Added expenses could compel more people to surrender pets, forgo treatment
SACRAMENTO, CA (November 21, 2008) – United Animal Nations (UAN) today asked Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to abandon his proposal to tax veterinary services to help close a multi-billion-dollar state budget shortfall, saying the tax could lead more financially strapped families to surrender their pets to shelters or avoid seeking needed medical care.
“It is irresponsible to expect families that are already strugg
Forsyth reported that in 2008, UAN has experienced a 60-percent increase in applications for its LifeLine Grants, which provide financial assistance to people who can’t afford veterinary care for an animal with a life-threatening illness or injury. Many applicants cite job loss, reduced hours and foreclosure as reasons for their struggles. Some report depleting their savings accounts or using grocery money to pay for vet care.
“The few million dollars this proposal would generate will have a very minimal effect on our state’s budget crisis, but it would be devastating to individual families who are trying to balance their own budgets,” Forsyth said.
The proposed vet tax could also overburden animal shelters that are already fee
“In times of financial uncertainty, our elected officials should be looking for ways to keep families together, not tear them apart,” Forsyth said. “Research shows that the companionship of animals can provide countless physical, emotional and psychological benefits for people.”
Read UAN’s letter to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger [PDF].
Founded in 1987, United Animal Nations (UAN) focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and into care through a variety of programs, including emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services, financial assistance for urgent veterinary care and humane education.