60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll: Pets

This month's poll centers on Americans and their pets. Why do we love having pets so much?

Welcome to the 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll for November 2013. This month's poll centers on Americans and their pets. Why do we love having pets so much? It has been estimated that Americans spend more than $50 billion a year taking care of our beloved animals and that number rises every year regardless of economic conditions. Pets are good companions and provide their owners with friendship, loyalty and affection. They can lift our spirits. Some would argue that many animals receive better treatment than some humans do, and that a fraction of what we spend on them could go a long way toward alleviating hunger and homelessness in America. How much would you be willing to pay if your pet needed life-saving surgery? How many cats is too many cats? And now the results...

If their favorite pet needed surgery in order to live, 22 percent of Americans said they would pay up to $1,000. Nineteen percent would go up to $500, 14 percent would stop at $100, 10 percent would shell out $3,000, nine percent would hold the line at $5000 and 15 percent of very well-heeled Americans would pay $10,000 or more. These answers are somewhat contingent on a person's bank account. At the higher end of the spectrum between $1,000 and $10,000 more dog owners (63 percent) than cat owners (44 percent) would be willing to pay more. In this case it may be that loyalty breeds loyalty.

Check out the Vanity Fair slideshow.
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