Pets: To Give Away Or Put To Sleep?

It's just a hypothetical question - but which would it be if you had to make a choice where the pet you love is concerned?


The other day, a friend brought someone over. One look at our young, active, crazy pup and she got all teary eyed. Apparently the year before, she suddenly got a posting out of the country and there was nothing she could do except leave her dog with an aunt - an aunt with a huge house, a huge garden - you'd have thought a dog would be ecstatic there. Try taking an apartment dog, used to being pampered, sleeping with his mistress in her bed, getting spoiled by the maids - to a farmhouse where he has to sleep outside, exposed to the elements, unloved, uncared for. He didn't survive one year - he ran out of the gate one day, got hit by a speeding car - and that was it.


There was a close friend who had to give his dog away. His little baby was allergic to fur and the doctor said the dog just had to go. He was lucky because his older daughter's friend who loved dogs took him in. They never went to see the dog for a whole year, giving him time to adjust to his new home. When they did think it had been long enough and went over, the dog saw them and cried like a baby. I don't think they will ever get over that!


That was when it hit me...what if it were me? What if I were in that position? Would I leave my pampered pet behind? If I did, would I have one good night's sleep, wondering how he was, what he was doing, whether he was happy, cared for, loved? I realized that none of the usual reasons people trotted out to get rid of a pet applied to me. I would probably find a hundred different reasons why I could never, ever leave him behind.


Then followed the unbidden thought - in case there was an emergency and there was no other alternative, would I rather put him to sleep? Theoretically, there were so many advantages - I would know for sure he was not being ill treated. I broached the thought at breakfast one morning. My logical businessman husband does not waste his time pondering over ‘What ifs' so he smiled and went back to reading the morning paper. My daughter pounced on me. ‘You can't be serious! You can't just snuff out his life when he's young and active. Old and ill, OK....maybe there's a case for that. But a young dog - Mum, what's gotten into you?" And our dog got an extra special hug from her, like I was some kind of a Dog Exterminating Monster.


Somehow, it's something that has been coming back to haunt me. What would I do? Right now, I can't really see a situation arising when it will be necessary. But if I were faced with a choice, what would I do? Would I be strong enough to be cruel in order to be kind? Or would I just leave him wherever to manage the best he can? And suffer as long as I lived, wondering if he was all right or not. Such a difficult decision - and one I pray I will never have to take.

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Comments 95 comments

Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

There are always alternatives to putting a healthy pet down. There are many no-kill shelters if you can't find a new home yourself. I have a cat and I'm considering putting him in my will so that he will be taken care of by someone I trust if anything happens to me.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India Author

Yes, I do agree. The question was hypothetical in my case. What I also realise is that I probably feel that I'm the best there is to look after him! Maybe that's where the problem lies.

That's such a wonderful thought - putting your cat in your will!


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago

I have owned my share of pets.  There were several occasions where I had to find homes for them.  I placed them with people I knew, or in the case of one, gave her to a no-kill facility.  One thing I never did was go visit them.  I would ask how they were doing, so visiting was not an option for me.  It would be too emotional both for me and my pet.

The thing about leaving your pets in your will is, even if it's someone you trust, once you're gone, there is no guarantee your wishes will be carried out.  I knew of a woman who left her elderly dog to her son, and he wasted no time in having the dog put down.

What would I do?  I can't answer that, since each situation has its own unique circumstances.  I would do what I thought was right, of course, and at that point could only hope it was the right choice.

Love the picture of the dog :)

Thanks for sharing,

Trish


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India Author

Thanks Trish - such a tough choice, isn't it! One I hope I'll never have to make!


TeriDoug profile image

TeriDoug 8 years ago

I can sympathize with your friend. I had moved to a place where they didn't allow pets so I had to find a home for my dog. I THOUGHT I had found a good home with a friend who had wanted him so I gave him to her. Nine months later I found out that she had put him down, for no other reason that she decided that she didn't want him after all. Needless to say I gave that person a piece of my mind and we haven't been friends since. I learned a very hard lesson that day.

