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    Former MSE Lawrence
    MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: Should Anne put the animals down?
    • #1
    • 6th Apr 10, 7:24 PM
    MONEY MORAL DILEMMA: Should Anne put the animals down? 6th Apr 10 at 7:24 PM
    Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:

    Should Anne put the animals down?

    Anne's always been an animal lover and over the years has acquired many strays. She's got a pony, two goats, four dogs, three cats and a hamster - many getting on in years and with medical problems. A year ago she lost her job - her savings have gone, and she's struggling to keep her home. Her biggest cost is the animals' welfare & food. Nobody wants to take them.

    Click reply to have your say

    Previous MMDs: View All



    Update Note From Martin

    A quick response on the "this shouldn't be discussed its not appropriate" notes a few have listed.

    This is a more common situation than you think it originates from a similar (though no identical) question posed to me about what the options were for pets when the money had run out.

    In the past I once did a money makeover on a woman who's was massively overspending due to her animals and causing financial problems. As some in the thread have said they have been put in severe debt due to animal costs.

    Just because the consequences of this aren't nice - doesn't mean we don't need think how to deal with it.

    Being open to debate is important

    This is a pure money moral dilemma - putting animals down is not illegal. Financially not having the animals adds up, yet is it morally acceptible. It's a moral v a money situation - exactly the type of MMD many people need face.

    We live in a meat eating society - animals are killed for food all the time - the moral difference between that and putting an animal down so someone can afford to eat - is a relatively fine line. Different people draw conclusions on both sides of it. It's also worth noting at some point if she loses her home and is declared bankrupt the animals may be homesless and without food too.

    Of course its to be hoped sancturies and animal welfare charities would take the animals - indeed she is very obviously an animal lover as are many - and no one wants to think of animals suffering - and it will cause great emotion to get rid of them. Yet I've heard reports that especially old and sick animals can't always be catered for (though have no empirical evidence).

    Would it be different if it were a farmer who had livestock that couldn't sell and thus his choice was to cull them in order to cut costs?

    Why debate it?

    The point of the MMD is to make people think - to come up with a situation where different people will have opposing views and learn from each other.

    Hopefully anyone in a similar position will be able to learn from the tips, solutions and options given above.

    Please lets try and have a sensible rational debate about what some people face as a real economic and ethical reality.

    Martin

    PS Some animal shelters to help anyone in this position provided by people in this thread.

    DOGS

    Founded in 1891, Dogs Trust (formerly the National Canine Defence League) is the largest dog welfare charity in the UK. Our mission is to bring about the day when all dogs can enjoy a happy life, free from the threat of unnecessary destruction.
    http://www.dogstrust.org.uk/rehoming...s/default.aspx

    CATS

    Helping the Harder to Home Cats ('Top Cats' section) - Most rescues find they have a few cats that always seem to be overlooked, and often stay in care for months or even years. They may be elderly, have a medical condition, be very shy, or are simply passed by in favour of prettier or younger cats. Rescues can feature any 'harder to home' cats on our Top Cats section. This section has been very successful in finding new homes for many cats, some of whom had almost given up hope.
    http://www.catchat.org/adoption/index.html

    RODENTS

    Special notice should be given to Paws Here in Edinburgh - I support and regularly donate to this shelter and I take in their elderly rats when I can.
    http://www.animalrescuers.co.uk/html/rabferr.html

    FARM ANIMALS

    I am less familiar with farm animals but I have these links which may help:

    http://www.farmanimalrescue.org.uk/f...ry-history.htm
    Middlesex

    http://www.thefarmanimalsanctuary.co.uk/
    Worcestershire

    http://www.animalrescuers.co.uk/html/farm.html
    UK

    This site in general is really good for around the country shelters:
    http://www.animalrescuers.co.uk/





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    Last edited by MSE Martin; 08-04-2010 at 9:22 PM.
Page 1
    • tobiascurious
    • By tobiascurious 6th Apr 10, 10:57 PM
    • 555 Posts
    • 136 Thanks
    tobiascurious
    • #2
    • 6th Apr 10, 10:57 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Apr 10, 10:57 PM
    so it's a question of sell the home to pay the cost of keeping the animals
    or put them down?

    I think if she sells the home there's nowhere for them to go anyway

    so i can't see what she can do except put them down
  • Missconduct
    • #3
    • 6th Apr 10, 11:32 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Apr 10, 11:32 PM
    Quite simply - no. Being in a similar situation, it hasn't even crossed my mind to do so. I wouldn't and couldn't, though I no longer take any more in as it's not fair to the animals we already have. Money aside, you can only give so many animals the attention they deserve.
  • Hokie97
    • #4
    • 6th Apr 10, 11:36 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Apr 10, 11:36 PM
    She made the choice to take them in, she needs to find a way to care for them. If that means working in any job that she can get, she needs to do it. She lost her job, but there are other jobs out there, even if it is scrubbing toilets or flipping burgers.

