I adopted a dog from a shelter in Duluth two years ago because I believe in adoption over getting a new puppy to help with the overabundance of animals that need good homes. It was one of my best decisions, as my dog is a true gift to me. I feel like I’m doing my part, just like many people who adopt pets.

What I don’t understand is why our veterinary clinics aren’t doing their part. I received an estimate from my vet of $850 to clean my dog’s teeth. The amount didn’t include any teeth extractions that may be necessary. I spent months searching for a cheaper way to get his dental taken care of as I am a single woman who cannot afford to make a payment the size of my mortgage to get my dog’s teeth attended to.

After months of searching Duluth, Cloquet and Iron Range veterinary clinics, I found a place in Duluth that does dog dental cleaning for about $400. I dropped off my dog for his dental appointment and was called a couple hours later and was told he needs four to five teeth extracted. They needed my permission to go ahead at the price of nearly $1,200. Really? Are you kidding me? This was in addition to the $650 I had just spent for his well-check and yearly vaccinations, along with blood work to make sure he was healthy enough for dental work.

If our society truly wants people to do their part in adopting homeless animals, our veterinary clinics need to do their part, too. People cannot afford to help these animals with their medical needs with prices like that. Local veterinary prices are criminal and contributing to the problem of homeless animals. This needs to change.

Connie Johnson