Tax credit for pet owners! The 'HAPPY' Act.

@mentalward (14697)
United States
September 23, 2009 8:38am CST
The HAPPY Act (Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years) is a federal bill that would reward responsible pet parents by allowing them to keep more money in their pockets come tax time. This bill, if passed, would give pet owners up to a $3,500.00 tax break per year. Awesome, huh? The Bill is H.R. 3501. It would allow qualifying pet-care expenses, including vet care, to be tax deductible. I think it's about time! Sometimes, we rely on our pets to keep us from harm, to rid our homes of rodents, etc. I can tell you right now that I have already written to my U.S. representative to urge him to support and cosponsor the HAPPY Act. If you would like to send a letter to your representative, here's the link: https://secure2.convio.net/aspca/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2605&JServSessionIdr002=sxu0ihp8g3.app39b . It is a secure link from the A.S.P.C.A. site. So, do you think this is a cool idea? I do! Our furry friends are not only part of our families but they also help us in so many ways. Most pet owners, it has been shown, are actually healthier, in general, than non-pet owners so it could save us money on medical expenses if we have a pet. I say it's about time we were financially rewarded for being a responsible pet owner. What say you? Are you going to write to your representative?
7 people like this
22 responses
@jb78000 (15178)
23 Sep 09
that sounds like a very good idea.
2 people like this
@commanderxo (1496)
• Canada
24 Sep 09
I think it's a fantastic idea, and about time. Say... Perhaps you could get your Rep to write a letter to Premier Dalton McQuinty in Ottawa, and we pet owners here in Canada could benefit the same? It's more than likely he won't listen, or even consider the idea coming from Canadians. As a pet owner...this is the best news I've heard coming from ANY government official! Good luck with it girl. cdrxo
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
24 Sep 09
Thank you! Now, I just have to mention that we here in the U.S. don't have national health care. So, you have something much better than what we have here. We not only have the responsibility of paying for all of our health care but the medical insurance premiums are outrageously expensive. There are way too many people in this country without health care and cannot afford insurance. I'll trade ya! Our pet care law for your health insurance!
1 person likes this
• Canada
25 Sep 09
I hear ya girl! Believe me, if I could, I'd trade you in a New York minute. Being the wealthiest nation of the Americas, it's kind of hard for we Canadians to understand WHY you (the USA) haven't had Universal Health Care, LONG before now. ??? Many times your government officials have said how much they think our health care system up here, is the one of the greatest in the world. If they believe that's true, then WHY NOT just adopt the idea, and "get on with life", so to speak? (No disrespect intended.) However I for one, do have confidence in President Obama's reform agenda. It may not come today, it may not come tomorrow, but Universal Health Care WILL eventually become a reality. It's obvious that it's far too long overdue. We may be your northern neighbors, but we DO feel for the many who struggle with your health insurance system, and for the many who can't even afford it. Homes have been lost, for gosh sake, just because of the huge cost of health bills!...and that's not right in our book, no matter HOW industrialized, or "rich", ANY nation on God's green earth they may be! That's pretty much the general consensus of how Canadians feel about it. And trust me also, we DO HEAR about it...a lot on our nightly newscasts...and are SADDENED, when we hear some citizens who want to; "Let's just keep it the way it is!"...when so many have lost so much. It's ridiculous, if not callous on their part, to think of their "fellow Americans" in that respect...or lack of it. Sorry for "ranting", but it really irks me to hear that you guys (US) are still struggling with this dilemma....and well uh...what millennia is it now? cdrxo
@janebeth (2034)
• Philippines
24 Sep 09
hi MW, how are you?? i am happy because you made this reliable and good topic here.. i think that is a good Act, and it is also a good way to take good care of your pets.. in this time you can also reward your pet and yourself for being a good pet owner.. and that is also a huge amount, i bet if that Act will pass for sure many people will truly love and will take good care of their pet already.. yes i agree on you that this is the right time and right way to reward the pet owners.. is it applicable only in your place or in the whole world?? hugs and kisses, janebeth.
