RSPCA South Australia is urging pet owners to not turn a blind eye to their suffering animal and explore all options to ensure timely veterinary care is received.

The call comes after a 47-year-old man failed to continue veterinary care of his eight-year-old dog, despite knowing the dog was suffering from a debilitating disease. By the time the dog came into the care of RSPCA SA, it was too late, and the dog had to be euthanised.

Carolyn Jones, spokeswoman for RSPCA SA, said they have people call almost daily seeking help with veterinary expenses.

“Two of the most common procedures are major dental work and repair of cruciate ligament injuries.

“Unfortunately, as a charity reliant on donations for the care of animals at our shelters, we aren’t in a position to assist financially with vet bills.”

Owners citing an inability to afford veterinary care is one of the most common reasons animals are surrendered to RSPCA SA.

RSPCA offered the following advice to those who own pets or are considering acquiring one:

  • Be realistic about your financial capacity to care for an animal before acquiring it.
  • Consider getting pet insurance.
  • Act sooner rather than later if you find you cannot afford your animal’s care – don’t let their health deteriorate.
  • Request a payment plan from your vet – and ensure you meet its terms.
  • Seek financial support from family and friends.
  • Rehome or surrender your animal to a reputable animal welfare organisation such as RSPCA.

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