A Tax Break for Pet Owners?

Animal shelters across the country have reported a sharp surge in abandoned animals, many cut loose by owners who can no longer afford to care for them. Now, Rep. Thaddues McCotter (R., Mich.) has introduced a bill that would use the federal tax code to help.

The Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years(HAPPY) Act would allow pet owners to deduct the cost of food, veterinary care, and other pet-related expenses from their income taxes-up to $3500 per year. McCotter says the bill would provide tax relief for pet owners while at the same time strengthening "the human-animal bond."

Leo Grillo, an animal-rights activist, says a tax break for the 60% of Americans who own pets will help keep pets in the home, where they contribute to the emotional well-being of families. "If Americans are happy and emotionally stable, they are going to be more productive, and that helps the economy," he says, adding that the bill also could ease the cost of local animal control services.

With the above said, watch or check with your tax consultant on the HAPPY ACT to see if passed and if this tax break is available to you and your pet/pets.