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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 12
    • neilpost
    • By neilpost 10th Apr 10, 9:07 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    neilpost
    And there is also the PDSA or Blue Cross for those in financial need.
    Originally posted by RuthnJasper
    PDSA - unless you are dirt poor, when you probably in all reality shouldn't own/be responsible for a pet, they couldn't give a crap.

    To the PDSA, 'in financial need', means nothing - they want to see your benefits statement, free school meal entitlement, full tax credits statement, or you can sod off.
    • neilpost
    • By neilpost 10th Apr 10, 9:19 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    neilpost
    Your reputation as an investigative journalist is now tarnished. If you couldn't be bothered to show that the question posed isn't restricted to one answer then that's just laziness. To cop out by saying 'it allows people to express their point of view' is just a weak excuse for that laziness.

    The result - there are a number of people who've posted real, viable alternatives (although they don't answer the yes or no question posed) and there are a number of people who have posted 'troll' type messages simply for the sake of being annoying.

    Judging from some of the responses this thread has upset a fair number of people - and it brings this whole forum into disrepute. That's sad.
    Originally posted by PhiltheBear
    Sorry, but this is a load of complete ***** !!!!

    It's a MMD, not a piece of investigative journalism - Seriously, get some perspective, please !!

    Are your animal/moral credentials screaming in your head, when you are at the meat counter in Tesco ? or when you have the Wasp spray out, or are laying the Ant Powder?
    Last edited by neilpost; 10-04-2010 at 9:28 PM.
    • Bargainetta
    • By Bargainetta 10th Apr 10, 10:19 PM
    • 77 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    Bargainetta
    I knew a woman at work that was in a similar position and I said in conversation to someone else that she should give her two dogs away as it wasn't likely to be a short period of finding money difficult and she herself wasn't eating properly. I got myself in so much trouble by my comment and I never even suggesting putting them to sleep!! People get very emotional on this subject but feeding a human being will ALWAYS be more important to me than feeding an animal. If you have to make the choice it has to be a no-brainer.
    • trudij
    • By trudij 10th Apr 10, 11:38 PM
    • 1,878 Posts
    • 12,295 Thanks
    trudij
    I can't believe people's reaction to this thread, there is nothing immoral about asking this question. Euthanasia is far better than an uncertain future.

    I believe firmly that putting these animals to sleep is the best thing to do, both for her own sake and for the sake of the animals given they are old and infirm. It is unrealistic to think that all unwanted animals can be accommodated in sanctuaries, and far better to take responsibility for them and guarantee they will not fall into the wrong hands or be treated badly in the future. Death is not the worst thing.

    As a vet, I would provide support to rehome animals that were healthy if this was the owners wish, but if this was not appropriate and they were ill/old I would have no qualms about putting them down.
    Originally posted by st2000
    Completely agree with this poster.

    Why should it be taken out of her hands? They are her animals and she has cared for them well but is no longer able to.

    For many people knowing an animal has been put to sleep offers far more peace of mind than wondering if it is being passed from pillar to post and cared for properly, and is in my opinion far more responsible than avoiding this difficult decision by palming animals with problems off on the nearest charity.

    It would be wrong to effectively villify someone for considering this as a reasonable way out of very serious problems.
    Originally posted by st2000
    Yup

    I don't know why people are getting so offended by this very real dilemma.

    Surely euthanasia is a better end for a loved but elderly and sick pet than being dumped in a shelter?

    Katehesk, I would postulate that euthanasia is a very responsible thing to do if an animal is unlikely to be rehomed due to age/infirmity and cannot realistically be kept, and I don't think that is any reflection of how much you love animals.
    Originally posted by st2000
    and again....

    Its a horrible decision to have to make at any stage of an animals life - but when you take an animal on, you are responsible for their welfare, to the best of your ability. If you cant keep the animals any more, and there are no rescue centres with room to keep them (bearing in mind you cant just rock up and drop them off, and most of the rescues put down animals on permanent medication!) then euthanasia becomes a viable option. Illness' or infirmities IMO just push things nearer euthanasia being the kindest thing for everyone.

    BUT - as pointed out already, its not cheap to put animals down - horses are around the 200 - 300 mark, depending on how its done - or if you really cant afford things, then if you are lucky a local hunt will come and euthanase your large animal and take it away to use as feed. They get pretty full though, so you cant bank on that being an option.

    In a perfect world - of course you wouldnt have to put any animal down unless it was ill or injured beyond help - in the real world,sometimes its best for everyone....
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup
  • harryhound
    I seem to remember a documentary about the West Country a couple of years ago that featured an old boy with a pick-up who went from farm to farm "solving" the problem of the bull calves which we are not allowed to export any more (and as the offspring of dairy cows did not make very profitable veal anyway).
    I cannot remember the exact costs involved (there was also a problem of not being able to feed all the carcases to the local hunt.); though he did strip the hides.
    My memory is that there was less than 20 quid involved in the transaction.

