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June 03, 2008


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I think it's more a sign that people are stupid with money than pets are expensive.

I agree with No Debt Plan. As a pet owner (2 cats & 2 dogs) I will vouch for their expensiveness. I'm not sure I understand the "not computing" comment though. Are you saying she should just pitch them because she's in a rough spot? That's kinda tacky. Should poor people get rid of their kids too?

Pets are the only children some people have, and personally I think having a creature around can be very good for your mind. I do think however that folks should consider all the costs (food, training, medical care, etc) before bringing one home just because it tugs at their heartstrings.

Aaron --

No, what I'm saying is that it's likely that she's been poor for quite some time and yet still somehow decided to get three pets. She's probably been spending money she didn't really have to spend for a long time now as a result, and now that things have turned bad in the economy she's really feeling it.

BTW, the fact that the over-spending is on pets is not really that important to the unwise spending issue. She could be over-spending on cable TV, dining out, etc. and still be in the same situation. The complication with pets is that you can't simply "cut" spending on them (Like you can cable and eating out) because they are alive and still need food, healthcare, etc.

If she wanted (and could afford) a pet, why not stop at one?

OK. I just wanted to be sure you weren't being a hater. =) I actually agree with spending what she didn't have on them and now it's gotten worse.

My personal feeling on pets is that too many people can and DO just 'cut' spending on them. So folks I know just moved into a new house (bigger mortgage) and decided to leave their 2 cats behind (they took the dog) because "it's too much trouble to deal with them". It really broke my heart. I'd rather have my limbs cut off than to do that to my kitties. Fortunately, the person who bought their old house decided to keep the cats so they still have a good home. Oh and the people now have bought another dog.

Guess I should have noticed the emphasis on THREE. I just hope Diana and her pets make it through.

Seems like we just covered this. But...

Would you tell a poor person not to have children in the same way you tell them not to have pets? It would seem a financially sound decision to hold off on that until you are in a better position. I'm genuinely interested in your answer. Personally, I do think having children is a stupid decision for people who are struggling financially. My sister-in-law is in a terrible financial position and, guess what, she just had her third kid. The two previous were already suffering enough (they don't have enough money to pay heating bills, so they get cold baths, etc). I can't imagine what a third one will do to their finances. Children seem to be such an assumed thing for almost everyone, but I find the practices of people like my SIL reprehensible.

David --

I would tell them to not make ANY decision that they couldn't afford -- including children.

Yes its certainly true that a pet is a big responsibility and they can be expensive. So we should all plan for high costs for long time if buying a pet.

We don't know all the details about these people lives in the article and I think its a little unfair to just assume they've simply been irresponsible. The one woman is quoted as saying 'financially you may go downhill a little or a lot' so that implies her finances got worse over time. Then regarding the other woman "Kazijian, 51, who lives in Franklin on disability pay and food stamps after rupturing two spinal discs." so she had a medical problem that probably radically changed her financial situation.

Are all of us making all our financial decisions with the possibility in mind that 5,10 or more years in the future we may be unable to work on disability? I doubt it.


My opinion probably isn't a popular one, least of all with the cat sitting on my lap...but if I were so poor that I could barely feed myself (ie I'm on foodstamps), the animals would be getting the cheapest food possible. Cat/dog food, the super-cheap stuff, isn't that expensive. If the cat has liver disease and I can't afford medication well...then the cat just dies. I love my pets but my humans come first and the cat probably lived a much happier life in my house than in the wild.

I have to agree on the point made by Chris above. If my dog and I both need medication, and its a choice between me and her, I win every time. I love my dog, but it is a dog, not a human. I find human life to be more precious than our pets/animals. People need to get their priorities straight.

If you want to get a dog or cat, please think it through. Ask yourself if you can afford it, and if you'll be able to take care of that animal as it deserves. If not, please hold off until it you can take care of the animal as it deserves.

On another point - how much is too much when paying to keep an animal healthy? $1000? $2000? $10,000? Is the sky the limit?

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