Those sad-eyed homeless animals we see in the animal rescue commercials will be history. That is, if we can convince the IRS to give a dependent deduction for our animal companions. That's a simple solution to the heart-breaking problem of animals who need homes.
Last summer, I went to the Animal Heaven in North Haven, Connecticut. There I met the new love of my life - Lee K. His family in Florida had dumped him and his sister. They were shipped north for adoption. He was out of it.
This week the two of us have been traveling west to our new home in Tucson, Arizona. You couldn't ask for a better buddy for a road trip.
But, Lee K., as do all dogs, needs regular vet checkups, medication to prevent heartworm and fleas and dental care. Down the road he may need an operation for his joints. Some people just can't afford that. That's the tragedy: Many hearts would open to animals who need homes if only they could manage that expense through a tax deduction. Incidentally, that would lower the U.S. healhcare bill since the bond with our animal companions has been shown to do everything from lower blood pressure to lift moods.