Second Chance: Tax Breaks for Pet Parents

Second Chance: Tax Breaks for Pet Parents

Did you know you can deduct pet expenses on your tax return? Well actually you can’t, but I tried that one out on April 1 as a joke. Roped a lot of humans in. Sadly, the truth is otherwise: unless you use your pet for specific purposes such as guard dog or service animal you cannot claim their expenses. Yes, I agree this is unjust and urge you to join me in changing this discriminatory IRS policy.



My name is Zeus and I am a Rottweiler/Blue Heeler mix, known as a Blue Rottweiler, who just loves to play with people and dogs. I am about three years of age and have great manners, including walking great on a leash. And yes, I am studying accounting so that I can help adopters like you get tax breaks for pets like me.

Most unjustly, if you were to adopt me as a new family member you would not legally be able to claim me as a dependent. But the truth is I would be fully dependent on you for the rest of my life. So this policy doesn’t make sense right?

Additionally, you would be saving the public money by helping to reduce the number of homeless pets in your region.  Sounds like a great reason for a tax break to me. I mean tax breaks are meant to encourage and support behavior that is beneficial to the masses right?

Therefore, I am starting a national petition to allow pets to be claimed as dependents and thus be recognized for the important role we play in the lives of others. We reduce stress and increase oxytocin production thus saving the healthcare industry millions. We help people live longer and happier lives thus making the IRS millions more from the additional years people are alive to pay their bill.

Please join me in this critical movement – go to” and sign my petition. Next, go to Second Chance Humane Society and adopt me. Regardless of whether or not you can claim me as dependent, you should adopt me just because you want some unconditional love and companionship from lovely (and smart!) dog like me…

Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue. Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles at least one, generally two of the many animals now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent homes. The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.

Ted Hoff & Mae

Ted Hoff &  Magnificent Mae

By the by, there is no better place to park your pup than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway, but service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View the shelter pets and services online:

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