Pet Insurance – Is It Worth It

January 19th, 2012 1 comment

I just wanted to give you a quick update on Charm and Daisy. They both came home from the emergency clinic last week, and are doing fine. You would never know anything happened to them if it weren’t for their shaved legs from where the IV’s were inserted. They did have some diarrhea which was probably a side effect of the medication, but other than that they’re back to normal. Thank goodness!

This whole ordeal got me thinking about pet insurance and how, in this instance, it would have been a big help. This would not be the first time I’ve thought about pet insurance. I’ve looked into it in the past, but I’ve not pursued it because I felt like it would be a waste of money. There are so many things you should consider when you’re evaluating the different pet insurances, it can be overwhelming. This video offers a few things you should pay attention to while you review the different providers.

How to Evaluate a Pet Insurance Policy

Here’s another video that provides a very basic comparison of four different pet insurance plans.

Pet Health Insurance Comparison by VNN.com

When I was doing my research I did find one company (Pet Plan Pet Insurance) that would continue to cover conditions diagnosed while on the plan. They would do that as long as you continued to renew your policy and did not lapse in your payments. Sounds great right? It is until you read some of their fine print. The deductible you have with this provider is PER CONDITION per year. That means if your pet is diagnosed with diabetes and then later on in the year is also diagnosed with arthritis, you are paying two deductibles, not one. I also had to laugh when I read their policy on covering prescriptions:

“Coverage for prescriptions is included in all Petplan policies, provided that they have been prescribed by the treating veterinarian as treatment for an illness or accident and the illness or accident is not a pre-existing condition. All prescriptions must be FDA approved for pets, subject to policy provisions. Nutritional supplements and vitamins are not covered by the policy.”

They might as well have said that they don’t cover prescriptions. Notice the “pre-existing condition”, “must be FDA approved for pets” and “nutritional supplements and vitamins are not covered” statements. Many prescription drugs used in the veterinary world are FDA approved for human use, not pet use. For example, of the eight different things my pets are on, only one is FDA approved for pet use (Derramax), 3 are not FDA approved (Tramadol, Lactulose, Piroxicam) and the remaining four are supplements (Azodyl, Epakitin, Vetri-Liver and Dasuquin).

There is one other thing to be aware of if you’re thinking about pet insurance – You’re still responsible to pay the vet bill. Your vet will want their money upfront. That means you still have to cover the full amount of the bill at the time of the service. You will be the one responsible to submit all of the paperwork to the insurance company, not your vet. The insurance provider will reimburse you based on the terms of your agreement.

If you’re interested in doing further research, I’ve compiled a listing below of some of the different pet insurance providers I’ve found. I doubt this is a comprehensive list. I’m sure there are others out there. I don’t endorse any of the companies, nor have I researched each one. I just thought I’d provide you with a one-stop shopping list for those of you interested in researching further.

So do you think pet insurance is worth it? Are any of you already using pet insurance? I would love to hear your opinions on the topic.

Pet Insurance Providers:

Frankie’s Flush Fascination – by Frankie

January 4th, 2012 No comments

Teehee! My favorite game in the world is to hide from Mom and see how long it takes her to find me. I’m usually pretty good at picking my hiding places. I have to remember to stop hiding in the bathroom though. That dang ceramic water bowl flushes me out of hiding every time! I just can’t resist the sound it makes or the water swishing down the bowl. What’s even better is that the bowl fills back up with water all by itself! This is the coolest thing since sliced tuna! Well, maybe not that cool, but pretty close! If you don’t believe me check it out for yourself. Mom caught the whole thing on video! P.S. Mom mentioned something about teaching me how to go potty in the toilet. Why on earth would I want to do that? Has she not seen me drink out of it? Could someone please tell her she’s crazy!


You Can Save a Life This Year!

January 1st, 2012 2 comments

Richie

Richie went from the shelter to a rescue and was then adopted!

Many people ask me how it is I can volunteer at a shelter that euthanizes. They think that since I go there I must condone the action. I can tell you that I absolutely do not! There is NO GOOD REASON to euthanize an adoptable pet. These same folks are also of the mindset that they will never adopt from or support an organization that does this. In their minds they think by not supporting it, then that means the shelter will get the message and stop doing such an activity. Right?

While these folks have their hearts in the right place, their logic is out of whack. There is a never ending stream of pets coming into the shelters, and these shelters won’t turn them away. When someone decides not to adopt or support a shelter that euthanizes, what they are in effect doing is contributing to the euthanasia. After all, they are one less person going through those doors to adopt, they are one less person volunteering their time to help these pets get into rescue and they are one less person advocating adoption of these animals to their family and friends. It’s not the pet’s fault that it landed in a shelter that euthanizes, so why would you turn your back on them just because of the shelter they’re in?

