Don’t Let Pets Starve and Go Without Vet Care Due to Financial Distress

Target: Matthew Bershadker, President and CEO of American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Goal: Offer more resources to pet parents struggling to give their animals medical care and food.

Increasingly, worsening economic circumstances for people are leading to unintentional harm to the animals under their care. Pet parents in financial distress are unfortunately not uncommon. Animal welfare is facing another hidden crisis as a result.

Pet parents are reportedly looking for dangerous alternatives to avoid taking their animals for a veterinary visit. In the past two years, online searches concerning paracetamol (or acetaminophen) and dogs have doubled. This substance is a common pain reliever (often found in pill form) that humans use. Individuals are apparently searching to see if they can give the pain reliever to their pets, which is highly unadvisable for several reasons. For one, a pain reliever will only address the symptom and not the underlying cause of the pain. In addition, dosages must be tightly regulated, especially when given to a smaller animal. And most importantly, pain relievers like this substance can be highly toxic (and even deadly) for some animals, like cats.

Aside from veterinary expense concerns, low-income pet parents also often struggle to feed their animals. This strain may lead to malnutrition or eventual abandonment of the pet. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals does offer some helpful services like holiday pet food banks, but its commitment to addressing these rising threats could be stronger.

Sign the petition below to urge a more robust investment in helping pets and pet parents in need.


Dear Mr. Bershadker,

This organization’s work is a reminder that cruelty, and threats to animal welfare, come in many forms.  Cruelty is reflected in the eyes of a hungry and suffering animal. Whether these circumstances resulted from intentional malice or unintended distress, the results are the same. The economic strain of recent years, for example, did not just have human victims. Many pets suffered as well, cared for by pet parents who could not meet their needs.

Pets right now are dying because they lack food and shelter. They are suffering slowly because their caretakers cannot provide them proper medical care for fear of excessive bills. And they are being endangered by unwise “home remedies” made in desperation.

Please do not just turn your attention to these dangers during the holidays. Make a stronger, more committed investment in pet food banks and veterinary services for low-income communities year-round. Millions of pets could be saved from this insidious crisis of unfulfilled need.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Keniett J. Vazquez

One Comment

  1. ALL CEOS in animal organizations. Take a pay cut in your salaries!!

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