Real-life MMD: Whose dog is it anyway?

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Former_MSE_Debs
Former_MSE_Debs Posts: 890 Forumite
edited 23 October 2012 at 4:34PM in MoneySaving polls
Money Moral Dilemma: Whose dog is it anyway?


We recently had to rehome our dog. My stepbrother offered to take him, but when he came to meet the dog, I explained he was older and vet fees can be a lot, but he wanted him anyway. Lo and behold, the dog got ill and our parents ended up handling the vet's arrangements for him, including bills, and they want reimbursement. I know my stepbrother won't repay them, so now feel as though we ought to contribute.


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Comments

  • scotsbob
    scotsbob Posts: 4,632 Forumite
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    Sounds like a family dog. Your brother is paying for the food and exercising him and your parents and you pay the vet's bill. Seems fair.
  • cupboardie
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    as you pre-warned him about the possible medical bills it is unfair for them to expect you to have to cough up, however it can be awkward when it's family. Just be frank and say "I did warn you!"
  • penypincher
    penypincher Posts: 116 Forumite
    edited 24 October 2012 at 3:59AM
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    a dog is for life, not just for christmas. you said it was an older dog, implying you've had it for a long while. one would imagine you would want to help out, since you could no longer manage the day to day of this creature, who was your responsibility, and in most cases of pet ownership, your choice. no doubt there are many factors, but if finance was a huge concern, then you made an error of judgement allowing your stepbrother to take on the dog, and should really help out if possible. be gracious, but also feel free to have a conversation that you can't continually do this.
  • Brightness
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    Penypincher, I was thinking the same thing as you about a dog being for life. I'm sorry but I cannot imagine giving up my dogs, I'd rather live in a tent than do so. One is 13 and the other is 4 - he is a rescue, we also lost a rescue just before we had him. When I took on our last rescue, I knew he didn't look 100% healthy and he came from someone we know. There was no way I would ask for help with vet bills - even though we couldn't afford the massive amount over the insurance limit that it cost us & we knew that they could. He was 'our dog' and that was it. However, if it was me who had to let a dog go, I would be offering to pay. Then again, as I said, I'd rather live in a tent than see either of my babies live with anyone else. I didn't get them to give them away - least of all when they got old. They give you years of loyalty and you give them away and begrudge paying to help them get better when they are old :(
  • penypincher
    penypincher Posts: 116 Forumite
    edited 24 October 2012 at 4:31AM
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    glad you agree brightness. i grew up with pets, and the responsibility of them. i have spent a fortune on a sick animal because it was my duty to take care of it. believe me, it hasn't been easy. when you have a pet, you are responsible for it; it's life is in your hands. if you have to rehome it, you are responsible for finding it not just a home, but a good home. life is full of choices and consequences. i loved and cared for my animals to the end of each one, and am now pet free because i will not give a home to an animal i can't afford to look after, vet bills included... the main issue is that just because you handed over the dog, doesn't mean you can wash your hands.
  • Avon2001
    Avon2001 Posts: 99 Forumite
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    It's basic common sense that older animals of all sorts generally need more medical care than younger ones and the fact that you felt it necessary to expain this to your step brother suggests that you knew perfectly well that this could become an issue. Personally speaking, I'd suggest politely to your step brother that if he's unable to cope with vet's bills, he's not in a position to own a dog. I'd pay your parents and I'd take the dog back and either keep it or rehome it with someone more responsible.
  • 19lottie82
    19lottie82 Posts: 6,027 Forumite
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    I agree with Avon, if you are in a position to do so then pay your parents but on the understanding that your dog is returned so you can find it a more responsible owner.

    Can I just ask, why wasn't insurance in place?
  • 19lottie82
    19lottie82 Posts: 6,027 Forumite
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    Brightness wrote: »
    Penypincher, I was thinking the same thing as you about a dog being for life. I'm sorry but I cannot imagine giving up my dogs, I'd rather live in a tent than do so. One is 13 and the other is 4 - he is a rescue, we also lost a rescue just before we had him. When I took on our last rescue, I knew he didn't look 100% healthy and he came from someone we know. There was no way I would ask for help with vet bills - even though we couldn't afford the massive amount over the insurance limit that it cost us & we knew that they could. He was 'our dog' and that was it. However, if it was me who had to let a dog go, I would be offering to pay. Then again, as I said, I'd rather live in a tent than see either of my babies live with anyone else. I didn't get them to give them away - least of all when they got old. They give you years of loyalty and you give them away and begrudge paying to help them get better when they are old :(
    a bit judgmental. you don't know the circumstances behind the rehoming.
  • originalkat
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    As usual when animals are involved people get very emotional. I'd just like to say that we do not know why the dog needs to be rehomed. For example, the person giving away the dog could be seriously ill, about to be made homeless or have a job which is taking the owner somewhere the dog cannot go. Whatever the reason well done them for not just dumping the dog at an animal shelter but instead trying to do the best for it. As to contributing to bills, if they can afford it and want to then yes, but they should not feel they have to as they did make it clear the dog was elderly and vet bills are expensive.
  • sapphireeye
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    If you had re-homed the dog away from the family then you wouldn't be having to contribute to the vet bills, so I don't see why you should pay the entire bill just because your step brother took the dog. You explained to him that the bills could be expensive and he decided to have the dog anyway so at that point he accepted responsibility for the dog and everything that comes with dog ownership.

    I suppose your reasons for rehoming come into this, if you were rehoming because you couldn't look after the dog properly but you can afford to contribute to the vet bills then it might be a nice gesture, but you don't want to be in a situation where you're forking out everytime it gets ill. And why should you pay but not reap the rewards of pet ownership?

    Also, if your step brother can't afford to give the dog the proper care it needs then it should probably be rehomed elsewhere. I know if I'd rehomed a dog then I couldn't bear to see it suffering because the person I rehomed it to wasn't looking after it properly.
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