By Jackie Kellum
You have found or rescued a cat/dog. After your initial action, then the problem arises, what do you do with this animal? If you think of Anita’s Animals to help you with your problem, you have now transferred ownership of your problem to another person – which is fine. But, the question now is: what help are your going to provide to the person who will now care for this animal? Sadly, more than half of those who bring Anita an animal, although financially capable, do not give a donation towards the care of their cat/dog. By this lack of thoughtfulness, respect and consideration, that person has now added a further burden to an already stretched care budget.
In terms of human health care costs, expenses fall into two distinct categories. This cost system very easily applies to an animal rescue sanctuary. The first category called “Direct Care” relates to those costs that directly “touch” the cats and dogs. Direct care costs are greatly affected by population. The most obvious cost item would be pet food, with costs influenced by the volume/ type of animals In the hierarchy of costs, wet and dry cat food being the most costly, followed by kitten/puppy food and then dry dog food.
Followed by Vet. bills – treatment, medications, follow-up care, and flea-tick control medications – all of which are affected by the animal’s age and in-coming health status. The majority of in-coming animals arrive with no vaccination history, which requires a vaccination regime to be started, costing 200 pesos per animal. In this grouping also is paid staff who feed twice a day, help transport animals to Vet. appointments, do grooming, etc. and have to be paid per Mexican labor laws, including paid sick time, vacations and holiday time. Anita is not a paid employee – she gets no salary.
The second expense category is indirect Care. These items and services support the daily functions of the sanctuary where the animal resides until it gets adopted. These costs are generally unchanged, and have to be paid regardless of pet population volume. In order to transport animals to the Vet., pick up pet food, and etc, a vehicle is required. This creates bills for car registration, insurance, repairs/maintenance and gas. Services such as water delivery [not on city water], Telmex, CFE and garbage pickup are needed for the sanctuary to function. To maintain sanitary conditions, supplies need to be purchased and utilized. The facility keeps an on-going maintenance system which includes repair materials. Paid staff who do the facility care work are also in this category.
The question arises – what is the cost to care for a cat or dog that resides at Anita’s rescue sanctuary? Lots of cost factors were gathered, looking at an average number of animals on a given day [ not during a high kitten/puppy season ]; lots of number crunching was done. The end answer came out to be: 21.4 pesos, per day, per animal.
On the face of it, that does not seem like a whole lot of money. But at last count, two weeks ago , Anita had 85 adult dogs, 27 puppies, 59 adult cats and 39 kittens. Do the math. 21.4 pesos times 210 animals / day .
A thought to consider – what would this community do without Anita for just one day? For a week? Consider “sponsoring” an animal for a week. Please, make a donation of cash or pet food – it would be greatly appreciated, and it will help ease the budget. www.anitasanimals.com/- with Pay Pal function.
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com