Teri


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India Author

That's sad! What I suppose was even worse was wondering how much he must have suffered, feeling unwanted, after having lived in a home where he was loved!


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

I could not leave any cat or dog of mine. I have a cat and won't even stay out overnight because I don't like leaving her on her own here for long. I have turned down gigs in the UK because I have said I can't leave here to travel abroad because of my cat. I also worry about what would happen to my cat if I died. There's no point in me including her in a will because I have so little to leave behind of any material value that there is no way I could pay for her future upkeep.

I am convinced that animals give us unconditional love and sadly humans are often unable to return this. That humans consider themselves superior to animals makes no sense to me.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India Author

I totally understand! There's a veterinary college in South India that had this on their letterhead (must be from somewhere but I've no idea where!): 'Never call a man a dog, it's an insult to the dog.' That would go for cats and most pets too! For me, if I had to make a decision, I would rather put my dog to sleep - at least I'll know he was loved till his very last breath. It might sound cruel - but for me, I couldn't bear it if he were ill treated.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

Thankfully I have never been put in this position, but I know someone who was. After placing their much loved dog in a new home prior to emigrating to South Africa, they then changed their minds, took the dog back, and had him put to sleep. I could never think about that couple in quite the same way again, and I'm glad they're no longer part of my social scene.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 8 years ago from West Virginia

I could never do that---ever!! We were made after all the other stuff here on earth--so what does that tell you--we were second and they were first....period. We were made to take care of them and everything else---alot of good we are doing, huh?!


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

Bard of Ely said:

I could not leave any cat or dog of mine. I have a cat and won't even stay out overnight because I don't like leaving her on her own here for long. I have turned down gigs in the UK because I have said I can't leave here to travel abroad because of my cat. I also worry about what would happen to my cat if I died. There's no point in me including her in a will because I have so little to leave behind of any material value that there is no way I could pay for her future upkeep.

I am convinced that animals give us unconditional love and sadly humans are often unable to return this. That humans consider themselves superior to animals makes no sense to me.

I also could can't leave my pet, or my furry daughter as I call her. She is a huge part of my life, and I lover her. It is sad when people die or move and have to leave their pet, the pet feels the pain of being left behind. I have witnessed this many times. It would be nice if we could trust people to take care of our pets as much as we would but the sad truth is we can't trust most people to do that. I don't think we will ever be as evolved as our pets are in the aspect to love unconditionally. Humans are pretty sad creatures sometimes.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

To put down a healthy animal is just wrong. It is all about finding the right home for them if you really have to part with them. Many pets adopted from rescue centres go on to find fantastic homes, often better than their original home was. To put down a healthy animal to me seems unfair, and perhaps it is best not to take on pets in the first place if you could do that. After all, would you "put down" your child in the same circumstances?


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India Author

Amanda: did they do that because they were worried that he'd pine for them?

Lady G: I agree- humans can learn so much from animals and we were created to look after them!

gwendymom: It is the sad truth - one can't really trust anyone to look after our pet like we do.

mistyhorizon: I would hate to put an animal down too. There have been so many stories of pets finding a better home the second time around. However, truth be told, I'd think a child could manage better than a pet simply because it can communicate. A pet usually just feels so abandoned and lost when he's left. This was just hypothetical - like I said, I hope a time never comes when I am in that position of being forced to give my pet away! He, like all the other pets before him, is so much an essential part of our lives.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

Hi Shalini. Not altogether. They went to the dog's new home after he'd been there for a couple of weeks, and of course he came bounding up and made a big fuss of them, so they took this as a sign that he hadn't settled in, and rather than worry about how he was doing or trying to settle him elsewhere they had him put down.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 8 years ago from West Virginia

Amanada,

Wow what an awful story. That behavior also could have been that he liked it there and was also glad to see them. Dogs and cats and animals cannot talk in our human language, but can communicate telepathically and through body language. Mis-communication on their part ened this dog's life!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India Author

Rather sad that they had to go and mess up their pet's mind!


