Pet Parent Disrespect

Pet parents deserve a pat on the back. Not just because they take good care of their furry babies, but because they put up with a lot of crap - and I don't mean the kind you have to scoop!

I have spent years taking grief for asking for time off for a pet's veterinary visit, surgery, or care. I've been written up, threatened with being fired, and generally harrassed. For years, I have watched people come in late/leave early/take time off to shop for school clothes for their children, drop off their children at piano lessons, etc. with no consequences. An Attorney friend of mine who was a dedicated shelter volunteer and personal rescuer lost her job because they felt the time she took off made her not "billable" enough. Her colleagues that took equal amounts of time off for their children suffered no consquences.

I don't say your 2 legged kids aren't important, so how come I don't get the same respect in return? Pets, like children, have a legitimate need for an adult to provide food, water, medical care, comfort, companionship and love.

I do have kids. Just because they have 4 legs doesn't make them count any less, or their needs any less real.

Frankly I'm tired of being disrespected. And not just by the workplace. 

The IRS allows people to write off their children's medical bills, but I can't get a tax break for the $11,000 I spent last year in veterinary bills and  medicines. When I write my State and Federal legislators about this, I hear nothing - not even a form letter. When I wrote a former President about this, I heard nothing - not even a form response. When I started tweeting repeatedly and tagging the IRS, suddenly my tax return which had long since been filed and processed, was suddenly "lost" and I spent weeks dealing with harassing letters demanding a payment already made.

How much longer is this double standard going to be tolerated?  

We all talk about it, say how it's not right, but even on the rare times someone starts a petition it's killed by a Politician and doesn't surface again for years - if ever. Why doesn't HSUS, ASPCA, BFAS, or those with some clout take up this fight with me? The old saying of it takes a village applies.

Pet adopters should be rewarded, not harassed and punished. Changing how workplaces treat pet owners, and how the IRS structures deductions for pet owners (or the lack thereof I should say), would actually help increase adoption and rescue participation. It's a win-win. 

Think about it. Speak up. Change it.

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