“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand - and melting like a snowflake.”
- Francis Bacon

Sunday, August 23, 2009

If you have a pet or know someone who has a pet or like pets THIS IS A MUST READ!

I, for one, will be contacting ALL of my federal legislators to express my firm support of this bill. I cannot, and will not, tell anyone how to feel about H.R. 3501, but I stand firmly behind it! This bill won't pass without all of us, all animal folks, letting our collective voices be heard! So, pass this along to each and every person you know and tell them that if they do nothing, that may be all they get...nothing.


THE HUFFINGTON POST
Michael Markarian
Posted: August 19, 2009 12:09 PM

I wrote last year about California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's misguided plan to add a sales tax to veterinary services as part of a larger set of proposals to deal with the state's multi-billion dollar budget shortfall. Thanks to the work of HSUS, the California Veterinary Medical Association, and state legislators, the governor's idea was terminated, and California pet owners weren't forced into an even more difficult situation where tough choices had to be made about cutting care for their animal companions.


What's an even more hopeful sign of the times, however, is that federal lawmakers, led by Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.), are taking a much more foresighted approach by working to give pet owners a break during this economic downturn. McCotter has introduced H.R. 3501 -- the Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act -- which would amend the federal tax code to allow a person to deduct up to $3,500 per year for pet care, including veterinary expenses. (The deduction applies only to household companion animals, not animals in laboratories, farms, or other businesses.)

McCotter has been a strong supporter of animal protection, and has advanced issues that promote the safety of both people and animals, such as dog bite prevention. We're grateful for his leadership in this new effort to help struggling families make ends meet -- recognizing that pets are part of the family, too.

During a stressful economic period, McCotter's bill is as much a human health issue as an animal health issue. Pets are good for us emotionally and physically, and studies show that having a pet can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you've lost your job or are having trouble paying the mortgage or rent, caring for a companion animal provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessens feelings of loneliness and depression.

The legislation could be a critical safety net to prevent struggling pet owners who can no longer afford to care for their animal companions from relinquishing them at animal shelters -- which not only tears families apart but also places a financial burden on local municipalities and private shelters for the costs of housing pets and, tragically, euthanizing them. And by encouraging affordable pet care, the bill not only promotes animal health and well-being, but also could help to stimulate the economy by driving more business to veterinarians, animal hospitals, and pet care providers.

Pet care, in fact, can be big business. More American households can claim pets than children as dependents. Since 1998, pet ownership has increased from 56% of households to 62%--an estimated 71.4 million homes enjoy pet companionship. And to care for these animals in our lives, we collectively spend more than $40 billion -- on food, veterinary care, and other supplies and services -- every year.

Moreover, pet ownership is not just for the wealthy -- 58% of households earning incomes of $55,000 or less per year own pets. While pet ownership does increase with income, a recent American Veterinary Medical Association survey revealed that pets are most likely to be a part of families with children led by full-time workers owning their homes. And the largest growth rate in pet ownership is among retired older couples.

If you would like to see this legislation passed into law, YOU need to contact your Federal representatives in Washington and tell them you support this bill. If you do nothing, well, that is all you will get, nothing. Currently this bill is being reviewed by the Ways and Means Committee.

4 comments:

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

I'll definetly be writing a letter. I can't tell what a joy our pets are to us. Bill has his ever faithful companion by his side at all times.
Darling, I sure wish I could bottle up some sunshine and "great" fall temperatures to send your way. I hope today you're having a sunny and happy day..
hugs ~lynne~

Lisa said...

This is great! I work in a Vet hospital and yes we have a lot of retired people who really depend on their pets for companionship. I have 3 and would LOVE the deduction but there are others who need it too and probably need their pets more than I do (well a little more anyway :)
Thanks for letting us know!
Hugs,Lisa

Martha said...

I will call my representatives and request they support this bill. Thanks so much.

Mary said...

I am an animal lover, and so glad to know about this...I had heard something awhile back, but didn't know anything was coming of it...so glad to be able to voice my support of the bill...I will fight for it! Mary