Saturday, April 18, 2009

How much is that doggie in the hospital?

from a discussion this morning around the breakfast table:
the value of pets and the risk of 'humanizing' them
so that they are child substitutes.
Secondly, the immorality ( too strong word?) of spending THOUSANDS of dollars on dog surgery or Chemo-therapy for a cat when
1. there are thousands of animals needing homes
2. there are millions of children who would derive huge benefits from a small monthly gift
( through something like Compassion international)

Please tell me what you think
How much have you spent or would you allow to be spent
or repairing a dog/ cat/ rat/ bird.

My two examples
A dog needed two hips repaired $3000.
I vote this was worth it due to the dog being young and otherwise healthy, and could be amortized over his expected life (plus I was dating the person who wanted this so I had to agree.)

Man I met walking his beagle, told me he spent $17000. on many surgeries to make the dog right again after an accident.
I would have voted no. Too much for something that barks that much. Hooooowwlllll!


Kathryn said...

Well, i think this is a question depending on personal circumstances. I can't conceive of spending that amount of money on a pet, no matter how well loved. But different people are in different circumstances. Some people can spend that amount of money & still give generously to charities.

A couple of years ago one of my cats was quite ill. (I usually have 2 cats at a time, i've never had more.) He had advanced diabetes, which was largely my fault. I knew he hadn't been doing well, but hadn't taken him to the vet because i was worried about money. By the time i did he was distressed & needed hospitalization. Duane & i set an upper limit of $250 for what we could spend, but that was quickly gone.

The cat was over 13 years old, & the vet told me that even when he was improved, he would need constant blood sugar monitoring & insulin shots twice a day. I think we had spent upwards of $600 before i put him down. It was a hard decision & the vet didn't make it easier, telling me he could "still have quality of life" which induced some guilt thinking i ended his life prematurely. But i also knew my lifestyle would not allow me to do what i needed for my pet. I have a hard time remembering to take meds myself twice a day.

At that point i made the determination that i wasn't going to let money determine whether or not i would seek help for my pet. Bronson got so sick because i was worried about spending money, & we ended up spending more.

These days i think $1000 would be the upper limit we would spend on a pet. But that is our circumstances.

We can't afford thousands of dollars. We can't afford the amount you mentioned the other guy spent in order for us to adopt or have a family. Different circumstances.

Thomas said...

No amount of money is ever too much for my pet.

Bob-kat said...

I have a cat as you know. That cat has been my constant companion for 19 years now and as long as he needed treatment and the prognosis was good, I wouldn't hesitate to spend any amount on him, as long as it didn't cause him any suffering and he had quality of life.

It's not that I humanise him, I am wella ware that he is a cat, I just love him for what he is and what we have been through together. It's a much more complex issue I think than just animal v child and cash value IMHO.

David said...

Jean luc and Kathryn,
I hit the wrong button and your comments were trashed ( i am so sorry) they were good comments too!)

Russ said...

Stop, you're scaring Charlie!! He thinks money is no object. But then again, he has no job, no education and no prospects for a productive future. Unless of course you can calculate the value he brings as my friend, companion and confidant. And how do we hang a price tag on that?
On the other hand, I could have spent $3K on Kasey, only to prolong her life for an uncomfortable few months. I could have... but didn't. And it was the right thing to do.

Amrita said...

I don 't know what to say. Just blows my mind. I am trusting God for $1500 for my Mom 's gall bladder and cataract surgeries.

If my Sheeba was sick i would go up to $50 or 60 for her. beyond that I could not go.

Snaggle Tooth said...

Wow- hot topic!
I once spent $170 on my kitten Turtle to go on kitty IV for a few days, n I got a good 7 more years out of her. But when 16 year old Midnight got ill, I decided she'd be better off not suffering. I guess age has something to do with the choice- but it's based on what's best for the critter- NOT for me, n NOT by my wallet!

Not sure what I'd do if Mischief got ill, n it could be fixed- she's 10 now, but I've had 2 cats live for 20 years before!
She is my best friend!