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  • FIRST POST
    Former MSE Debs
    Real-life MMD: Whose dog is it anyway?
    • #1
    • 18th Oct 12, 2:26 PM
    Real-life MMD: Whose dog is it anyway? 18th Oct 12 at 2:26 PM
    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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    Last edited by Former MSE Debs; 23-10-2012 at 4:34 PM.
Page 1
    • scotsbob
    • By scotsbob 24th Oct 12, 1:00 AM
    • 4,462 Posts
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    scotsbob
    • #2
    • 24th Oct 12, 1:00 AM
    • #2
    • 24th Oct 12, 1:00 AM
    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
    • By cupboardie 24th Oct 12, 3:37 AM
    • 103 Posts
    • 89 Thanks
    cupboardie
    • #3
    • 24th Oct 12, 3:37 AM
    • #3
    • 24th Oct 12, 3:37 AM
    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
    • By penypincher 24th Oct 12, 3:56 AM
    • 114 Posts
    • 39 Thanks
    penypincher
    • #4
    • 24th Oct 12, 3:56 AM
    • #4
    • 24th Oct 12, 3:56 AM
    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.
    Last edited by penypincher; 24-10-2012 at 3:59 AM.
    • Brightness
    • By Brightness 24th Oct 12, 4:12 AM
    • 292 Posts
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    Brightness
    • #5
    • 24th Oct 12, 4:12 AM
    • #5
    • 24th Oct 12, 4:12 AM
    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
    • By penypincher 24th Oct 12, 4:29 AM
    • 114 Posts
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    penypincher
    • #6
    • 24th Oct 12, 4:29 AM
    • #6
    • 24th Oct 12, 4:29 AM
    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.
    Last edited by penypincher; 24-10-2012 at 4:31 AM.
  • Avon2001
    • #7
    • 24th Oct 12, 7:36 AM
    • #7
    • 24th Oct 12, 7:36 AM
    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
    • By 19lottie82 24th Oct 12, 9:03 AM
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    19lottie82
    • #8
    • 24th Oct 12, 9:03 AM
    • #8
    • 24th Oct 12, 9:03 AM
    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
    • By 19lottie82 24th Oct 12, 9:05 AM
    • 5,790 Posts
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    19lottie82
    • #9
    • 24th Oct 12, 9:05 AM
    • #9
    • 24th Oct 12, 9:05 AM
    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
    Originally posted by Brightness
    a bit judgmental. you don't know the circumstances behind the rehoming.
    • originalkat
    • By originalkat 24th Oct 12, 9:10 AM
    • 49 Posts
    • 108 Thanks
    originalkat
    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
    • By sapphireeye 24th Oct 12, 9:10 AM
    • 268 Posts
    • 509 Thanks
    sapphireeye
    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.
    • pennypinchUK
    • By pennypinchUK 24th Oct 12, 9:37 AM
    • 382 Posts
    • 732 Thanks
    pennypinchUK
    Families...who'd 'ave 'em.

    Of course, you know you've passed the liability to your stepbrother. If you're prepared for step-family war you may want to hold out and get step-bro to pay. But as you'd have had to pay the vets bills if you'd kept the dog is it worth the family hassle by sticking to your principles?
  • patm
    I think a lot depends on the circumstances here.
    Why did you rehome the dog? I'm assuming it was because you couldn't keep it for whatever reason rather than because you got bored with it!
    Why did your stepbrother take it? To help you out, or because he genuinely and actively wanted a dog?
    What are your respective financial situations, who can best afford the vets bills?
    With hindsight you should have had a long conversation with your stepbrother about the responsibilities of dog ownership before rehoming the dog, and should have agreed the precise arrangements about paying vets bills. In my opinion a 50-50 split would be fair. However it appears its too late now, and if he won't pay, you will have to.
    As another poster said, if the new owner was a stranger, they would pay and the question wouldn't arise.
    Not much help to you, but hopefully others can learn from your situation.
  • xxSaffronxx
    If your brother wanted the dog then all responsibility goes with that in my opinion.
    He shouldnt be expecting anyone to pay for the vet bills. You were going to rehome him and your brother wanted him.
    He cant expect to have all the good stuff of owning a pet and not facing up to the bad side when it happens! You warned him and if he couldnt afford it then he shouldnt have taken him.