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
24 Sep 09
Hi Janebeth. As far as I know, this is only a Bill proposed for the United States. I will love to see this Bill approved and passed. If it is, I hope that other countries governments do the same, or something very similar. I think it would make some pet owners take even better care of their pets, especially since they can save more money by being a pet owner. It's not like getting $3,500.00, though. That's the most that a pet owner would be able to deduct from their total income when determining how much tax they owe. Hmmm, I'm going to check to see how $3,500.00 translates into tax savings and get back to you.
@janebeth (2034)
• Philippines
25 Sep 09
that is a very good news for all of you there, and yes i am pretty sure that all of you will take good care of your pets.. i hope that the bill will be pass there and still hoping here also in our country..
@paula27661 (15899)
• Australia
24 Sep 09
Isn’t that a fantastic idea! I wish something like this was introduced in Australia! I hope it is successful and that my country follows suit. I have four pets and as some of you know one of them is sick and it has cost so much money, we’ve had to borrow from my family. A tax credit would be such a welcome relief...
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
24 Sep 09
I understand exactly, paula. I've had bouts of excessive veterinary bills myself. Sometimes, I've had to put other bills on hold to pay for my pet's care. I had one pet cockatiel that cost me $400.00 in one day (it needed surgery), one little lovebird who needed bloodwork done and that cost $150.00... and we're talking a tiny little lovebird here! Yes, vet bills are awfully expensive. I am hoping that this Bill gets passed into law and that other countries follow suit if they see that this is encouraging people to take better care of their pets. Maybe it will even encourage some, who have been undecided about getting a pet or not, to get pets from shelters, thereby reducing the pet population in shelters. I'm sure that spaying/neutering our pets would be covered by this Bill if it is passed into law. I know that every country has it's problems and so many things need "fixing" but this is the first time I've ever seen something so in favor of rewarding responsible pet owners. It would be nice to see it spread to other countries.
1 person likes this
@Carolyn63 (1403)
• United States
23 Sep 09
I think it's great for those of us whom only have "furbabies". These are the only children I have. The only downside I see is that I imagine there will be some people whom get a pet only for that reason and really won't care for it. I hope I'm wrong. Thanks for posting this as I was unaware of it.
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
23 Sep 09
Hi Carolyn. I think the credit will go towards things like vaccinations, spaying/neutering, emergency care costs and things like that. Maybe medications like Heartguard and Frontline, etc. I think that if a person wanted a pet just to get the tax credit and didn't take care of their pet, they wouldn't bother with vaccinations or things like that. If they didn't do these things, they wouldn't get the credit. So, hopefully, this doesn't create a new way to abuse pets. I kind of doubt it will. If they just took the animal in for vaccinations but didn't take care of the animal, the vet would be able to tell whether it is being well-treated or not. That is an interesting theory, though. It's worth mentioning to the representatives so that vets have the authority to contact the SPCA if they suspect animal abuse. If we have to take our pets in each year for their vaccinations or get no tax credit, people who were only doing it for the money would either choose not to get a pet or, if they did abuse them but take them in every year for their shots, the vet should have some authority to report suspected abuse. That could be written into this bill. I think it should be written in to protect animals against this potential new kind of abuse. Thanks for bringing this up!
1 person likes this
@neildc (17254)
• Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines
24 Sep 09
hi marti. i know there are laws already instated in our country regarding pets and other animals' protection. there are good laws but the problem is implementation. i don't think we already have that kind of law or any proposal in the legislative houses here, that is something like that of yours, the tax credit for pet owners. i think that one is a very good idea and if i am in your place, i think i will also support that one to get the passage.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60771)
• United States
24 Sep 09
That would be so cool and helpful - hummm - wonder if they are going to give the credit for EACH of the pets....
