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Pet care tax deduction drawing mostly laughs

1040A new bill in the U.S. House that would allow pet owners to deduct up to $3,500 for “qualified pet-care expenses,” including vet bills, is drawing little attention and lots of laughs.

Given it’s considered a bit of an underdog, we’re all for it.

Called the HAPPY (Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years) Act, the bill is designed to make it more affordable for people to provide the care their pets need, and less likely that pet owners pinched by the recession will abandon their pets.

Congressman Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., introduced House Resolution 3501, on July 31. It seeks to amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow a deduction for pet care expenses, and would allow an individual to deduct a maximum of $3,500 for “qualified pet care expenses” for any “qualified pet.”

The congressman, who is not a pet owner, says he sponsored the bill to help families care for their pets during tough economic times.opinion sig

“Families have raised concerns about how the recession has impacted them and their pets, which should come as no surprise since more than sixty percent of United States households own a pet,” Congressman McCotter wrote in an email to Paw Nation.

“Unfortunately, according to the Humane Society, the current recession has led to a noticeable increase in the number of animals at shelters and a decrease in the number of animals being adopted. We must help prevent children and families from losing their beloved pets or seeing animals destroyed due to an economic recession.”

Under the proposal, one could not deduct the cost of buying or adopting a pet.

McCotter has been taking some heat from bloggers and colleagues for the proposal, but the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council supports the bill, and so do we.

If you see it as something more than a joke, or perhaps even feel strongly about it, you can sign a petition here.


Comment from Rebecca
Time August 20, 2009 at 7:30 am

Thank you so much for posting this and for posting the link with the petition.

Comment from Raven
Time August 21, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Why not…their are many pet parents out there incurring expenses…Kids are deductible for daycare while work or travel why not pet “kids”?

Comment from Jimmy
Time August 22, 2009 at 4:04 pm

I had hoped it was a joke but this bill is simply more pork and I seriously am beginning to question the competence of Mr. McCotter. Pets are a choice for personal property ownership and unlike kids, pets are not people. Responsible pet owners should pay their own way and not further burden our tax system. Many get enjoyment from vacations, stamp collecting or their stereos – and providing a deduction for these hobbies would be just as irresponsible.

Comment from Jaye Fortune
Time November 5, 2016 at 10:49 pm

How do we get this bill back into the light of day? It is so vital for responsible pet owners. Those of us who view our pets as family members.