Letter to the Editor - Wednesday, December 24: Pets and vets
I THINK Dr Mark Kallman (Letters 20/12) is reading more into the Thumbs Down remarks than he should.
Thumbs Down was not putting vets down, only the cost of their service - and was not asking for free services.
For some years I have been trying to get local vets to provide a special charge rate for people on the aged pension. Limited funds mean they can barely get by on the money they receive, and a large veterinary bill is beyond them. Their animals are their lifeline and are treated like family. Dr Kallman's comment that "the small group of individuals who cannot afford to keep pets should not keep them" lacks compassion and insight.
They love their pets, would not dream of getting rid of them, and most do their best to look after them with products from retail stores so as to avoid the expense of taking them to a vet.
Unfortunately vets only see animals brought in by these people when they are desperate. It is not a matter of "making no attempt to provide for the well-being of their pet", and they do not "demonstrably fail to care" for their pets. The majority of pensioners regard their pet as their best friend and do everything they can for them.
Seniors are not asking for free veterinary care, just a lesser charge (not a ridiculous 5%) so they can afford to pay the fees, and keep their beloved pets healthy.
It's something all vets would do well to consider.