1 person likes this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
23 Sep 09
Oh my gosh!! Yes yes yes!! I will send in a letter!! It would help us a GREAT deal with all the furry friends WE have!! lol 10 cats and 4 dogs is A LOT to care for and to get tax credit for them, wow, that's just too good to be true!! But we never know unless we try!! Thanks so much for passing this on Marti!! This is just awesome!! And about damned time!! lol
1 person likes this
@moondancer (7434)
• United States
23 Sep 09
Oh my yes, I sure do think this would be a wonderful thing for pet owners. I got this in my email and signed it just yesterday. I also wrote a personal message. I have 5 pets and 2 of them need constant vet care. My rotti has to have 2 pain medicines a day and that alone costs me $200 a month. That is more than I pay for my pain medicines with my copay. I also buy K-9 advantage for all of them that cost me almost $300 for 5 or 6 months. Not to mention check ups, shots, and illnesses when they must go in to get well. I would so much be able to take advantage of this bill. I have looked at insurance for pets, it doe snot cost a lot a month...but it barely covers anything for them. You also have to pay the same amount for each pet. That really adds up when you have more than 1 pet.
1 person likes this
@snowy22315 (44076)
• United States
23 Sep 09
I think it is a wonderful idea. It is about time that responsible pet owners be rewarded. I just think that there are somet hings that should be legislated that arent and responsbile pet ownership should be rewarded. I jus think that it would be a really good investment for Congress to make. I plan to do something about that.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31605)
• United States
23 Sep 09
On one hand, I think it's great but it's just another way for government to interfere in our lives. I know it's a benevolent interference but I don't want government to have anything to do with my life at all! Sorry, I'm so politically minded right now with all the crap about to hit the fan. But I can understand why you are happy about it and if things were different right now, I would be, too.
1 person likes this
@tcup345 (360)
• United States
25 Sep 09
I'm tickled to pieces! I just spent $78 on my guinea pig because she's going bald, I can deduct her vet bill! I love it!
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
25 Sep 09
I hope this Bill is voted into law, too. We have two dogs and two cats. These guys haven't been too expensive since I got them but knowing that spaying/neutering, vaccinations and emergency vet care expenses will be deductible is a great idea. Hopefully, it will encourage more people to do the right thing by their pets and it might even make some people decide to become pet owners and get more pets out of animal shelters. I had a pet lovebird who lost all his feathers. He seemed quite healthy other than that. I took him to the vet and it cost me $150.00 for just one blood test! That blood test didn't determine what his problem was and they wanted me to bring him in for more blood work. There was no way I could afford another blood test for a tiny love bird at that price! I just let him live out his life as a bald bird and adjusted things in his cage for him so he didn't need to fly up on his perch. There as no flying for him anymore, poor thing! But, it was so cute whenever I called his name (Skeeter) and his little bald head would pop up from the bottom of the cage to see who was calling him. I hope you can find the cause of your poor guinea pigs problem, tcup!
@tcup345 (360)
• United States
25 Sep 09
I know what you mean. I have a parakeet, hamster, dog, guinea pig and three tanks full of fish. My vet bill could be out of this world. Ah, your poor love bird, I can't imagine how he feels not able to fly. I imagine you've checked all the bird websites looking for a reason and solution. After nearly a month since we've been to the vet, Poppy seems to be getting balder. She's due for another dose of meds on the 1st, I'm crossing my fingers there will be an improvement. Good luck with your love bird, oh dear, my mind just hit the rut, sorry. I'll look on the 'net and see if I can find a solution for your baby.
@bunnybon7 (35529)
• Holiday, Florida
16 Oct 09
wow.thats fantastic. but i bet it wont happen while im alive. like everyone else that loves and makes their pets a part of the family, i've spent a lot to make my babies (dogs,pets) happy and healthy. sometimes even to the point of putting them first just like my kids.
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
16 Oct 09
I've done that myself. I even put a stray dog who was hit by a car ahead of my needs and took it to the vet's when I really didn't have the money to spend. (The dog had a punctured lung and needed to be put down, so I paid for it.) I think it may happen soon, though. I know that there are quite a lot of people who have been putting our new president down but I just read that our economy is taking a drastic turn because of his efforts to improve the economy. One of five cities is now out of the recession and that number is growing every day. So, this HAPPY Act just may be made into a law in the near future!
@enola1692 (3325)
• United States
25 Sep 09
I think it is also abut time I know I would of been lost without our furry friends hand me the pen an watch me sign
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
25 Sep 09
Awesome, enola! I would very much like to see this Bill voted into law. It would help so many people come tax time! I will definitely be taking advantage of it if it does become a law. Some people don't like the government infringing even more on our lives but I see this as a very helpful thing for a lot of people, people who are struggling to make ends meet right now while still trying to be responsible pet owners. I have nothing to hide from the government and, if they want to spend their time peeking into my life, as boring as it is, more power to them.
@fifileigh (3619)
• United States
25 Sep 09
cool. i am not much for politics. but i think i will write an article about it on one of my writing sites. i hope it works. i have one cat now, and he is a good mice/rat exterminator. and he is also always there for me. since i dont know too much about the act, i think i will use the information in ur message to create some kind of article so to inform others about it. unless u would like to provide me with more information that u think would make the article more helpful
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
25 Sep 09
Hi fifileigh. The only thing I can add is that, if this Bill is made into a law, the covered expenses that can be deducted are for things like spaying/neutering, vaccinations, emergency vet care, etc. I don't think food or a pink tutu for a poodle would be covered expenses, though. I have two cats and two dogs. They've all proven themselves to be good mousers, too. I also call my two dogs "my little hairy doorbells" because they are little Maltese gals. They alert me to anyone who is coming to our door... quite loudly. I think it would be wonderful if you wrote an article to make more people aware of this Bill and, hopefully, write to their representatives in the hopes of voting it into law. It would definitely benefit a large number of pet owners who could use an extra deduction come tax time!
@harmonee (1236)
• United States
24 Sep 09
That would be so cool! We have 3 dogs and they sure can get expensive. It would be cool if they made some incentive for people to adopt more pets too. We got all of ours from the pound, but there were so any there that we just couldn't take! I wish more people would get the pets that are in need instead of just going to the pet store and getting the super expensive puppies.
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
25 Sep 09
I know exactly what you mean, harmonee. Every time I've gone to the animal shelter, I want to take them all home with me. I think I would if it weren't for my husband who constantly tells me that we have enough pets already. (Two dogs, two cats.) I could always find room for just one more. I agree about getting pets from shelters instead of pet stores. I wish no one would ever buy a pet from a pet store. Most of their puppies come from puppy mills where they are treated like livestock. I've had so many pets from shelters I can't count them all.
@pergammano (7755)
• Canada
24 Sep 09
Morning, dear Marti! Duly noted, you are so right about the benefits of all pets and if I were a U.S. citizen, I would be writing every representative that I could think of...but, alas..NOT HERE IN CANADA! They are too busy figuring out ways of extracting more taxes from us, like the new HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) that I think will even tax our "loo' deposits! LOL! Hope this bill goes thru for you...and hopefully it will help FIND GOOD homes for a lot of the home-less pets! Thanks for sharing...and Cheers, Marti!
@gabs8513 (48764)
• United Kingdom
19 Oct 09
Yes I say it is a very good Idea and I wish it would come the UK to I hope it all goes through with you there as I agree it is about time there is a bit more help with the Pets
• United States
18 Oct 09
I wouldn't mind if there was a tax break for owners of service animals for people with disabilities who need the animals help just to get by on an every day basis. For many reasons though I would object to a tax break for the rest of us who own pets. If there were tax breaks for every thing that's cool then no one would pay any taxes.
• United States
30 Sep 09
heck yeah! i mean i have chosen to not have kids so i will never get a tax credit for that but i always have pets and they are my kids so i hope this happens so i can make sure i can always afford the best for them!