    I've just done a search and found a thread about farming realities - though it might be a bit out of date now that the subsidies have gone up because they are paid in Euros.

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=173395&highlight=bull+calves
    Last edited by harryhound; 11-04-2010 at 10:46 AM.
    • PhiltheBear
    • By PhiltheBear 11th Apr 10, 2:10 PM
    • 270 Posts
    • 310 Thanks
    PhiltheBear
    Sorry, but this is a load of complete ***** !!!!

    It's a MMD, not a piece of investigative journalism - Seriously, get some perspective, please !!
    Originally posted by neilpost
    It's on a website, posed as a 'dilemma' by an investigative journalist who has a considerable reputation. The simple fact is - it isn't a 'dilemma' at all. The 'dilemma', as posed, admits only two answers - put the animals down or starve. It does not admit ANY other possibility. It may have been the intention to start a debate. What' it has actually done is made the site, by association, less valuable than it ought to be.

    Are your animal/moral credentials screaming in your head, when you are at the meat counter in Tesco ? or when you have the Wasp spray out, or are laying the Ant Powder?
    I don't understand the relevance of that, at all. .

    The fact is - if the animals in this scenario need to be rehomed, no matter how sick they are, there are places which will take them, as amply demonstrated in previous posts. If they need putting down because they are sick, that may well be an outcome but that's not the question. The question is simply "to save money would you kill them?"

    Martin has continually said that this is a 'real' scenario that people have introduced him to. As we have seen, one poster on this thread managed to list a number of places that would rehome the animals with very little effort. Yet Martin has claimed, effectively, that such an outcome wasn't viable - and that he knew of cases where the only option was euthanasia. I'll reiterate - as a journalist he should have been able, with very little effort to ascertain that it's not so. Indeed, he'd have the makings of a good 'human interest' story by doing so. (I can see the Sun or Mirror trumpeting "How we saved Annie's animals from death").

    Therefore, the framing of the 'dilemma' was simply sloppy - and bound to lead to the sort of fight that's occurring.

    It's all unnecessary. And, as it happens, pointless.
    • BigMummaF
    • By BigMummaF 11th Apr 10, 4:08 PM
    • 4,269 Posts
    • 32,002 Thanks
    BigMummaF
    I cannot help thinking that the geography has something to do with which charity shelters are available to take the larger animals, & would also affect how you could physically get them there. If you live for example, in Southampton & the closest donkey sanctuary is Sunderland, you're kind of stuck!
    Also, presumably there is an awful lot of phoning around involved when trying to sort out places & the cost has to be considered. IF the land line &/or mobile have been disconnected at an earlier juncture in order to cut costs, that would also severely hamper 'Anne's' chances of finding help. Likewise domestic internet connection could also have been sacrificed, so the odd half hour in a public library wouldn't really give you a lot of time to research your options AND there are restrictions to what you can do from these terminals.
    Given the state of things, there would also be a very good chance the poor woman is suffering some degree of depression. Even if she is on medication, she may not be thinking clearly.

    To say this kind of situation is beyond belief, is a rather naive view-point given the recent & totally unexpected financial chaos the world has experienced in living memory. I do not know what is worse; the fact that this could be--& is--happening for real, or that some folk refuse to believe it is happening at all.
    Full time Carer for Mum; harassed mother of three;
    loving & loved by two 4-legged babies.

    • relaxtwotribes
    • By relaxtwotribes 11th Apr 10, 4:51 PM
    • 279 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    relaxtwotribes
    What' it has actually done is made the site, by association, less valuable than it ought to be.
    Originally posted by PhiltheBear
    What a drama queen!!! Get a life.
  • jkc
    charge 1.50 per go for rides on the pony. or 10 per hour to take it out.
    presumably there is a field so open a petting farm and charge the council for school trips out. request volunteers to help with management.
    Last edited by jkc; 11-04-2010 at 8:54 PM.
  • lorietta
    In my opinion, the most obvious problem is the pony. It's hard to find somewhere to home this, if it is too old to be ridden, no-one will want it, and horse shelters are few and far between. It will be costing her a lot to keep, as I assume it is at livery, because it's cruel in itself to keep the pony on its own.

    The RSPCA have a kill policy, for those of you who don't know that. Chances are, the end result would be the same, but with a lot more stress for the animals involved. In fact, finding a no kill shelter is quite difficult in some parts of the country! S/E cornwall has no dedicated animal rescue center, there is cats protection league, and a few kennels who will help with dogs (but there is a limit to their kindness) but nowhere that would take the other animals.

