Are you Heartbroken that your Financial Situation May Force you to Surrender your Pet?

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Preventative care is the key to keeping costs down for your pets. "Spaying/neutering and up-to-date vaccinations will help you save money in the long term," says leading veterinarian Dr. Arnold Goldman, president of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Foundation (CVMF) and director of the Connecticut State Animal Response Team.

Spaying/neutering and up-to-date vaccinations will help you save money in the long term

Preventative care is the key to keeping costs down for your pets. "Spaying/neutering and up-to-date vaccinations will help you save money in the long term," says leading veterinarian Dr. Arnold Goldman, president of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Foundation (CVMF) and director of the Connecticut State Animal Response Team.

In addition to preventative care, Dr. Goldman and the CVMF have other critical advice for families who are struggling to keep their pets during these rough economic times:

  •     Consider pet health insurance when your pet is still young and before medical problems develop, so that new conditions will not be excluded as "existing" later. Pet health insurance is also a lifesaver when emergencies occur because your out-of-pocket costs will be significantly lower.
  •     Avoid owning more animals than you can handle. Even if you fall in love with an animal who needs a home, think twice about what is best for that animal. While your heart tells you to rescue an animal in need, if you are already struggling financially, you may not be able to afford the required care. The animals you have now should take priority.
  •     Remember, that shelter animals are already well-cared for by a caring staff. Better that animal stayed at the shelter in the first place and had a chance of being placed in another home that could afford all its needs for the long term, rather than being adopted and surrendered over and over.
  •     Just as we all should live within our means, we should also live within our "animal means," and think about basic needs rather than fancy perks. If necessary skip the professional groomer and learn how to bathe/groom your companion yourself; skip the paid dog walker or doggie day care and see if a friend can help you out with the walks and exercise when you are working extra hours to make ends meet, and can't get home to tend to your pet.
  •     Keep cats indoors. Cats who are indoors are healthier and stay safer. You will reduce the risk of injury significantly - and keep down medical costs -- by not letting cats outside.
  •     Keep dogs on a leash. Free roaming dogs can get into more trouble and incur health risks more frequently than those on a leash.
  •     Talk to your veterinarian about your situation and see if Care Credit is available, Inquire about local not-for-profit shelter-run animal hospitals that offer low cost veterinary care.

Dr. Goldman recognizes that some families must say goodbye to their animal companion, however, there are ways to do this that are best for everyone. "If you have an animal and circumstances require that you must surrender them, remember to surrender your pet humanely to someone you trust or to a reputable shelter. You never need to abandon an animal cruelly."

About Dr. Goldman, DVM
Dr. Goldman is owner of Canton Animal Hospital (CT); president of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Foundation; and director of the Connecticut State Animal Response Team program (CTSART) which he founded in 2005. Dr. Goldman initiated and lobbied for Connecticut Public Act 07-11, mandating mass care of household pets along with their owners in Connecticut municipalities. For this he was named 2008 Veterinarian of the Year by the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Goldman speaks frequently about animal issue planning and response for disasters across Connecticut and nationally, and is the founding president of the National Alliance of State Animal & Agricultural Emergency Programs, NASAAEP. He has presented over 150 lectures and workshops on disaster-related animal response issues and is considered by Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Commissioner James Thomas to be the leading expert on animal emergency response in the State of Connecticut.

The Connecticut Veterinary Medical Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Its mission is to be a safety net for domestic animals and to enhance their health and welfare while promoting the human-companion animal bond. In addition to CT State Animal Response Team, CVMF programs include public health assurance through rabies education and prevention programs; public education; and veterinary medical education. CVMF is the philanthropic arm of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association which has 630 licensed veterinarians as members. It is the involvement of these veterinarians that makes the CVMF unique among animal-related charitable organizations because its key resource is the expertise of veterinarians. More info at http://www.ctvet.org.

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Rodi Rosenweig

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