Carol 8 years ago

I believe when we take the responsibility for a critter, we need to be sure that pet is with us no matter what. Yes, I know "stuff" comes up. But we all know about allergies, jobs, etc. If those are potentials, even remotely, then maybe having an animal is not the best choice. These creatures are not disposable. I know it's an incredibly difficult choice for people who find themselves in that position, but I'd give up a job, or find a way to address the allergy issue (they are out there).


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

Wow! That is an impossible hypothetical. Considering my previous dogs (my kids), I can't even consider this question as a "what if". There has to be a different answer than the "either or" your hypothetical proposes. I would find it no matter what. Or...were you talking about cats....? Just kidding.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Cats? You can never get rid of them - don't even try! We've got a stray cat and 5 kittens in the garden and they think they own the place!

Yes, the question was hypothetical but it's such a huge decision if ever it were necessary!


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

Hello Shalini Kagal an intriguing question indeed. I think it's one of those hypothiticals that you can't really say what you would do unless your placed in that situation. I suppose it depends a lot on how desperate you are! . Fortunately in Melbourne where I live we have a number of places such as the RSPCA that will take an animal and find an adoptive family. Yes Chris even cats!

btw If that is your dog at the top he is magnifecent animal indeed!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for reading agvulpes. I do agree - you never know what decision you will take till you're faced with a stiuation like this - I just hope it never happens to me!


PRae 7 years ago

This is not a hypothetical for me tonight. Tomorrow we are giving our 1 1/2 yr old pup to a vet assistant in hopes that Jessie might regain her health! Jessie's been battling skin problems for 3 months, and when she was away from our farmstead (at the vet for several days), she got better. Her itching returns when she comes home, and now she's getting worse by the moment. Unable to determine the cause, we've arranged for this vet assistant lady to take her to her home, and hope that the seeming allery issue will go away for her.

My heart is breaking, as I don't know that this plan will even work. We have 4 small daughters as well, and we've spent hundreds of dollars for the necessary vet attention (switching vet clinics and driving an extra 70 miles fo better care). She is much too miserable and she's run out of "trial and error" time staying at our farmstead. Our family has experienced multiple bouts of staph infections (before we got her and after), so we can't be sure what's going on with her. Anyway, I found this page while surfing the web for a way to instantly cure her, keep her forever, and never worry about this matter! Unfortunately, our answer is to give her away and hope to avoid ending the life of one of the most beautfiul souls I've ever had the privelege to know! God Bless Jessie.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

PRae - I feel for you! Loving and hurting go together so often - and somehow a dog just becomes so much a part of you. The fact that she's with someone who you trust must alleviate the pain a bit - but it's still heartbreaking I'm sure - God Bless Jessie and you!


Vibhavari profile image

Vibhavari 7 years ago from India

Hi Shalini, this is something I've been thinking about ever since my dog went missing- would it be easier to deal with if I knew he was dead instead of missing? because when you know he is no more, you know he is with god, and thus not to worry anymore, then u can let go of worry, but not knowing what is happening to him while he is missing brings on feelings like- is he being well fed? is he in good health? is he being abused? then again knowing that he is alive gives you hope- maybe he will come home again oneday.

It is like a double edged sword! But you could for a minute put yourself in the dog's shoes- would you rather be alive than dead just because your owner can't keep you anymore for whatever reason. Are we taking into account the pet or are we only dealing with our feelings and conveniences? How can we decide what is best for someone else when we don't know what they want?

