CINCINNATI -- Rich or poor, north or south, Democrat or Republican, there's one thing that most Americans share: We love our pets. Americans spend nearly $52 billion on their pets each year, according to American Pet Products Association; $13.5 billion of that is spent on veterinary care.
But where can we turn when we love our animals but can't afford to pay for often-expensive veterinary procedures? If you live in Cincinnati, you might turn to "Pets In Need," a non-profit clinic providing veterinary care and assistance to pets living in low-income homes.
"No matter what your background, no matter what your ethnicity, we just see and help as many people as we can," Lavender Cahill, clinic manager, said.
To utilize the services provided at the clinic, families must meet a certain financial criterion -- specifically, they need to be at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty line.
Ann Hill, the executive director, founded the clinic with the goal to make the cost of going to the vet a little bit easier for struggling families.
"There are so many people that are struggling financially that want to do the right thing for their pets, but they can't afford it and that's why we're here," Hill said.
For Cahill, the greatest service of all is allowing the people to keep their four-legged family members.
"You can tell that it really makes a huge difference in people's lives," Cahill said.
Some of the services offered include wellness care, treatment of minor health issues and flea prevention and customers can also purchase containers of dog and cat food donated by members.
A co-pay of $15 and proof of income is all customers need to provide when enrolling in care.
"Pets in Need" currently only offers care to cats and dogs.
Those looking for more info can visit here.