Imagine my horror upon reading the following news story: “A Rhode Island man who says he couldn’t afford veterinary care for his dog has been charged with illegally operating on the pet.” The article goes on to describe this man’s attempt to remove a cyst from the leg of his 14-year-old Labrador mix. Thankfully, a veterinarian treated the resulting infection and performed a second corrective surgery. The man was described as elderly and subsisting on Social Security. He was quoted as saying, “In the economy as it is right now as it is right now, especially in Rhode Island, who in the hell is going to give you a little extra helping hand?”
This story is tragic to me on so many levels. Of course I think this fellow was mentally unbalanced, but I also sense (or maybe I’m wishfully thinking) that he dearly loved his canine companion of so many years and his act was one of desperation. While the news would have us believe that our down trodden economy is turning around, I must tell you that every day I receive emails from people all over the United States who are experiencing the heartache, guilt, and desperation of not being able to afford medical care for their beloved four legged family members.
The Rhode Island man’s story prompted me to remind you that the “little extra helping hand” he needed certainly does exist. Many organizations offer financial assistance to those in need of help paying for veterinary care. If you or someone you know is in such need, I invite you to visit my website at www.speakingforspot.com/helppayingforveterinarycare.html. Here you will find a comprehensive list of organizations that can provide financial aid. Not surprisingly, these organizations are currently being taxed to the max, and it takes some effort to apply for their funds, but they may be able to provide the help needed to make a significant difference.
Best wishes to you and your four-legged family members for abundant good health.
Dr. Nancy Kay
Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller.
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