Wednesday, April 6, 2011 & Affordable Pet-Ownership

Since adopting Winnie and Bruno at the ages of 23, Chip and I realized how expensive dogs can be. Together, we make a decent income - not above average by any means - we are both paralegals at reputable law firms in New York City- but lately it feels like you need to be rich to own a dog here and keep it healthy.

So many of the dogs that come into the shelters in NYC are mal-nourished, injured or geriatric and need vet care their families cannot afford. Here are number of dogs I've seen in the last few months. Each one was either starved, had mange, or had a condition that needed expensive care. The expenses needed to rescue these dogs make it impossible for anyone other than Rescue Groups to adopt them:

(luckily-each of thses dogs was rescued by a rescue group- you can find out more about each in the safe folders at Urgent Part 2, but many are not so lucky.)

The story of Patrick(the pit puppy starved and thrown away as garbage) is of course a horrible one of cruelty and neglect, but it has shed light on the fact that many pet owners cannot afford care- and many cannot even afford adequate food. Please don't get me wrong- I hate people who don't take care of their dogs- I will do anything to make sure my dogs are fed and healthy and happy- and let's face it, people in this city adopt dogs they cannnot afford and that is wrong, but I do feel that something can and should be done it make it more affordable to own a dog.

That is where Pet It Forward comes in. It's CEO, Jenna Dreher, really believes in the mission of lowering the costs of pet-care- so much so that she donated generously to Winnie's ACL-repair surgery.

Jenna writes, "Pet care can be expensive and it doesn't have to be. Pet It Forward is like for pet care, freer and more fun. We put the power in the hands of pet owners, giving them the ability to network online with those in their community, such as other pet owners and care professionals, to find more affordable or even free care for their pets."

I am really excited about this site; it connects pet owners with other pet owners in their nieghborhoods, makes booking and paying for pet-care online quick and easy, and can save us up to 50-100% on pet care. When you sign up for an appointment, the providers are sent the scheduling details, you are sent a reminder, and you can even review the provider- this means gaining insight from your neighbors about the vets, groomers or the dog-walkers in your area. It also puts you in touch with other dog owners so you can even set up "dates" for your pet.

The potential for this site is huge- if this site can generate enough users and pet care providers- it could save lives at city shelters by keeping dogs out of shelters in the first place. It would also open up homes for dogs with people who think owning a dog would be prohibitively expensive- like young, busy people who need to use dog walkers and expensive boarding facilities. The cheaper pets cost to own, feed and care-for, the more pets can be rescued and live fufilling lives.

The site is still in development, and accessibility to low cost vet-care is not yet available, but users will be able to save on boarding, walking, feeding, and cleaning service costs.

Please consider signing up-you will get an email when it is fully-functional.

To sign-up for an invitation to join Pet It Forward, click here.


  1. Really awesome. Congrats on the aid for Winnie's surgery!!

  2. Wow - what a great idea! I work as a vet nurse and see the cost issues 1st hand. It makes me really angry when care is cost-prohibitive. It just isn't right. I can't wait to check out this site. Thanks for the info!


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