The perceptions towards those who are low income dog owners...

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I love- everything
Barked: Mon Dec 6, '10 8:07pm PST 
I help with a Food Ministry with a church I used to go to. Most folks that volunteer feel if the clients can afford an animal, then they do not need help from our program. They also know of our financial predicament and say the same about us. "Well maybe if you get rid of your animals you could afford..." I have tried to explain that to someone who has no one, a pet can be a wonderful companion. I know I empathize with an animal that has a hard luck story. Of course I am ready to take them in.
My dogs, cats and what ever creature I get do get good treats and taken care of well. The dog food ranges from either Defender or Ol' Roy to Iam's Naturals or Rachel Rays dog food. I know they are not the best of foods but I do supplement too with real fruits veggies meat and other non greasy food. I have to admit that I do not get the heartworm protection, but I do get them tested every year. I would rather home treat the heartworms then have the dogs be subject to chemicals. I get the three year rabies (it is the same shot folks as the one year) and get puppy shots from the Co-op (7 in one is $12 compared to $62 at the vet) Flea treatments are usually different holistic treatments except the worst couple of months through the year.
Most animal injuries or illnesses you can find a way to home treat if you cannot afford a vet.
County's usually have low cost neuter programs. Last month my dog and cat got neutered for $50 total!
There are ways that low income folks can take wonderful care of animals. And I agree with a lot of posters do discourage others by flaming. From what I have read though of the responses here it is nice to know there are 7 pages of this thread with wonderful people. I was about to give up on dogster and take my questions somewhere else, but I think I might stick around for a little while.

I love- everything
Barked: Mon Dec 6, '10 9:01pm PST 
I did want to add too (and I am sorry that I cannot find the edit button)I know that my family is struggling financially. Most nights there is not meat at out meal. Ok maybe mostly because both my husband and I are too lazy to cook it. My PSD I found about to cross a major highway. While looking to see if I could find his past owner, I found his mate at the pound. Her bail money is $80 and that includes rabies, altering heartworm testing and other shots. I did ask my husband if she could be our family present. We live alone and that is what we do, buy something together we both want. We felt Scruffy would want his mate, and she learns as quickly as he does. Neither eat more than a cup of food. Yes I will justify my fur babies any way I can.

SadieMae - "The Boss"
Barked: Mon Feb 14, '11 6:56am PST 
Great thread you guys. I'll add my story too. 18 years ago, I got divorced and found myself a single mom and wanted my own dog. Even though I wasn't receiving child support, I went to the pound anyway. Since Beavis, my first dog was pretty small, it wasn't that difficult. I couldn't afford premium dog food, but then again I was still learning. Four years later and still poor, went to the pound for dog #2 (Sadie) because there had been break-ins in the neighborhood and I was told she was a shep-mix (she's a border collie! LOL). There were many times I literally wouldn't eat for days, but my son was fed. There were times that I had to feed my dogs bread and eggs, all I had in the house. As times got "a little" better, so did the quality of their food. But they had vet care (when I could afford it), they had food (of some sort) and they had lots of love and attention. Well, from those poor beginnings, Beavis lived to be 18 and I still have Sadie, who is 13.

On to husband #2 (soon to be ex). He's now been unemployed for almost 3 years, so times are tight. We also now have FOUR dogs. We adopted two when he was making money and I recently adopted another one after Beav passed away, to ease my heart ache. We don't go out to dinner or movies or vacations. Our dogs are our hobbies and entertainment, so that is where all of our money goes. Thankfully I have a vet that has me on a payment plan and for the moment, the dogs are even being fed Blue Buffalo. Ive had people tell me after hubby lost his job that I need to think about getting rid of some of the dogs! Yeah, right. As if they would get rid of their children if their husband lost their job. Just nuts. Soon, we will be separating and I'll need to start looking for a rental house. AGain, people tell me to get rid of the dogs so I can find a place to live. Well, I'll just have to look around for a place that allows dogs now, won't I? As if I could get rid of any of my dogs!


Barked: Sat Feb 19, '11 10:01pm PST 
We live in a society where it's still disgustingly acceptable to discriminate based on class. In fact, there are those out there who openly encourage it. It makes some feel better about themselves to point out what they think other people shouldn't have based on class.

These are the folks who also freak out when they see a low income person with a cell phone. Didn't you know poor people can't have ANY nice things? They can't have the love and comfort of a pet nor the ability to remain in contact with loved ones or all the other things people use phones for.

I applaud those out there who help organizations that assist low income people with caring/feeding for their animals (dogs or otherwise).

Semper Vorax
Barked: Sun Feb 20, '11 1:57am PST 
it's not so much the cell phone, but the iphone in the hands of poor people that picky persons freak out about. any more, it's cheaper to have a cell phone than to have a landline. For poor folks who might be in cars that are not in the best shape, or are living in riskier parts of town, a cell phone is an absolute lifeline and the landline is rendered mostly useless. The iPhone though, that's an absolute luxury, and a luxurious phone package to be able to support it.

Dogs are a luxury too, but the perception is changing. companion animals are being proved as a comfort in real psychological ways. I know I would be a much sadder person without mine. I indulge in better food for my dogs, mine costs me $12 per three weeks or so, butI would rather monitor their health with better food now, than take the risk of them getting a diet-related illness, and who knows how many serious ones like cancer or heart disease, stones, liver dysfunction, and so on are caused or exacerbated by poor diet.

