You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 5:35 a.m.

Tax deductions and credits for pet-related expenses? One state is considering it

By Lorrie Shaw


Deductions for children are currently allowable under the tax code. In the future, pets could be, too.

flickr photo by overdrive_cz

It's a common joke among pet owners that it would be great to be able to deduct at least a portion of the yearly expenses that are incurred on behalf of companion animals on their yearly taxes, whether it's medical care, food or any of the other things that come along with sharing life with a pet.

There are millions of dollars spent each year on four-legged companions, and, although the sticker shock can be a bit unsettling at times, pet owners will say that undoubtedly, it's worth it.

But what if there was a tax deduction available that would help offset the cost of a owning a pet? In one state, if a bill passes, that would be a reality.

Pet adoption is a hot topic these days, with the overpopulation issue, homeless pets and crowded shelters.

To tackle the issue in the state of Pennsylvania, legislators are considering a bill that would offer a tax credit to adoptive residents, in hopes that it will encourage pet adoptions.

House Bill 1765 was introduced Sept. 26 and immediately referred to that state’s Committee on Finance. It would give a $300 tax credit to any resident who adopts a cat or dog from a qualifying shelter, humane society or rescue group.

The credit would be available until the end of 2013, but would apply to any adoptions made after Dec. 31, 2010, according to language in the proposed bill. Click here to read more on this bill.

For those of you shaking your heads in disbelief, this is not the first time that legislation offering a bit of a break to pet owners has been proposed.

In 2009, U.S Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R - MI) introduced HR 3501 - Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years Act, better known as the HAPPY Act. Though the bill has been stalled after being referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means, it was proposed to amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow a tax deduction, up to $3,500 per year, for pet care expenses (including veterinary care).

All of this talk about taxes and pets certainly piques people's interest. How do you feel about the idea of offering tax credits and deductions to pet owners for expenses related to the care of their pets?

Lorrie Shaw is lead pets blogger for Catch her daily dog walking and pet sitting adventures or email her directly.


Lorrie Shaw

Sun, Nov 6, 2011 : 1 a.m.

It's interesting, isn't it - that concept? Thanks for chiming in, everyone!

Tex Treeder

Mon, Oct 31, 2011 : 4:08 a.m.

Sure, why not? Let's subsidize pet ownership. What a ridiculous idea. I think pets are great and I have a couple myself, but tax credits for pets? Come on, let's get our priorities straight here.

Sarah Rigg

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 12:26 p.m.

Much as I love pets and would like a tax break, I just don't think it's a good idea. We have people adopting pets for all the wrong reasons now, and later abandoning them because of suddenly-discovered allergies or economic upheaval in the household. I don't think encouraging pet adoption so people can get a tax break is a good idea.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 5:09 p.m.

I don't think anyone would go out and get a pet just for the tax credit any more than people decide to have children for the tax credit. But the tax credit would be a great help to people who have pets and would make owning a pet more affordable.


Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

It would be a blessing.