Do Some Homework on Pet Care Costs
The pet insurance article (“A Policy for Fluffy,” September/October 2018) was a good overview. But there are far more topics worthy of discussion. On the dog side, no mention was made of heartworm treatment, which is very expensive and affects more dogs than you may think. On a Friday, I originally got a quote from a vet at Banfield Vet Hospital (part of PetSmart) for $1,500. With that high a price tag, I asked to postpone treatment until I could ask some questions of the American Heartworm Society, the nation’s experts on this issue.
Based on my research and conversations with people at the AHS, it turned out there are only three injections needed, which costs roughly $200. All other costs are for bloodwork, X-rays, and other assorted expenses! On Monday, I called Banfield back to ask if I could skip the extra tests and only have the three injections. No, they said, but noted that they had misquoted me. Their new price was $3,000! Over the weekend their price had doubled.
It is no wonder that many owners skip needed medical procedures because there are no watchdogs—pun intended—protecting pet owners from unnecessary medical expenses. Getting a second or third opinion is vital. Ultimately I found a vet who would do the treatment—not for $3,000 but for about $750. Again, the problem here is a lack of transparency about the true costs of various procedures.
Also I think the pet insurance market should evolve to include high-deductible, catastrophe-type plans.
A Teacher Finds Hope Amid Gun Violence
I’m writing about the article by Bob Rietz, “I’m There” (End Paper, May/June 2018). This article about the March for Our Lives event that took place on March 24, 2018, really hit home for me. As an elementary school teacher from Ohio, I have seen the scared faces of 8-year-olds as we practiced our lockdown drills. Explained that there is evil in this world, and this is our small way of trying to stay safe. Answered questions like, “What if I’m in the bathroom?” or, “Why would someone want to shoot us?”
This is why I also chose to march in Washington, D.C., this past March.
I have hope, though. When Rietz wrote about counter-protesters and marchers meeting up, talking, listening, and parting with a handshake and hug, it makes me think there could be an end to violence in schools. It makes me think there’s a chance we can get back to why the kids are at school—to learn. Maybe, in the near future, the innocence of childhood can be extended just a little longer.