Millions of Texas citizens could be barred from much-needed low-cost veterinary care for their animals under a new bill. Alley Cat Allies is mobilizing supporters in the state to speak out against House Bill 3806, which would limit nonprofit, low-cost veterinary clinics across Texas from providing vital services to citizens and their animals.
The bill has been left pending in committee as of April 1, but it must be defeated completely to protect animals.
Under HB 3806, nonprofit veterinary clinics could only provide basic services like deworming, microchipping, and flea and tick control to Texas citizens who receive government assistance. The clinics could still provide spay and neuter and vaccination services to every client but, sometimes, an animal needs further care to live and thrive.
Many Texans who do not qualify for government assistance programs still cannot afford to take their animals to a private veterinarian. Low-cost clinics are these citizens’ only option.
Not only would countless animals be denied the medical care they deserve, they could also face death in animal shelters. Without access to affordable veterinary services, citizens may feel they cannot properly care for their animals and instead choose to surrender them. Animal shelters are the leading cause of death for cats and kittens in the United States.
If HB 3806 passes, a Texas citizen would be required to prove she receives government assistance before she could have her cat dewormed at a low-cost veterinary clinic. That is unacceptable. Access to low-cost veterinary care should never be limited to a very specific level of income.
At an April 1 hearing, citizens and nonprofit veterinarians spoke out strongly against HB 3806 and explained the lifesaving mission of low-cost clinics. They aim to make veterinary care affordable to everyone, not ask clients how much money they make before helping them.