That’s my opinion and the reason why I volunteer. I can’t turn my back on them. There’s no question that volunteering at a shelter that euthanizes can be difficult emotionally. One minute you’re elated because your favorite just got adopted and the next minute you’re crying because your other favorite is leaving in a body bag. It can knock you on your ass. But I keep going for the ones that are still there. They still have a chance at getting out and living a happy life. But they need help in order to get out. There are only so many hours in the day, and the shelters are generally understaffed and the staff is overworked. Volunteers play such an important role in the lives of these pets. Here are some ways volunteers can help:

  • Become a foster parent – The pet you foster is actually saving two lives. The one you foster, and the one that can now take the space of the cage just vacated. Keep in mind that the shelter may want you to volunteer for a certain length of time before they will allow you to foster. They want to know that you’re going to stick around and that you’re trustworthy.
  • Contact rescues – Do you have a favorite breed? Chances are there’s a rescue that deals with that breed. Reach out to them to see if they’ll help out should that breed land in the shelter.
  • Transport pets – You might find a rescue willing to take one of your pets, but you’re in Kentucky and the rescue is in Ohio. Volunteers are needed all of the time to help drive these pets from one leg to the next to get the pet from your shelter to the rescue group.
  • Website maintenance and social media – If you’re tech savvy, sign up to help with the shelter’s website. The website expands the reach of the pet beyond the physical location. The more ways you can communicate to the public about a pet you have, the greater the chance the pet will get adopted. This includes promoting the pets on sites like Petfinder, Adopt-a-Pet, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Photograph or video tape pets for the shelter’s website – They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A good picture can make a world of difference in getting that pet adopted. Videos add so much more to the story. It gives the potential adopter a chance to see its personality before they stop down to meet it.
Bear

Bear was treated for heartworm and entropion thanks to fundraising efforts. He was adopted!

  • Fundraising – Many pets come into the shelter with medical conditions that are very treatable (i.e. heartworm, demodectic mange, broken bones, etc). If the shelter has no money to treat these conditions, then the pet doesn’t stand a chance. These medical conditions can take several weeks to treat which is one more reason fostering is so important. Shelters generally don’t have the luxury of letting a pet sit in a cage to undergo weeks of healing time.
  • Grooming – Some of the pets you’ll see in shelters were severely neglected and it will break your heart to see the condition they are in. Generally speaking potential adopters will look at this pet and feel sorry for it, but they aren’t able to look beyond the mess and see what a beautiful pet it can be. They’ll keep walking. If you’re good with clippers, there’s sure to be a pet in dire need of a spa day! Check out the video below of Muppet’s transformation!

Becoming a no-kill nation won’t happen over-night, but if we can each resolve to do our part, just imagine what we can accomplish. It just takes one person to make a difference in the life of a shelter pet. Are you that one person? I am.

Categories: News & Views

Social Petworking

December 29th, 2011 2 comments

I’m not alone…being followed. Someone always watching what we do…
From the song “Being Followed” by Duran Duran

Facebook Fan PageIn this day and age with all of the social media platforms out there it’s easy to feel like you’re being followed. I feel tremendous gratitude toward all of you that decided to follow The Shelter Shack on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ page. I know the incentive for many of you to follow was to try and win the Social Media for Social Good raffle. I appreciate the follow and hope you’ll stick around now that the raffle is over. Congratulations goes out to the winner of the raffle, Kristi W. and her charity of choice which is the Leon County Humane Society in Tallahassee, Florida.

So what does the quote from the Duran Duran song above have to do with all of this you might ask? Well, outside of a shameless plug for my favorite band, it serves as a lead in to talk about how those in animal rescue are not alone, and being followed on social media sites can only help to get those homeless pets adopted!

If you’re involved with a shelter or an animal rescue group and you don’t have a presence on a social media site…get one! They’re easy to set-up and they’re free to use! It’s one of the quickest ways to send out information to the masses about your adoptable pets. It’s also a great way to build community support.

It gives you the opportunity to connect with your supporters in a way unlike any other before. Outside of showcasing adoptable pets, you can announce upcoming events, share content from others about animal care tips or current animal related news, post happy tails of previous adoptions and post requests for donations.

A word of caution on the donation requests, keep those postings to a smaller percentage from everything else. People know you need donations and a gentle nudge every now and then will suffice, but requesting on a daily basis could cause you to come off as too needy and you will lose followers.

As a general rule of thumb, keep your postings fun and informative and you’ll keep your followers engaged. An even bigger rule of thumb is to respond to your followers comments. Even if all you’re doing is “Liking” their comment, that can be enough. It shows that you are paying attention to what they are saying. So animal rescuers…go forth and be followed!

Since I started this post with a shameless plug for my favorite band, I might as well end the same way. Here’s the music video for the song quoted above. It is from the album All You Need Is Now. Enjoy!

Categories: News & Views

Animals Sing “12 Days of Christmas”

December 22nd, 2011 No comments
Categories: News & Views

Circle the Wagons! Last Chance to Enter to Win

December 22nd, 2011 No comments

Here’s you last chance to win cash for yourself and your favorite animal charity. Previous ways to enter this contest have been to “Like” Facebook Pages and to “Follow” Twitter accounts. Today’s method of entry is to join the “Circle” of Google+ pages listed in the Rafflecopter below.

If this is the first time you’re hearing about this contest, you can still go back and enter it through the Facebook “Likes” and Twitter “Follows”. You have through December 28th to enter the contest through any of these three methods.

The winner will be selected at random from all entries over the course of the contest. The winner will recieve $112 and the winner can also select an animal charity of their choice to recieve $213. The winner must have a PayPal account in order to accept the prize. If you don’t have an account you can sign up for one should you win.

This “Social Media for Social Good” contest is being put on by Two Little Cavailers and Pamper Yourself in Pink. Since they’re running the contest, the participating bloggers are also eligible to win. If the Shelter Shack wins, our charity of choice is Canine Lifeline. So who is your animal charity of choice? Tell us in the comments section.

Read more…

Categories: News & Views