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    Former MSE Lee
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should we have to pay the vet bills?
    • #1
    • 1st Oct 10, 4:05 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should we have to pay the vet bills? 1st Oct 10 at 4:05 PM
    Please give this MoneySaver the benefit of your advice...

    Should we have to pay the vet bills?

    After our second baby we were struggling, so my parents in law offered to look after our dog. Yet every time the dog so much as coughed she'd be taken to the vets and we would be presented with a 50 bill. This was happening once a month for minor complaints and the dog wasn't living with us. My parents in law are rather affluent and at the time we weren't. Should we have to foot these vet bills?

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    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 05-10-2010 at 8:40 PM.
Page 1
    • scotsbob
    • By scotsbob 5th Oct 10, 8:23 PM
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    scotsbob
    • #2
    • 5th Oct 10, 8:23 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Oct 10, 8:23 PM
    If your parents in law look after your children while you are away, or at work do, they foot the bills as well?

    Your dog, your responsibility.
    • chris n tj
    • By chris n tj 5th Oct 10, 8:28 PM
    • 2,283 Posts
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    chris n tj
    • #3
    • 5th Oct 10, 8:28 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Oct 10, 8:28 PM
    As above its your dog so you offer to pay. If your in laws offer to pay then fine, otherwise hand over the cash. Your Dog is worth it after all.

    Pet insurance? If not why not.

    Chris n TJ
    RIP TJ. You my be gone, but never forgotten. Always in our hearts xxx
    He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.
    You are his life, his love, his leader.
    He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.
    You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
    • Petaldust
    • By Petaldust 5th Oct 10, 10:08 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 180 Thanks
    Petaldust
    • #4
    • 5th Oct 10, 10:08 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Oct 10, 10:08 PM
    You should foot the bill. If you didn't want to, you should have told them in no uncertain terms NOT to take the dog to the vets after the first time it happened. They obviously thought they were doing the right thing. If it kept happening, it's your fault for not saying anything.
    • higginsb
    • By higginsb 5th Oct 10, 10:45 PM
    • 20 Posts
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    higginsb
    • #5
    • 5th Oct 10, 10:45 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Oct 10, 10:45 PM
    Yes, you should pay the vet's bills as it your dog which they are doing you a favour looking after. However maybe you could ask them to call you first before taking the dog to the vet, and ask you to decide if he needs to go. You should really take him anyway, as he is your dog.
    • Morganarla
    • By Morganarla 5th Oct 10, 10:59 PM
    • 660 Posts
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    Morganarla
    • #6
    • 5th Oct 10, 10:59 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Oct 10, 10:59 PM
    ............
    Last edited by Morganarla; 03-01-2012 at 4:14 PM. Reason: ...
  • Susan Frost
    • #7
    • 6th Oct 10, 7:23 AM
    • #7
    • 6th Oct 10, 7:23 AM
    Of course it is your responsibility

    If you dont want the dog, then re-home it properly

    Paying for food, etc. is not mentioned so I imagine they are already doing that. But a vet bill is different and you should pay for it.

    Ask them to check it out with you each time they feel it needs the Vet. An emergency would be obvious so they can surely be allowed to make that decision themselves - but your dog, you pay.
    • craftycrafter
    • By craftycrafter 6th Oct 10, 7:33 AM
    • 67 Posts
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    craftycrafter
    • #8
    • 6th Oct 10, 7:33 AM
    • #8
    • 6th Oct 10, 7:33 AM
    Were you struggling with lack of time, or lack of money?

    If it was time, and you did not discuss bills, I think you should pay.

    If it was money, surely the cost of food, and presumably other bills, was discussed before your dog went to stay with your parents in law?

    Whatever you decide, talk to the parents in law urgently so you all know what should happen from now on.

    Perhaps you can negotiate with them for instalment payments, or ask for some of the bills to be paid by them in lieu of Christmas presents for your family?

    Good Luck.
    • pennypinchUK
    • By pennypinchUK 6th Oct 10, 7:39 AM
    • 382 Posts
    • 732 Thanks
    pennypinchUK
    • #9
    • 6th Oct 10, 7:39 AM
    • #9
    • 6th Oct 10, 7:39 AM
    Isn't this just something you talk to your in-laws about? Something along the lines of "We really appreciate you looking after the dog, as you know we're strapped for cash at the moment. The vets bills are bigger than when we had him/her and we're struggling to pay those. We obviously want what's best for the dog, but perhaps you could chat with us before taking the dog to the vets, just so we agree it's necessary to take him/her".

    I really don't see the dilemma.
    • islandman
    • By islandman 6th Oct 10, 7:45 AM
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    islandman
    Last Friday, my daughter and her husband brought their two dogs for a week whilst they move house. Within 12 hrs, one of the dogs was ill and the following day we my daughter organised a vet for us by phone. Later that day the vet was contacted again and after several hours when the dog was clearly unwell, the vet collected the dog for an overnight stay on a drip and after discharge on Sunday, we had a further two visits. We don't drive so it has cost about 18 each visit by taxi. My daughter and her husband said at the onset they would reimburse me with every penny.

