‘consultation fee’. Looking at my receipt it says £31.21 Standard consultation plus £6.24 Vat so the government is making a killing too! (the rest of the bill was for the antibiotics with Vat on them as well).
Many years ago I owned and ran a boarding cattery and rescue cattery working with the RSPCA. I took in, looked after and re-homed abandoned cats and kittens. Most of them came from loving homes with good reasons for having to give them up. Nowadays the main reasons are financial…………and the ones that are suffering are the innocent.
Munchkin, my tortoise, had a prolapse 3 years ago. Luckily I was in full-time work then. We paid out over £600 for an operation and treatment, and lifts to the vets, as the only one that dealt with tortoises was over 30 miles away. We were told it was unlikely, but it could happen again. With that in mind, and the constant worry we decided to re-home him as there is no way we could afford it now.
So we abandoned him…….. Don’t worry, I didn’t leave him in a wood or dump him on the side of the road. My cousin has adopted him, so he is still in the family. Her and her partner both have good jobs, a home and garden of their own, 2 cars so they can travel to the vet with ease and no money worries. They also have two little tortoises already that they dote on like children, so hopefully our Munchkin will be happy with them. They know that he may need treatment again and are quite happy taking him on. I just feel so guilty and hope that he doesn’t feel abandoned.
I thought being a vet was a vocation, a love of animals and wanting to help them, not making as much money as they can for their big houses and flash cars. I feel so upset about this and worry about all of the animals out there that are being irresponsibly abandoned too. Also for the pets that are sick and their owners are either trying to ignore it hoping it will get better with time or trying to treat it themselves and maybe causing more suffering, but are unable to do otherwise because of cost. Many people would say ‘if you can’t afford a pet don’t have one’. I would say ‘what is your situation going to be next year?’
I could go on forever, but I won’t. Just to say ‘wake up’ to the vets and to government, we can only go on giving up so much.