    If it was someone with children you wouldn't suggest they put them up for adoption or kill them, would you? I am so tired of people who think that it is okay to perform "convenience euthanasias." And no well respected Veterinarian would agree to do it anyway. Doing so goes against everything we as animal care professionals believe in.

    I can't even believe that this is a consideration, hypothetical or not.
  • Missconduct
    • #5
    • 6th Apr 10, 11:49 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Apr 10, 11:49 PM
    Completely agree, Hokie, couldn't have put it better.
    • Munkee2
    • By Munkee2 6th Apr 10, 11:57 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    Munkee2
    • #6
    • 6th Apr 10, 11:57 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Apr 10, 11:57 PM
    Absolutely not, NO! Thousands of people rehome animals from sanctuaries and these animals could have a wonderful life with a new owner.

    If anything happened to me I'd be DEVASTATED if my family chose to have my pets put to sleep for no health reasons. I'd much prefer my family cared for my pets or otherwise found them safe and happy homes no matter what! I'd rather clean toilets and sweep the streets to pay for their upkeep than consider parting with them in any way, shape or form.

    I know we don't live in an ideal world where every healthy animal has a loving home but there will ALWAYS be an animal sanctuary SOMEWHERE who would take the animals and care for them for as long as possible until either new owners could be found or the sanctuaries themselves decide the animals stand no chance of being rehomed.
    Last edited by Munkee2; 07-04-2010 at 12:10 AM.
    • tobiascurious
    • By tobiascurious 6th Apr 10, 11:59 PM
    • 555 Posts
    • 136 Thanks
    tobiascurious
    • #7
    • 6th Apr 10, 11:59 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Apr 10, 11:59 PM
    maybe she needs to take the decision to stop any expensive medical care and let them pass away naturally
    • Munkee2
    • By Munkee2 7th Apr 10, 12:01 AM
    • 114 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    Munkee2
    • #8
    • 7th Apr 10, 12:01 AM
    • #8
    • 7th Apr 10, 12:01 AM
    And no well respected Veterinarian would agree to do it anyway. Doing so goes against everything we as animal care professionals believe in.

    I can't even believe that this is a consideration, hypothetical or not.
    Originally posted by Hokie97
    Hokie, sadly that's not correct. I'm friendly with my vet (we email each other on Facebook occasionally) and I emailed him a while ago to ask if an owner can request to a vet that their healthy animal be put to sleep.

    His reply was

    "We find these cases a bit of a dilemma. An ethical stance would be to rehome the dog through one of the charities and generally we would advice people to do this. However, if the owner insists on the dog being put to sleep then from a legal point of view we have to abid what the owner decides as the dog is considered a chattel or property. If we do any action that the owner has not consented to then it is considered as trespass and we could be arrested and charged as such. I give the owner the options and the pros and cons and leave the decision up to them. If they decide euthanasia is action they want to take then I will euthanase the animal. There was one case of a vet who said he would euthanase a dobermann but rehomed it where upon the original owners saw the "deceased" dobermann. He was struck off and not allowed to practice for 2 years."
    Last edited by Munkee2; 07-04-2010 at 12:04 AM.
  • mother.green
    • #9
    • 7th Apr 10, 12:11 AM
    animal welfare
    • #9
    • 7th Apr 10, 12:11 AM
    PDSA will cover all vet costs. Why not register as a charity & receive free food for the animals from the supermarkets (they all operate schemes e.g. flowers for local hospice/nursing home, food for any animal charity or biofuel, collection days for bag packing at checkouts)
    If you can no longer physically cope contact local animal welfare operations & offer them free / on loan to good homes. Personally I would rather see my home become a rescue centre than destroy healthy but elderly animals (local planning permitting)
  • Hokie97
    Hokie, sadly that's not correct. I'm friendly with my vet (we email each other on Facebook occasionally) and I emailed him a while ago to ask if an owner can request to a vet that their healthy animal be put to sleep.

    His reply was

    "We find these cases a bit of a dilemma. An ethical stance would be to rehome the dog through one of the charities and generally we would advice people to do this. However, if the owner insists on the dog being put to sleep then from a legal point of view we have to abid what the owner decides as the dog is considered a chattel or property. If we do any action that the owner has not consented to then it is considered as trespass and we could be arrested and charged as such. I give the owner the options and the pros and cons and leave the decision up to them. If they decide euthanasia is action they want to take then I will euthanase the animal. There was one case of a vet who said he would euthanase a dobermann but rehomed it where upon the original owners saw the "deceased" dobermann. He was struck off and not allowed to practice for 2 years."
    Originally posted by Munkee2
    I absolutely agree with you that if a vet lies to a client and does not put the animal down he or she is breaking the law. I do not suggest that. What I am saying is that the Veterinarians that I have worked for (in the US, I said) would not do it. They would not lie to the client, they would offer lower cost treatment for expensive medical conditions or they would offer to rehome. If the client insisted the pet be euthanized, they would recommend they find another Veterinarian.

