U.S. Rep. from Michigan Thaddeus McCotter, a man after my own heart, recently introduced a bill that would allow pet owners to deduct up to $3500 per year for pet care expenses, including veterinary care. House Bill 3501, also known as the HAPPY bill—an acronym for Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years—would alleviate the financial strain of owners whose pets need long-term veterinary care, emergency care, or other expensive surgeries and medications.
Of course, the first thing that crossed my mind when I read the story was all the money I’d spent over the years on my own fur-kids. There was Mojo’s triple pelvic osteotomy at the tender age of six months to fix a hip that didn’t seem to have much of a socket; his ruptured cruciate ligament at the age of 11 years; and his emergency bloat surgery at 14 years. Let’s face it, that’s more than a down-payment on a house, and although of course I was happy to pay any amount of money to ensure Mojo’s well-being, some financial assistance certainly would have been welcome. And that’s just Mojo; add to that my German Shepherd Soko, and the three wolves/wolfdogs who lived with me for 10 years, and you’ve got a condo’s worth of medical bills, at least.
It only seems fair that those of us who have chosen to have dogs rather than human offspring should get some assistance in “child support.” Last year, having a qualified child dependent gave a parent permission to take a $3500 tax deduction. Can you think of anyone more dependent than our dogs? It’s progress that there is medical insurance for pets, but as many of us know, it doesn’t typically cover the things we’d like or go far enough. Here’s to hoping the Florida bill passes and other states follow suit. It’s about time.