Dogs become a member of the family in just moments, to the point that you simply couldn’t imagine coming home from work and not seeing their beautiful faces coming towards you for cuddles.
Unfortunately, having any kind of pet can come with major expenses, especially when they become ill or injured and for some people, it’s a price they simply cannot afford to pay.
Kate and Ben from New York immediately fell in love with their French bulldog puppy in 2013. Naming the pup Jones, they treated him more like a child than a pet – and they weren’t the only ones to fall head over heels for the hound.
“We were instantly obsessed. My parents even referred to him as their grandson,” Kate Stern said.
Jones was even the ring bearer when Ben and Kate tied the knot shortly after he became part of the family.
When Jones was around six months old however, he became ill. Vomiting violently, choking on his own vomit led to pneumonia and the couple feared for Jones’ health.
With his lungs full of liquid, the poor pooch was going to have to be put on a ventilator if he had any chance of surviving. For the price of $10,000, it wasn’t going to be cheap, but the couple were prepared to do whatever they could for him.
“Your pet’s life shouldn’t have to be a financial decision,” said Ben.
The couple went onto pay a further $69,000 after Jones spent five days in a pet hospital – and Ben was by his side the whole time.
Since then, Jones has had surgeries for his chronic lung and oesophagus issues and been put on a ventilator a further three times.
Now requiring prescription food and nine pills a day including anxiety medicine, allergy vaccines and steroids, keeping Jones happy and healthy hasn’t come cheap.
Luckily the couple had pet insurance which has covered most of the $155,000 treatment. However, they have had to spend thousands of dollars of their own money, using up most of their savings.
“Our savings has taken a pretty big hit, but it’s worth it to keep Jones with us. He means everything to us,” Kate said.