    IMO if this is going to keep happening then maybe he should be rehomed to someone who can afford to look after him including financially as its not fair on the dog if he doesnt get the treatment he needs simply because the owner cannot afford it!
    Last edited by xxSaffronxx; 24-10-2012 at 10:36 AM.
    • Ebenezer_Screwj
    • By Ebenezer_Screwj 24th Oct 12, 11:16 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 229 Thanks
    Ebenezer_Screwj
    Your stepbrother has taken responsibility for the dog therefore he now owns it and has to pay for its upkeep. Further more this was pointed out to him when he agreed to take the dog, so where does your parents' involvement come in, or yours ?
    • onesixfive
    • By onesixfive 24th Oct 12, 12:13 PM
    • 325 Posts
    • 224 Thanks
    onesixfive
    Its your stepbrothers responsibility - not your parents - thats between them .
    However - Depends how old the dog is ? why not club together & offer to buy your stepbrother (for Xmas) a pet insurance policy so the problem doesn't happen again ? (some offer for dogs up to 11)
  • xxSaffronxx
    why not club together & offer to buy your stepbrother (for Xmas) a pet insurance policy so the problem doesn't happen again ? (some offer for dogs up to 11)
    Originally posted by sng165
    They wont pay out on the current problem. Think on a new policy you cannot claim for anything between 14-30 days depending on the insurer
    • fresian_cow
    • By fresian_cow 24th Oct 12, 1:42 PM
    • 278 Posts
    • 166 Thanks
    fresian_cow
    Can I let you know that this was my dilemma and give you more background as it was reworded. We regimes the dog as he wasn't getting along with our new baby and snapped at her, marking her face. (we did not take this decision lightly, we took on the dog aged 18months from another family with children who said they couldn't manage him plus their child and the expected one). We searched long and hard for a suitable home before my stepbrother approached us as he wanted a dog and the local shelter wouldn't allow him one due to living in flats with a shared entrance. It seemed a good home as he had the time and love to offer which had been lacking from us since we became parents.

    He came to meet the dog and I explained that although fit and healthy, which he was at the time he was 8 and a half and may get health problems as any dog could. We didn't have insurance at that time but I advised him to take it out.

    The dog became sick 2 weeks later and was found to have a tumour which had burst ans the decision was made to put him to sleep.

    We had no idea he was ill and in hindsight this could have been the reason for his issues with the baby, we will never know.

    Can I also just add that I am not close to this part of the family, my father married his mother. They don't bother at all with me, my brother or my daughter.my father considers her and her children his family, not us. When this occurred I knew that my sb would not be paying the vet bill, they would. However they would never have helped me out in the same way.
    • nczm
    • By nczm 24th Oct 12, 2:04 PM
    • 50 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    nczm
    Clearly a dog owner
    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
    Originally posted by Brightness
    You remind me of a friend of my mum's, she has four dogs (none of which she can afford) and is currently homeless because her tenant agreement ran out and she cannot find somewhere else on her budget which will allow animals... perspective!
  • xxSaffronxx
    Can I let you know that this was my dilemma and give you more background as it was reworded. We regimes the dog as he wasn't getting along with our new baby and snapped at her, marking her face. (we did not take this decision lightly, we took on the dog aged 18months from another family with children who said they couldn't manage him plus their child and the expected one). We searched long and hard for a suitable home before my stepbrother approached us as he wanted a dog and the local shelter wouldn't allow him one due to living in flats with a shared entrance. It seemed a good home as he had the time and love to offer which had been lacking from us since we became parents.

    He came to meet the dog and I explained that although fit and healthy, which he was at the time he was 8 and a half and may get health problems as any dog could. We didn't have insurance at that time but I advised him to take it out.

    The dog became sick 2 weeks later and was found to have a tumour which had burst ans the decision was made to put him to sleep.

    We had no idea he was ill and in hindsight this could have been the reason for his issues with the baby, we will never know.

    Can I also just add that I am not close to this part of the family, my father married his mother. They don't bother at all with me, my brother or my daughter.my father considers her and her children his family, not us. When this occurred I knew that my sb would not be paying the vet bill, they would. However they would never have helped me out in the same way.
    Originally posted by fresian_cow
    Gosh how awful and what a horrible decision to make!

    I still think the cost is down to your SB tho. But I suppose since the dog has been put to sleep its not going to happen again in the future with costs, then its really up to you whether you think you should contribute.
    Personally I wouldnt
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