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Most people (at least of the booj variety) feel that it's wrong to say a person shouldn't have kids if the would-be parents are poor or barely able to care for themselves. Does the same hold true for bringing pets into the family? Should people avoid getting pets if they are in bad financial straits? Why or why not?


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 4th, 2011 11:05 pm (UTC)
I couldn't disagree more about having children being a human right, but I very much agree on having pets being a weird privilege as well as completely unrelated to control of other people's lives..
Jul. 4th, 2011 11:59 am (UTC)
I'm of two minds on the subject.

On the one hand, I don't think people should bring animals into a situation where they cannot take care of them (vet care, proper food, etc.) but on the other hand...

If a poor person adopts a stray cat or dog, for example... wouldn't that life still be better than the alternative? Wouldn't they both get joy in each other's company, and the person sharing everything they could with the pet, where before the pet had nothing?

Sure, the pet wouldn't get the best care in the world... but I think it is a case where something is better than nothing.
Jul. 4th, 2011 12:37 pm (UTC)
Pets are different than children, obviously. Owning a pet isn't a basic right, it's more of a luxury, and if you're having trouble caring for yourself I feel it's a little counterproductive to willingly take on another being that needs to be cared for. That said, people who are struggling financially (and their children) still benefit from all the joys pets bring, so...

People should do the best they can when it comes to their pets. Get the best quality food you can personally budget for, make sure you have enough for PREDICTABLE vet costs (vaccinations, spaying/neutering, etc...) and give your pet love and attention and I'm satisfied.

I recently had to go well beyond my emergency vet fund to help my cat. Thankfully I have no dependents (well, aside from the cat) and no huge debts and obligations, so I could make it work. Not everyone can, and that's not a failing as a person or pet owner. There are so many homeless pets out there that I don't think it's right to deny someone ownership because they may not be able to afford an unforeseen cost like an emergency vet bill.

It only becomes a problem when someone is letting an animal SUFFER with an ailment or affliction because they can't afford to get it fixed. At that point you really need to do the right thing and surrender the animal so it can be humanely put to sleep.
Jul. 4th, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC)
I think there's a huge difference in pets and children. The primary difference is that there are services in place that will assure children will have their needs met.

Welfare, public hospitals, schools, etc. Society is set up to try and help people raise children. You get tax breaks when you have a child, and there are laws in place that make sure you can go to a hospital and receive care, even if you don't have money.

These laws aren't in place for pets, and consequently if you can't afford food or medical care, they die.
Jul. 4th, 2011 02:01 pm (UTC)
People are way more lenient about poor people having kids than pets. It's kinda creepy.
Jul. 4th, 2011 02:31 pm (UTC)
Eh, the alternative is dictating who can and who cannot reproduce and raise their children. That's creepy (to say the least). Instead of going down that road (It's fraught with peril! Oh, and classism!) it's better to try to help those who already have kids through social programs. I don't view having pets as a fundamental right, whereas reproductive freedom kinda is.
Jul. 4th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this is pretty much where I fall.
Jul. 4th, 2011 04:15 pm (UTC)
I do think people should not adopt animals if they cannot afford them, but sometimes unpredictable things happen.

We adopted 6 cats before we had kids (no idea what we were thinking). At the time we were both working and doing well financially. Now, we are struggling. We do what we can to make sure our cats eat well and are vetted. We do some low cost vets and use our credit cards a lot. It kind of sucks but we do what we can for them.

I would not adopt any more cats right now. Even if any of them pass away, we would not adopt any more animals until we financially could handle it.

If a stray cat came to our door, I would find a home/shelter for the cat. We really can't afford to take in another one (and my torti hates new cats). She still hates the last cat we adopted, which was 4 years ago....
Jul. 4th, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC)
For me personally, I wouldn't make the commitment to have a pet if I knew I didn't have the ability to make sure I could care for all of its needs. However, I do have two pets that I adopted when my husband and I were both working and making good money. Now we're on a very tight budget until he finds a new job. That doesn't mean I'm going to give my boys away as I can make sure they are clean, healthy and fed, but I also won't be going out and adopting a new friend anytime soon.

I just get edgy about telling people whether they should have kids or not because I get a lot of shit for NOT wanting to have kids. If I want my right to be childfree to be respected then I have to respect other people's right to have children when they see fit, regardless of if I agree or not. I might have an opinion about a friend of loved one having a kid when they were struggling just to support themselves, but I wouldn't make it known to them or treat them differently because of it. My personal beliefs have no bearing on another person's life choices and vice versa.
Jul. 4th, 2011 07:22 pm (UTC)
This strikes a cord with me, because as a vet...I end up seeing all those people who can't afford to take care of their pets, no matter how much they love them.

So I'm pretty firmly in the camp of "its really irresponsible". You just shouldn't take on the life of another creature when you can't provide adequately for it. I know people's situations change, that can't be helped, I'm speaking of the initial decision to adopt.

Jul. 4th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC)
I think it's really irresponsible to bring a life into your family that you cannot actually provide for (which for me includes medical care). That said, shit happens.
Jul. 4th, 2011 11:08 pm (UTC)
I've taken in strays knowing I couldn't possibly afford vet bills. No way was I going to let them stay strays.
Jul. 5th, 2011 02:04 am (UTC)
Yes and no. Circumstances can be so hard to judge.

If someone has a pet and they suddenly have financial troubles come up, I don't think they're irresponsible for keeping said pet even if they might not be able to afford the best food etc for them anymore. Shit happens.

If someone is already in a bad financial situation and they decide to take on a pet, that's getting into the irresponsible area imo. However, it also depends on how bad off we're talking here. I even can see exceptions here too because like someone else mentioned, a homeless person taking care of a homeless animal is much better than the animal simply being off on their own. It also helps the person.

I think it's important to keep money in mind with pets, but let's face it, shit happens. E-vet bills can be huge and while it's a good idea to keep money saved with that in mind, I don't think a person is being a bad pet owner if they don't have tons of money saved for that possibility. It also could be understandable that a person might have to dip into savings for other things and I can't fault someone for doing that.
Nov. 16th, 2016 02:30 am (UTC)
Most people (at least of the booj variety) feel that it's wrong to say a person shouldn't have kids
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )