Friday, May 20, 2005
7 News Features: Free For All
Talk about pet peeves. From fish to feline, if you own an animal, you know the vet bills can be expensive. But if you want to cut down on the cost, we may have found the cheapest service in South Florida. Here's seven's Tom Haynes with tonight's "Free for All."
WSVN -- For most people, our furry friends are a member of the family.
In fact, last year, Americans spent $18 billion dollars on vet bills.
But if your animal instincts tell you you're being overcharged, maybe it's time to go somewhere else.
Just think if Scooby Doo were a real live dog, by now, he would have cost shaggy more than $10,000 dollars in Scooby snacks.
If Snoopy were a real live dog, by now, he would have cost Charlie Brown more than $14,000 dollars in snacks.
Lets face it, having a pet can be pricey, but if your furry friend doesn't have a nose for saving, maybe there's a way you can still claw away at the cost.
Barry Adkins from Miami-Dade Animal Control: "Those pet owners that take advantage of this service certainly are saving a lot of money."
At Miami-Dade animal control, you can even get Fido or Fluffy fixed for free. In fact, it's the only program of its kind in South Florida.
Dr. John Droughton, Miami-Dade Animal Control: "Its free - i mean it doesn't get any better than that."
The program is open to all citizens of Miami-Dade, regardless of income, but your pet must be a healthy, normal weight animal, and at least 4-months-old.
Dr. Droughton: "We have animals coming up in Bentleys and we have animals coming up where people can't afford a car."
And while you're there, you can also get a reduction on a rabies shot.
The cost - $7 dollars compared to $30 dollars at a private vet.
Dr. Droughton: "It's fast, its convenient, you save quite a bit of money."
Now, a real worry is what happens when your pet gets sick. A life saving surgery can easily cost thousands of dollars.
But there is a place that provides the same care at a fraction of the cost.
Pet owner Jenny Wienreb: "I've been to various places for emergencies with other people and i know its much costlier."
At the Animal Welfare Society of South Florida, Jenny Wienreb, was able to save her stray, chance, for only $500 dollars.
Dr. Maria Oliveira from Animal Welfare Society: "We charge the clients a fee, a very low fee for the consultation and all our services are below normal costs."
Such a low cost because the clinic is run by a non-profit organization.
Dr. Oliveira: "People do care about their animals and do want good care for their animals at a lower cost."
In Broward County, good care is also available at a lower cost. If your family qualifies financially, you can get your pet its license, rabies shot, and be spayed or neutered for just $10 dollars.
Allan Spiegel from Broward County Animal Care: "Its a great deal to get your animal sterilized for that amount."
And you don't have to travel far. Thirty-one vets are participating in the program.
Pet owner Debra Vanner: "I highly recommend it. I think it's great."
Paws down - the best deal in town.
In order to qualify for the Broward program, you must fill out an application. It is based on your income and the number of people in your household.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Miami- Dade Animial Control:
North Dade Shelter
South Dade Shelter:
Animal Welfare Society
Broward County Animal Care