    The goats would also be a problem, I don't know of a single animal shelter that takes goats- although I volunteered at one that had pigs, so they might have tried to help. However, sadly there was a limit to the number of animals they could house on their site- when they were full (and I do mean to the brim, which they really were in kitten season, every room was full of cats!) they had to say I'm sorry, there's no more room. Because it's just as cruel to keep animals in crowded conditions and unable to care for them properly.

    If I was in Anne's position- here is what I would do, which I know some of you may not agree with.

    1. The pony- if it's too old to be ridden I imagine it's into its thirties, and by this age will not be in the best of health and has presumably had a good life- If nowhere can be found for it then I would have it PTS. If it can be ridden, I would try and find a riding school who might want it free of charge. I would advertise it in the paper as a companion pony for as long as I could, if it could not- but this is the biggest financial drain sadly.

    2. The goats- Can they be made to pay their way by producing cheese? It's a possibility. I would try every option to find somewhere for them to go, but again this may not be a possibility. If they have to be PTS I would accept this.

    3. After this, I would hope to be able to downsize my property and use my money to keep the other animals.

    I know this sounds heartless, but many ponies are put to sleep when they can no longer be ridden anyway in this country, or at least a few years into retirement, it's a sad fact, but not that many people want them. I wouldn't like to even try to rehome goats- I had a quick look online, and I can't find a single shelter in cornwall and devon with goats, although I may be wrong.

    I have volunteered at an animal shelter, and worked at a kennels that also took rescue dogs. It is very hard to get someone to take an animal off your hands unless you physically abandon it, and sadly many chartities have a kill policy for animals that are not easily rehomed. I wish it was that easy to find somewhere, but in the recession, so many are full. And if I'm honest, I think the transition for an old-ill animal might be too much anyway.

  • harryhound
    charge 1.50 per go for rides on the pony. or 10 per hour to take it out.
    presumably there is a field so open a petting farm and charge the council for school trips out (**). request volunteers to help with management.
    Originally posted by jkc
    Unfortunately we don't live in fairy land - the self employment and local authority bureaucracy would cost money (and probably building changes) (*). If this was a potentially profitable enterprise; someone would finance it. It isn't, there is no money tree so it won't happen.


    (*) The pony has run off and battered my child against a damaged barn door. My child is now in a wheel chair for the rest of its life - who pays?
    (**) Teachers probably spend more time doing the "risk assessment" than they do on the "farm" these days - As a result I think you will find lots of kids have no idea about the countryside and school trips to such "dangerous" environments just don't happen in the numbers they used to.
    Last edited by harryhound; 13-04-2010 at 9:39 AM.
  • jkc
    Unfortunately we don't live in fairy land - the self employment and local authority bureaucracy would cost money (and probably building changes) (*). If this was a potentially profitable enterprise; someone would finance it. It isn't, there is no money tree so it won't happen.


    (*) The pony has run off and battered my child against a damaged barn door. My child is now in a wheel chair for the rest of its life - who pays?
    (**) Teachers probably spend more time doing the "risk assessment" than they do on the "farm" these days - As a result I think you will find lots of kids have no idea about the countryside and school trips to such "dangerous" environments just don't happen in the numbers they used to.
    Originally posted by harryhound
    and this attitude is what is wrong with this country today folks.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 18th Apr 10, 5:15 AM
    • 33,992 Posts
    • 68,559 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    I actually can't believe that so many people think their animals are as important as their children.

    As to whether she should have them put down, I think that if she has done all she can to get a new job or find them a new home and that if there is a straight choice between her not eating and the animals not eating, then yes, she should have them put down. They have had a better and longer life than if she had not taken them in and they will not know any different.

    I do agree she should explore all other options first.

    (And yes, I have had pets, I have had cats for over thirty years apart from the last five years. My last little cat had to be put down she had dementia and I cried like a baby. But I still stick to what I have said above.).
    Last edited by seven-day-weekend; 18-04-2010 at 5:41 AM.
    Member #10 of 2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 13th Jan 11, 12:38 PM
    • 4,608 Posts
    • 27,470 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Read this story recently and thought of this thread, looks like she will have to make some kind of decision very soon:


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1340047/How-Sara-Ross-sacrificed-charmed-life-animals-loves.html
  • harryhound
    Her freedom, her choice.............provided she is not claiming benefits.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 14th Jan 11, 3:17 AM
    • 33,992 Posts
    • 68,559 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    If she can't afford to look after them properly, is not able to re-home them and has no-one to help her then as far as I can see her only options are to abandon them or have them put down. Putting them down is kinder. It should be an absolutely last resort though.

    Whatever people may think, animals are NOT the same as your children. I cried for a day when my cat had to be put down. I'm sure I would cry for more than a day if my son died.

    Let's be realistic here.
    Member #10 of 2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
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