If You Can No Longer Afford Your Pet, Help is Available

can't afford your pet

Written by an animal welfare volunteer

If you are going through hard times financially, have already cut back on your expenses where you can, and have made efforts to increase your income, but still feel that you can no longer afford to keep your pet(s), you have my compassion. I am a huge animal lover, but I do understand that if it comes down to the choice between feeding your children and feeding your pets, you may come to the very painful decision that you need to let your animals go.

The fact that you found this article proves that you are looking for a responsible solution to a very difficult situation. You are likely feeling guilt, shame, and embarrassment. You are afraid that others


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8 Responses to If You Can No Longer Afford Your Pet, Help is Available

  1. lisa says:

    Thank you for writing about this issue. It’s important for people who are facing a crisis to know there are options. I would go to great lengths to keep my pets but sometimes there are unforseen events (death or severe illness). Most of us are hurting financially but it doesn’t stop me from feeding three additional stray cats in the neighborhood who were abandoned by their owners. It’s all about respect.

  2. Audrey says:

    What a sensible and well-written article. As a fellow animal lover I applaud your compassionate addressing of such a senstive situation.

  3. Laurie says:

    There are some animal rescue leagues that will provide “support” in the form of food, altering, defray medical costs, and even temporary housing for some pets. Take the time to ask questions and truly find out all the options. Abandoning your pet is never a good option.

  4. Don says:

    Do NOT turn your pet loose, like this article mentions in option five. Take responsibility for yourself!!! Take your pet to the closest animal control location, and pay the fee, and leave your pet there to be killed. Sound harsh? It is. You should’ve thought of that before you took in a pet.

    If the shelter won’t accept your pet because you don’t live in their area, take a friend with you who does live within their boundaries, and have them pretend to be the pet’s owner.

    Very few animals who are turned loose (dumped) are welcomed into anyone’s home. They starve to death, or are killed by cars, bullets and other animals.

    I dispatch for a law enforcement agency. Our agency gets four or five calls PER DAY about abandoned or dumped animals. There is no animal control in our area. There is nothing we can do. If the animals are vicious or sick we will shoot them. Otherwise, we don’t do anything, and the poor animals starve to death.

    I am sick of it.

    Everyone needs to be responsible for their decisions.

    Thank you for putting up with my rant.

  5. Gail says:

    Thank you for bringing up a very valid point. If you can’t afford a roof over your head or the barest amount of food for your family, YOU CAN’T AFFORD A PET! I have known people who are in over their heads with fanancial problems and you bring up this one way to save money (get rid of pet humanely) and they absolutely refuse to do this. As much as people like to think their pet is a ‘child’ or a member of the family. It isn’t. If you can’t afford one then you need to let it go along with the cable TV, cell phones, etc. All the same type things that the person who refuses to give up a pet also refuse to give up. Somehow these people think they will be rescued without effort or sacrifice on their part. That isn’t how personal finances work. I appluad you for writing a sensitive article, however I doubt that the people who really need to read this ever will.

  6. Last year we had to adopt-out our six year old Australian Sheppard. My son developed extreme alergic reactions to out big family pet. When our son went away to college last year and then came back home his system had a meltdown. He would have been fine to just deal with the alergic reactions but he had a serious knee injury in football (He plays Division I football) and it looked like he was going to have to come home for a semester and have ACL and MCL surgery.

    So we made the decision to look for a new home for our Bubba. Man, this was a hard decision. Not only did it impact out entire family but we also have a small chihuaha and they are like an old married couple. Having never sold or had to adopt out a dog we weren’t quite sure what to do. So we ran ads in craigslist and one or two sites we found on the web. To my suprise we had about a dozen people interested in bubba but two stood out. Both were retired folks who lived on farms in rural communities. For a dog from suburbia my wife and I kept telling ourselves, her through her tears, that it was a retirement community for the old pooch. Becuase we screened our adoptors carefully we were able to place bubba with another family, and older couple with another Australian Sheppard (a girl for our big guy) and have received regular photos of bubba romping in the bush. As much as we miss him we are greatful there are people out there looking for good pets, both old and young. Our neighbors just adopted a mature dog for thier three boys whos former masters lostr their home. A good pet found a very good home.

  7. jj says:

    Option No. 5 is very irresponsible. I live in a horse area near a big city and we get tons of scared, abandoned dogs. Most do not get taken in. Even if you ‘take kindly to strays’ it’s impossible for residents to take in all the abandoned pets. we just call animal control and the poor animal gets taken away before it is killed by a car or coyote.

  8. Robin says:

    I could never let my dog just be dropped off somewhere. She got out of her harness once and I was frantic she would run too fast and far that I couldn’t catch her. I was actually shaking. My finances are tight and its getting harder to get her the vet care she needs and so many people have said “just give her up” Easier said than done I just lost my MOM in sept 13 and to have to give up my dog is killing me. So if anyone know of cheap vets or anyone that allows payments please let me know. Feeding her is not a problem its just the vet care. thank you

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