This comes up in all sorts of groups I'm in on facebook, and my personal stance on this is simply, if you don't have money or can't, in some way or another, get money for vet bills, you shouldn't have the pet. Period. Yeah, argue all you want, you can tell me that you can provide the perfect home except you can't provide vet care... and that's great that the pet will be loved until it get sick... but then what about when it gets sick?
Not saying everyone has to be a millionare to own pets. God knows the rescue's not swimming in cash, never has been, never will be, but here's the thing. Push comes to shove, we have care credit with a decent limit on it. If I need money, I can get it. And if one of the critters needs to go to the vet, they will. Period.
I got a text today from someone asking if we take in sick chins, make them well, and fix them. As we're full, I didn't even get into the nitty gritty of this one, but basically, a college kid pooled their money with their boyfriend, bought a chin. Was told it was blind in one eye, the eye started to ooze, so they went to the vet. Antibiotic drops didn't help, and they were told it's likely an ulcer in the eye and likely teeth issues causing it.
Well now. Teeth issues are incurable, and as such, there's almost no point in even filing down the teeth, except for once, just to check if it's teeth spurs. Toby had teeth spurs years ago, had teeth filed, never had a problem since. So it can happen. But in reality, as I told this person, usually it progresses to once... to few times a year, to once a month... and at $250-350 per instance... we can't afford it either.
She's got a gofundme for the chin, and genuinely seemed to want to help him. The unfortunate thing is, if it is teeth issues, there's really not a lot that can be done. But even if it's not, we're like beyond full right now. And with my current traveling "job" situation, I couldn't give a sick chin the attention it needs as I'm not around several days a week.
Now, I do applaud her for taking him to the vet in the first place and getting the antibiotic drops. She did spend a bit of money on that, I'm sure. And don't get me wrong, I don't expect people to shell out thousands of dollars on dental care, because we already know my stance on that. But I really feel like, if you're going to have a pet, you need to be willing and able to afford more than one vet visit.
I mean if you have a kid, and the doctor gives you antibiotics cause they have a cough, and they still have the cough and its worse once treatment is done, despite the antibiotics..... surely you go back to the doctor, right? I guess with kids, it can be different, because there's medicare and all that, and there's people having kids who can't afford them either, but that's beside the point. Surely, you go back. Yeah, it's expensive for another doctor visit, but you're not like, "op, well, I spent my allowance of money for this kid with the one doctor visit, guess he's gonna have to suffer." You'd find a way to get that kid to the doctor.
And I get, it's a college kid, but this sort of thing puts a strain on rescues. Not only me, but other rescues, because just like people refer over to me, I refer over to other rescues. And yeah, we are here for when people can't keep their chins anymore, and when people can't afford them anymore, but I don't feel we should be the dumping grounds for when people can't afford it. I don't get any special discounts at the vet. If it costs you $250, it costs me $250. I'm sure some rescues do get discounts. But we don't. I'm not sure why people seem to think it, but a LOT of people seem to have the idea that rescues are just pools of money that we're swimming in, to care for their pets. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Don't get me wrong, if that was the case, I'd have actual employees here at the rescue, cages would be immaculately clean, orders would always be up to date and going out like the next day, I would never be out of stock on anything, and so on and so forth. But in reality, the money from adoption fees goes right back into feeding and caring for the pets.
And the reason I have the webstore? Not to pad my own pockets, and take up more of the little free time I have... no, it's so the rescue has more money. Not that the rescue ever has a lot of money, but by selling the houses and cages and all that, the rescue can actually support itself (or come closer to doing so) than it could with just adoption fees. If any of you were around before the store was around (probably not, but you never know), you remember that I was putting about every cent I made at my job into the rescue, and that just wasn't going to work long-term (especially now, when I have mortgage and bills, and car insurance, and lots of other things I didn't have to pay for back then). Even though I have to work to make the products the store sells, it still works out exceptionally better than putting all of my own money into the rescue.
All that said... notice something. If for every chin that comes through the rescue, I get $75, and we get at least 75-100 chins in, and $75+ per chin doesn't pay for the care of the chins currently in rescue....it can cost a lot to keep these buggers. All the work I do for the rescue is volunteer, not getting paid. The biggest cost is simply my time to do all the stuff and make all the products, so all the actual cost is in feeding, keeping chew toys full, and..... vet bills.
Not saying you have to be a millionaire, but I just feel like people should either make more of an effort to be able to pay for them... or simply not have them.