For many people, the animals they adopt and love become more like family members than pets. We have deep relationships, with cats, dogs, parrots, goats, horses, and other fellow critters – who at least pretend to love us back, providing comfort and joy all around.
Sadly though, life for all of us animals is a spin around the wheel of fortune, so illness and injuries happen. That’s why one of the most valued members of every community are the staffers in our local veterinarian office. Practically all vets, nurses, technicians, and support staff are there chiefly because they love animals and get personal satisfaction from providing care for them.
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When I say they are “there,” I not only mean 9 to 5, but this group of independent health providers are committed to being there when needed – including off hours and days off, for animal misfortune and suffering don’t go by clocks and calendars. Local practitioners also try to be there for low-income people, offering deferred payment plans and even discounted fees so their animals can get the treatment they need.
But wait – sound the ambulance sirens! Something is going horribly wrong! This venerable profession has recently been collapsing into a corporate model of Wall Street owned chains. They are monopolizing markets, reducing staff, gutting service, and prioritizing the love of money over the love of animals. It’s not uncommon these days for franticly-worried customers to bring an ill or injured pet into their old reliable vet office only to find it has quietly come under chain ownership, is understaffed, and is unwilling to accept the patient, forcing a desperate scramble to find emergency care, often out of town.
This is Jim Hightower saying… The same profiteering corporate mentality that has proven disastrous for human health care is now rapidly locking down pet care – and that’s an act of animal cruelty.