    But someone else also pointed out that you can get free medical care here in the UK. That's a luxury you don't get in the US. Anyone who puts their pet to sleep because they don't want it anymore is heartless. That's all there is to it. There are options out there, even if it is rehoming or a sanctuary.
    • tobiascurious
    • By tobiascurious 7th Apr 10, 12:50 AM
    • 555 Posts
    • 136 Thanks
    tobiascurious
    Don't forget that while all animals are equal, some are more equal than others
    • tobiascurious
    • By tobiascurious 7th Apr 10, 1:11 AM
    • 555 Posts
    • 136 Thanks
    tobiascurious
    What I mean is that she should probably put down her less favoured animals
  • globularcluster
    YES! --Have a wider view
    Before people over-ran this planet with technology, nature cared for itself! Please think more about about caring for some of the more endangered creatures that are being destroyed by people as a consequence of their wanton destruction of their habitat. Just because an organism is cuddly does not mean that it is important in the greater scheme of things. In the UK, frogs, toads, newts, red squirrels, bats, hedgehogs, many bird species and other animals are far more important than a few commonplace pets; and they all survive in the countryside despite our "help", or more directly, in spite of man's collective ignorance. Where are the butterflies, moths and other insects that I used to wonder at in the '60s as a kid? Pesticides, monocultural agriculture, hedgerow destruction, herbicides, concrete, tarmac, deforestation (half of this is health and safety rubbish in urban areas) etc. have all played their part in the death of our rich and diverse plantlife and wildlife.

    Have the cuddly animals put to sleep -and do something useful instead - their ancestors might thank you for it --- after the human population has outgrown its time and polished itself off the planet.....
    • Dafydd 911
    • By Dafydd 911 7th Apr 10, 2:46 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Dafydd 911
    Animal Problem?
    What I mean is that she should probably put down her less favoured animals
    Originally posted by tobiascurious
    Being a moneysaving website, the obvious solution is to take the pony and the goats to the abertoir, and have them turned into meat (horsemeat is a delicacy on the continent, tastes like roast beef) buy a big freezer and you will save a fortune on your meat bills. keep the dog, cat & gerbil, they can eat the same meat, saving you even more money on dog & cat food, plus walking the dog will keep you fit and healthy!
  • MORPH3US
    100% NO - she should rehome them if she can't look after them anymore.
    • speedypete07
    • By speedypete07 7th Apr 10, 9:06 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    speedypete07
    Absolutely NOT !
    Absolutely NOT !
    There is no way I could put down any animal unless of course it was suffering,and even then it would be reluctantly !
    Lots of folk have made recommendations for getting these animals free treatment if needed and also ideas for getting them rehomed..it would also be a good idea for the lady in question to keep 1 or more of them for companionship !
    put them down?
    NEVER!
    • warmhands.coldheart
    • By warmhands.coldheart 7th Apr 10, 9:16 AM
    • 3,491 Posts
    • 3,824 Thanks
    warmhands.coldheart
    If nobody else will take them and she runs the risk of loosing her house.... Yes of course she should!! especially if they are aging and need lots of medical treatment. at the end of the day they've probably had a good innings and it's quick anyway...... I've told the missus that when I get old. if I start drooling down the windows that that's what I want her to do to me!!
  • katehesk
    If you are unemployed and on some form of benefits try the PDSA.

    To even pose this question I actually think is disgusting.

    An animal is not a disposable burden. It is a living creature. Would you dispose of your baby if you were struggling to manage?! (I know many people will feel that isn't a fair comparison, but to me it is - I tend not to differentiate between the value of a life, regardless of species).

    People need to realise when they take animals on that they have to be responsible for them, in any eventuality.
    Last edited by katehesk; 07-04-2010 at 9:22 AM.
  • LilacPixie
    NO there is always sancturies who wil help rehome or help with feed costs.
    MF aim 10th December 2020
    MFW 2012 no86 OP 0/2000
    • LittleMissAspie
    • By LittleMissAspie 7th Apr 10, 9:46 AM
    • 2,091 Posts
    • 3,144 Thanks
    LittleMissAspie
    Animals are not disposable. They are living beings, and as the (supposedly) more superior species humans have a responsibility to look after them. And I mean all animals, not just the cuddly ones.

    Anne should do everything she can to look after her animals even if it means being cold and hungry. She should look to rehome as many as possible and try everywhere she can think of. The pony and goats must be pretty expensive, but more difficult to rehome. If it gets to the point where she is repossessed then some sort of local appeal might find some homes.
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