    The dog ?, poisoning from one of their country walks/runs seems to be the cause, but cannot be certain and now he appears to be on the mend.

    When taking on someone else's pet, it should be said clearly and distinctly who would be responsible for costs incurred even though it is the owners pet.
    • ericthelobster
    • By ericthelobster 6th Oct 10, 8:01 AM
    • 111 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    ericthelobster
    When taking on someone else's pet, it should be said clearly and distinctly who would be responsible for costs incurred even though it is the owners pet.
    Originally posted by islandman
    That's the crux of the issue in the present case.
    In defence of the owners, I think you need to distinguish between looking after the dog temporarily because (eg) they are going on holiday, and taking over the pet because the owners can no longer afford to keep it.

    In the first case the vet bills would be unarguably down to the original owners; in the second case it's more difficult. What's the point of handing over the pet to someone else if the cost actually escalates (due to apparently over-zealous vet visits) as a result?

    A final point - who is currently paying for the animal's food? By extension, the same person should pay for the vet bills.
    • gaily
    • By gaily 6th Oct 10, 8:28 AM
    • 188 Posts
    • 157 Thanks
    gaily
    I would hope that you would pay the first vet bill - your in laws would have been concerned about the health of the animal in their care. If it had been your child then it would have been NHS/Free, so you would hope that if concerned it would merit a check up.

    Following this though, you need to establish who the responsibilty falls with.

    You gave up the dog because you couldn't afford it, and rather than sever all ties, and send it off the the local dogs home, you've let family care for it. This shouldn't result in you having to then have more bills. Maybe you should explain to them that the reason you let them have your dog, was due to cost, and although you don't have the day to day costs for feeding the dog, then vets bills are not something you'd expected to incur due to this.

    I know you say they're affluent, but sometimes people with money have the ability to whinge over the smallest of costs. Maybe you should say to them, that if they don't want to be shelling out for vets bills, then the dog would have to go to the dogs home.

    Not a nice thing to consider , but better than bills that can't be paid.
    Always on the hunt for a bargain. :rolleyes:

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    • Rvn
    • By Rvn 6th Oct 10, 8:30 AM
    • 342 Posts
    • 8,533 Thanks
    Rvn
    I think owning a pet is a privilege and not a duty. If it's your pet then it is your responsibility. The duty of care lies with you. The in-laws may be over cautious but bettere that than neglectful. Pet insurance would ensure that the vet trips are covered and may be cheaper in the long run.
    G'Luck All
  • cattattat
    Pet insurance excess is usually at least 50 so those people saying this would have solved all of the owner's problems are mistaken.

    I would speak to your parents and ask them to contact you before taking the dog to the vet. It is not neglectful not to take the dog 'every time it coughs' - as a pet owner you get used to using a bit of common sense when it comes to deciding whether they are ill. You just need to set some clearer boundaries with your parents.
    • Marisco
    • By Marisco 6th Oct 10, 9:44 AM
    • 33,035 Posts
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    Marisco
    TBH if that was me (the parent) I wouldn't have asked!!! Especially if I could afford it and my son/daughter couldn't. But I do agree, all this should have been sorted - who pays what - before the dog left.
    • psb
    • By psb 6th Oct 10, 9:46 AM
    • 35 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    psb
    If you can't afford to look after your dog as well as your new child, I would suggest you either let your parents in law (who obviously care for the dog) keep it or find it a good home that can - SIMPLES!
    psb
  • antonia1
    Pay the bills that you already have, but tell your parents-in-law the following:

    "We're really grateful that you have been looking after the dog for x months, but unfortunately money is becoming a serious issue and we feel we need to have the dog properly re-homed as we cannot afford the costs associated with having the dog. Thanks again for your help, please take this bottle of wine as a thank-you"

    They can't complain because you have paid all the costs to date, and you can be sure that you won't have any more bills.
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  • ladylou27886
    I don't agree you should have to pay
    If they offered to look after your dog, that means taking all the responsibility away from you. If they were concerned about an illness, they should have asked your opinion first before taking the dog to the vet. I think because they took the dog to the vet without consulting you, they should have to pay.

    And if they are well off, considering you have just had a baby and you're on maternity pay, I would have thought they'd have considered the fact that money might be tight and cover the costs themselves.....
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 6th Oct 10, 10:30 AM
    • 7,485 Posts
    • 10,867 Thanks
    KxMx
    If they were "looking after" then technically the dog is yours and you are responsible for the bills. Would you not also take the dog to the Vet if it was sick yourself?

    If they have taken in the dog permanently then that's another story obviously.
  • Pellyman
    Of course you should. Even if you think your in laws are being excessively cautious it's not your place to interfere - your spouse perhaps, but certainly not you. It's the price you pay for someone looking after your pet and probably scared stiff they don't do the job properly. How would you feel if they didn't take it to the vet and and the poor thing 'croaked'? More important how do you think they would feel?

    Are you getting bills for the dog's food etc. as well? If not, you are probably still breaking even.

    If you can't afford the dog you really should move it on to someone who can. If your spouse told their parents you were considering that option they may take the hint and stop giving you the bill. Better still they may have become so attached to the dog they offer to keep it as their own.
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