Making pet ownership accessible in the Mid-South

Making pet ownership accessible in the Mid-South

They are waiting for you at the door when you arrive home. They provide endless, unconditional love. They help you feel less alone. It is undeniable that pets make our lives better! 

Communities like ours have hundreds of adoptable animals waiting in shelters and even more that are homeless, abused or neglected. These animals need a family to bring them home, care for them and love them. But to place those animals into homes, we need to reconcile one of the most common reasons families can’t adopt an animal– the price of pet ownership. When families struggle to financially support their dog or cat, they are more likely to surrender them to a shelter or, not adopt in the first place. Our economy’s current inflation only exacerbates this problem. 

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of pet food rose 10.3% from June 2021 to June 2022, and the cost of pet services, including veterinary care, increased by 7.5%.
  • Annual dog vaccinations cost approximately $100 a year; and a full health care evaluation with associated blood and stool testing can cost $300 or more. 
  • Compounded with price increases on gas, food and nearly all other essential supplies, many pet owners might find themselves struggling to afford their animal’s essential care. 
  • The average dog owner makes roughly $47,000 a year, while the average cat owner makes around $40,000. That means a lot of dog and cat owners are trying to care for their animals while they try to make ends meet.

Our goal at the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County is to make adoption accessible to all prospective adopters. To support pet parents in our community, we provide low-cost veterinary services to families on government assistance in Shelby County. We fully cover any essential care – like heartworm treatment, spay/neuter surgery, and vaccinations– before animals are able to be adopted, and we provide training and behavioral support that helps aid a smooth transition from shelter to home. These services help contribute to long, healthy animal lives and empower owners by allowing them to properly care for their animals. 

We believe that animal companionship should be accessible to any person with the capacity to love and care for an animal – regardless of race, age, gender or socioeconomic status. Rather than exclude people from the process, we work to ensure that all adoptive families and their pets are provided the best care, education and services to ensure that they have the preparation and tools necessary to thrive together.

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See some of the recent work we've done here at the Humane Society.
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