How much is your dog or cat's life worth to you? A recent poll sheds new light on how far Americans are willing to go for their pet.

Most animal lovers wouldn't think twice about running into a burning building to save a pet.  Many even trust their pet's people instincts over their own.

But how much is too much if it came down to a life-saving operation?  Twenty-two percent of Americans say they'd spend up to $1,000 while 15-percent say the sky is the limit.

“A lot of time the problem is people will spend money unwisely and things won't be done correctly, or they'll short cut it, and then they're faced with having to spend more money to get it done correctly,” says Dr. Brian Beale at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists.

Beale says just like human medicine, the cost for equipment and drugs can add up just the same for pets. 

Americans typically spend more than $50 billion dollars a year on pet care.

That expense was the number one reason not to get a pet.  People need to eat, pay their mortgage, or go on vacation. That's why Dr. Beale says many vets are willing to help trim costs anyway they can.

Other takeaways from the poll showed most people flush their dead fish, nearly 9 in 10 would keep a talking dog and most Americans agreed three cats is enough.