Animal Sanctuary at Breaking Point Over Cost of Living Crisis
Lola’s Sanctuary is on the brink of closing down because of a cost of living crisis. They have not received a new donation for four months and are seeing more animals in need of care. Their monthly utility bills have risen to over PS2,500 and their vet bills are more than 5,000 pounds. This winter, the costs will soar even further.
Cost of owning a dog has risen to almost PS250 a month
Keeping a dog has become a necessity, but it is also an expensive proposition. A recent study found that owners spend PS244 a month on their pet’s care, which is equivalent to nearly PS3,000 a year or PS40,000 over a dog’s lifetime. Keeping a dog requires regular food and water intake, as well as regular vet visits. The rising costs are also making some dog owners contemplate giving up their pets altogether.
According to the survey, more than a quarter of dog owners are willing to make financial sacrifices in order to keep their dog. A similar number say it is worth missing holidays or buying new clothes just to keep their pet.
Veterinary costs are spiralling out of control
In order to make ends meet, veterinarians have to spend more than they make. Without reimbursement, they have to raise their prices. Meanwhile, more veterinary clinics are being bought by large companies. Companies such as VCA, Banfield Pet Hospitals and BluePearl are examples of these chains. These companies have little room for flexibility in their pricing, so they generally charge more than independently owned veterinary clinics.
The decline in farm animals has lowered the demand for veterinary care. Farmers have become more aware of production costs and the costs of veterinary care, and have been more conscious of reducing their expenditure on animal health care. This has made it necessary for veterinarians to seek alternative forms of income. In the mid-1960s, 90 per cent of veterinary practices’ income came from farm animal work. By 2006, this had fallen to 10 per cent. It has also meant that vets are spending less time in the field of animal health.
Although vets have long been agents of the state, recent changes in animal health governance have made their role increasingly complex and complicated. These changes have resulted in a rebalancing of responsibilities. For instance, full treatment for cancer in a pet can cost up to $8,000 or more, depending on whether it needs chemotherapy and surgery. As a result, the industry is increasingly competitive and profit-driven, increasing the pressure on veterinarians’ bottom line.
Pet homes are being inundated with requests to take in more pets
Inflation has put a strain on household finances, and pet homes are receiving more requests than ever to take in more pets. With rising energy and food costs, pet owners are finding themselves unable to afford the care of their animals, such as dogs and cats. Some are turning to local animal shelters for help.
Adding pet insurance to monthly budgets can prevent the need to throw out a pet. The cost of living crisis has also forced many pet owners to downsize and move to more affordable areas. While finding a new place to live can be challenging, there are many pet-friendly options available.