“I’m always worried that if you can’t foot the bill, they might ask you to hand over the animal,” explained a low-income animal keeper. “I didn’t want to give up on the animal. I can feed her. She is loved. She is not abused.” When a veterinarian or animal shelter asks a low-income person to hand over their pet for access to veterinary care, a serious ethical dilemma exists as the animal is then relocated to a richer family.
Examining and removing barriers to veterinary care is a key part of creating a more equitable society. Pets are more than ever an essential part of their caretakers’ lives – with evidence suggesting that animals have a positive impact on the way people react, cope and recover from disaster situations.
“No one should have to choose between paying rent and vet care,” said another participant. “I find that a really scary thought.”
The article offers suggestions for helping low-income pet sitters access care, such as offering payment plans and training staff to provide trauma-informed services – the same approach used by social service workers. who already interact with underserved communities on a daily basis. Creating an environment where all caretakers can access veterinary care can reduce stress, help animals get the urgent care they need, and encourage low-income people to bring their pets for preventative care before their health gets worse. is not in crisis. It can also remove the need for financially motivated euthanasia, which unnecessarily kills animals and puts a strain on veterinarians and technicians.
The research process was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). It can be found on the VHS website.
SOURCE Vancouver Humane Society
For further information: Amy Morris: 604-416-2901