My family bought me dog for my 21st birthday at a particularly difficult time in my life. I mean it was a really, really bad time. I was lonely, just crawling out of an abusive relationship, I'd lost touch with all my friends and attempted suicide. I managed to lose my job in the middle of all of this.
Before getting the dog, my mother and I discussed how I would be able to care for it financially. I knew I could afford to feed him and care for him generally and I also knew that if the time came where he ever needed to see a vet that the bills could be very high. I wrongly assumed everything would be okay, and I'd be able to pay my vet bill as I pay all other bills; with a reasonable and affordable payment plan.
Of course, this was my first pet. I didn't really know anything about pet insurances and considered them unaffordable. Now five years on the time for a massive vet bill has came out of nowhere. My dog had a terrible accident and dislocated his hip. Initially the vets tried to simply put it back in place but it's not worked out so he's going to need surgery. And now I've found out that my assumptions that I'd be able to pay a vet bill over a certain period of time were terribly wrong.
The vet I'm dealing with has said I am not eligible for a payment plan once he's had surgery. They handed me a form for a loan which I'm not eligible for and mentioned charities like PDSA and RSPCA. I feel so terrible about this. I am the sort of person who donates to charities. I don't want to take charity, but I'm feeling the pressure here. I ended up setting up a gofundme account, which I'm highly embarrassed about.
Are there any other low income families out there who have also struggled with paying animal care? What did you do? I feel like clear information about what to expect from the vets was never out there, but also that I was incredibly foolish to assume they had the compassion and patience one would expect from an animal hospital. Is it really a good idea to have pets when you're not loaded?