Keep your paws crossed that pending House Bill 3501 is passed this year. The Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a deduction for pet care expenses.
Representative Thaddeus G. McCotter R-Mich. proposed the bill, which states that every pet owner can deduct a maximum of $3,500 for pet expenses throughout the year. This bill was written in light of the 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey, which showed that 63% of U.S. households have a pet. The survey also emphasized the importance of the human-animal bond, which has a positive effect upon people’s emotional and physical well-being (I’ll say!).
Under Happy Act, food and veterinary expenses will be covered. Happy Act will not cover the cost to purchase or adopt an animal. Also, one must have a qualified pet in order to deduct pet expenses. A qualified pet is a legally owned, domesticated, live animal.
Happy Act was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means July 31, 2009 and should be voted on soon. Despite a large outpouring of support for this bill, there is a heated debate brewing as some think Happy Act will give out money America doesn’t have and will financially support animal abusers and dangerous pets. No matter what your opinion, join the debate and let your representative know where you stand! –Sarah Hyde