April is Animal Cruelty Prevention Month and some of the reasons pets suffer do not necessarily look like what many imagine.
Nadia Novik, chief operations officer for the Idaho Humane Society, said people are quick to judge some pet owners. However, she said they may not have stopped to think about why a person is unable to care for their pet the way they would like to.
“People love their pets and people want to take care of their pets, but they don’t have the resources to do so,” Novik pointed out. “Especially people in poverty, people in marginalized communities. It makes it really difficult.”
Novik emphasized her organization operates a charity-based medical center to help people who are unable to afford the costs of veterinary care.
She noted veterinary costs have skyrocketed in recent years, making it difficult for many pet owners, adding some people live far away from a vet’s office or have experienced difficulty getting an appointment.
“There really is a national crisis going on right now for veterinary care, whether it be finding a vet or being able to afford the cost,” Novik contended.
Novik stressed new models for providing care to animals could help alleviate some of these issues. For instance, clinics or organizations like hers could go out to underserved areas rather than have pet owners visit a clinic. Or if people do travel, it could be helpful to provide a doctor’s visit for the owner and vet visit for their pet at the same time.