Pets and poverty: Visions of a better future


Jon Geller, DVM, DABVP emeritus, discusses his hopes of creating Peticad in the state of Colorado

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Majority of people who have a pet or work with pets know how powerful the human animal bond is. According to the Human Animal Bond Research Institute, 92% of pet owners globally say there’s no reason they would ever be convinced to give up their pet.1 Because of the benefits of having a pet, what happens for those who want a pet or have one already, but are struggling to pay for care?

On this week's episode of The Vet Blast Podcast, host Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, sat down with Jon Geller, DVM, DABVP emeritus, to discuss Peticad and how it can help Coloradans.

Below is a partial transcript.

Jon Geller, DVM, DABVP emeritus: Now I'm looking at at the bigger issue, which is so many low income families, families in need, and the working poor that have pets just cannot afford veterinary care. They just can't afford it, so they don't get it. And, of course, bad things happen and there's always the overpopulation of pets issue out there. So this program is targeting, again, those working families and households with pets, and it's called Peticaid. It's actually called Peticaid 2030 to be honest, because it we think it's going to take a few years to get this rolling.

It's somewhat self explanatory. It's actually a supplement, it's proposed federal and state Medicaid supplement to people that are already on Medicaid, and there's close to 80 million people that are already on it. If they have pets, they're going to be allowed to enroll 2 pets as a supplement to their Medicaid into this Peticaid program, and those pets will each be provided with $400 of veterinary care per year per pet as an allowance, and they will be paying a 20% copay for that care. So it's a radical idea in the sense that it's the first time that that government funding will be applied toward veterinary care for pets.


International Survey of Pet Owners & Veterinarians. Human Animal Bond Research Institute. Accessed June 12, 2024.

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