I would still not ever refuse someone aid because they have 1-2 animals. To lots of people, they are valued and beloved members of the family. More than that, and perhaps I would mention the possibility of giving some up just for sanity. My inlaws, for example, have been struggling to make ends meet since dad retired, they have two dogs, 2 parrots, 1 cat, 1 rabbit, and they just last year parted with their old border due to old age, and 2 ocicats which left with the last bro to leave the nest. We were shaking our head when they declared retirement, and then got themselves a Berner. It's just silly at that point.

Divas can get- dirty too !
Barked: Sun Feb 20, '11 6:47am PST 
We're what most would consider "low income" we have 3 dogs, a cat, and foster animals (2 horses, 1 goat, 2 dogs) my car isn't new and flashy its a 93 Caravan I do however own my home and land - things just aren't as good as they used to be since I lost my job due to an illness a few months ago. My dogs NEVER go without, we have health insurance on all of them - so if we have any emergency trips to the vet we don't pay out of pocket. Sakari eats a strict raw diet and SheShe & Sampson are on Earthborn/Raw, our cat is also on Raw.
It's not neccisarily how much money you make but what you do with what you make, you know ? Currently my hubby is the only one working and HALF of his income goes to his children. We manage the other half putting 1/3 of what we have EVERY week into savings - and use the rest for food and bills. I do manage to get a photo shoot occasionally which does bring in some extra income.
How much money you make does not make you a bad person, times are rough right now, and jobs are tight - I went to college, but doesn't help with the economy the way it is.

Sorry about the long post, really sets me off when I hear people talking about "low income" people

Howling good- times to be had- with me.
Barked: Sun Feb 20, '11 9:08pm PST 
I know many low income dog owners that are wonderful owners but, I also know a few that are horrible, the dogs never see a vet, eat the cheapest food available, are not trained in the least and simply run around the yard, and the neighborhood if they escape, which is often. Out here there are no fence or leash laws and animal control does not come out this far so, there are a few that don't even try to contain their dogs. Cats, well they are a plague around here. ("It's a cat, it will do what it does, I can't lock it in the house all day." excuse)

Of the 12 homes on my 15 mile long road, I have the ONLY pets that stay contained or leashed, and the only ones that are spayed or neutered (not all of mine are but any I got as pups are, not the older rescues) All but two family do buy the 7 way vaccine at the feed store and give it each year, but two families do nothing and, only mine are on flea control and heart worm preventative.

Why? because a vet visit is 70.00 and when a fabulous paycheck is 300.00, and you want electricity (co op only option and for a ONE bedroom home, that's about 250.00/month) then have a phone and need groceries and household items, 70.00 is a lot of money to spend on an animal. I do understand and, realize I am very blessed not be dependent on the low paying jobs around here, but these same people have anywhere form 3-12 dogs and 4-20 cats.

It is owners like that that feed the stereotype of low income people being bad pet owners. I know it is not true across the board, but I also see where the image problem comes from.

Barked: Mon Feb 21, '11 12:06pm PST 
I can relate being in the low class category meself.

I am U.S Army reserve for the moment.My husband was Active Army but is medical retired even though ya think we should get alot we don't. I was recently last year diagnosed with a Mental illness plus PSTD from stuff that happened before I joined the service.

When we found Kenij on petfinder I was on my last leg. My meds would work to a degree but not entirely. I was feeling alone and like I was a burden to my husband. Like I wanted to just disappear. But all of that changed the day I became a guest here. My husband had found Kenij's picture up on my computer. He remembered that Dogs could help people with mental illness. So he called Kenij's breeder and put down a deposit.He told me that he was letting me get him. My heart has been filled with joy ever since.

Kenij has a collar, leash and harness. A crate , Dog food ( blue buffalo thanks to a good family friend) food and water dish and everything else a pup could basically need. I owe my dad 150.00 for all of Kenij's shots. The reason my dad paid for them is because of the change Kenij has had on me in less than a month.

When we got him my husbands VA pay had been really messed up the first 3 weeks Kenij was with me out of the 3 of us he was the only one that ate. We used what little ( 25.00) my job gave me to get him some food.Kenij will never go without while he is with me I'll always find a way.

Howling good- times to be had- with me.
Barked: Tue Feb 22, '11 8:11am PST 
I would do the same, Kenji. If worse came to worse both my dogs and I would first eat the hogs, chickens, pheasants and any deer rabbits, etc... we could get. If I had 25.00, I'd use it to buy things my dogs needed, be that food, meds, whatever they needed.

As a human I can understand "Money is tight, you can't eat what you need for a while, just something to fill the belly." Dogs can't understand that. When we bring them into our homes, it is our responsibility to give them all they need to live full, happy, healthy lives - even if that means we have to do without for ourselves in hard times.
The Boys

The Three- Stooges.
Barked: Tue Feb 22, '11 9:59pm PST 
My grown daughters tease me all the time. Oh you can't buy us Christmas presents but the dogs got new toys.
What can I say they bring me joy and fill a void that the kids left.
They are the spot of sunshine sometimes when everything else is grey.
No one has a right to tell me whether or not I can afford a dog or 4shh
A dog don't care how rich you are just that he or she is loved.
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