By Louisa Luigi
U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R) of Michigan has introduced a bill called Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years, or the Happy Act.
This bill would be an amendment to the Internal Revenue code of 1986 and allow American pet owners to deduct up to $3,500 in pet care expenses.
Owning a pet can be one of the greatest joys in a person’s life, but animals need care and nurturing, just as people do. Hope and financial relief could be on the horizon.
The bill defines pets as: legally owned, domesticated and live animals. Expenses may be anything that improves the life of a pet, such as, food, healthcare, toys, boarding and daycare.
Cathy, co-owner of Park Your Paws, a doggie daycare in Columbus, Ohio states, ” This could also mean a huge boom in business, as this bill would make pet ownership cost effective, people could justify monthly doggie daycare expenses.”
Happy Act Has Long Term Goal
The Happy Act will reward good pet owners for doing right by their pets and encourage irresponsible owners to get on board. Money can be a powerful incentive and the trickle down effect could benefit society as a whole.
Although, licensing and vaccinating should be minimum standards of pet ownership, this bill has the potential to be farther reaching. People may be less inclined to surrender their pets in hard times. And since only a licensed pet qualifies, a rabies shot is mandatory before a license can be issued. This could mean better record keeping in our communities which in turn may result in fewer stray pets and less overcrowding of tax supported shelters.
Allie Phillips J.D., the Vice President of Public Policy and Tracy Coppola, J.D., M.S.E.L. Legislative Analyst for American Humane, wrote a letter to U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter in support of the happy act:
“Due to today’s difficult economic climate, animal shelters are taking in significantly more animals than ever before. Tragically, this often leads to many healthy animals having to be euthanized to lack of shelter space. It is our hope that, in doing so, the HAPPY Act will also prevent relinquishment of pets to shelters and encourage adoption of homeless animals.”
The Happy Act understands the special relationship between humans and their beloved pets and how the bond has long- lasting effects on our emotional and physical well being.
In an interview with Missy Woodward on You Tube, the Congressman states, ” When you think about the relationship between people and their pets and the humane way it makes people think, not only about animals but about each other, it seemed like a good idea…”
For more information on the Happy Act and other animal rights issues go to ASPCA.org.
Sources for this article: ASPCA.org and docstock.com
Originally published through Suite101.com