Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Amid all the furor over the health care bill and banking bailouts, did you know that there is potential legislation affecting pet owners. . . and in a good way for a change?
Representative Thaddeus McCotter, of Michigan, has introduced the HAPPY Act (Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years). If passed, it would allow pet owners in the United States to take a tax deduction for pet care expenses up to $3500 per person. It defines a pet as "a legally owned, domesticated, live animal," which would seem to cover not just my dogs and cats, but my sheep and llamas and chickens as well.
A tax writeoff is certainly appealing, especially as I just paid nearly $500 for Nestle's surgery for a tumor (which we hope is just a benign fatty tumor, but we are waiting for the biopsy results). And there would seem to be some reasonableness behind this, as so many studies have shown that having a pet reduces doctor visits among senior citizens, improves the health and longevity of heart attack survivors, improves mental health, and on and on. These has even been talk from time to time of "prescribing" a pet cat or dog. There are now a growing number of autism service dogs to go along with the growing problem of autism.
I doubt that the bill will get anywhere. Government at every level is seeking ways to generate more income, not give it back. But it was a nice idea, Representative McCotter. Kudos to you for the thought.

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