This brings me back to something I wrote about earlier- did nature intend animals to be domesticated? Do we have the right to keep animals as pets no matter how much we love them? Imagine being a bird and having to live in a cage instead of flying free- just because a human wants a pet! Can you really OWN another living being? does an animal really need a master? I've seriously been thinking about this lately, because of my lost dog. I need to do this soul searching before I go out and ever get another dog!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

I see your point Vibha but I feel once they come into your home, they are like children that need looking after - and the looking after never ends - they don't grow up and become self sufficient. What will be their feelings if we give them away? Who knows? They might just be very happy once they've adjusted into their new home. The thing is, they have no choice even if they aren't happy - they can't just get up and leave. If ever I were in that position what would upset me most was the not knowing!


The Industry Gian profile image

The Industry Gian 7 years ago from Winnipeg

My wife and I faced such a dilemna 12 years ago. Good fortune, saw us keep our pets. For that I am grateful.

One reason we should get our pets from a reputable breeder. Most have a return policy for their animals for whatever reason in their purchase contracts.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks for commenting Industry Gian. Yes, that might be an option - but whichever way, it still hurts!


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 7 years ago from London UK

Hi Shalini:)

im glad you ask a hyperthetical question and its not a situation or decision yiour in to make..,,If you HAVE to for what ever reasons, it would be much easier if you know how they are doing and that they are happy, cared for and loved...

I have a condition which cause me lots of pain, and someone said to me , what if it was your kitts that were the cause of pain would you give up them up!? I said and no without any hesitation and would not even consider it!

im just much like Bard on this one! i love my kittys so much its pretty crazy and miss them when im out!! I would not be so bad if i was living with someone! but they are house kittys cos i live on the top floor!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

Maybe I am too sensitive about the issue, but I do not even like the idea of putting pets down when they are in poor health.  My parents decided to do that with Lady dog and even though I knew she was in pain, it was not what I wanted.  I still feel it is robbing the pet by putting them down.  Just my strong opinion on the issue.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Hi compu-smart - I'm glad you have your cats to love - and I'm sorry to hear you have a condition where there's pain. Can I do anything to help? (I do have a Diploma in natural medicine :) ) Yes, if you feel they are going to be cared for and loved, it's fine - but you always wonder!

SweetiePie - I see your point. I don't like the idea of putting animals down unnecesarily either - this was just a meandering of my stupid mind :)


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

I think the choice of having a pet put to sleep rather than finding it a good home is a selfish one. It is all about the feelings of the person, not the pet. The pet would rather live. Trust me on this.

All you can do is make the best, most responsible choice of care provider possible, make a clean transition, and hope for the best. If some mishap occurs or things don't go well, you have done your best. If it is still possible to step in and set things right, you should, but if not, you must move on.

Yu may be interested in these 2 articles:

Dealing With The Loss Of Your Pet

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1261459/d...

A Time Of Mourning After Losing A Pet

http://hubpages.com/animals/A-Time-Of-Mourning-Aft...

:) Suzanne


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Hi justmesuzanne - thanks for the links!

Yes, I agree - it's more me than anything else :(


izettl profile image

izettl 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

You raise a good quesiton. My husband and I have been pondering this for a while. Our dog is a rescue, 6 years old- we've had him 5, and has bitten my cousin's child after the kid smacked him. But now that we have a little girl, we see his nervous snappy reactions around her and the vet has already told us to get rid of him.

We can't imagine anyone who would take him -he is not that old and already has a bad back and other health problems he is on medication for and he doesn't like children for sure. We take each day as it comes and watch him with our daughter very closely. She is 1 but we fear someday she will have friends over who will not respect our dog's space and he is basically a liability. The fact that we still have him is proof that it is a hard predicament to be in and not an easy decision.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Hi izetti - that must be really tough on you - especially as your little one is so young! I agree - it's not an easy decision by any standard and making that decision involves so much pain!


shastinaray profile image

shastinaray 7 years ago from Capay, California

I have two dogs and I had to get rid of my older one and it was the hardest thing to do for me. I cried like a baby

GREAT HUB!!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Yes, it's hard - there's nothing quite like the unconditional love that dogs shower on you, is there?


mayhmong profile image

mayhmong 7 years ago from North Carolina

I hate to admit it, but I had to put my kitten to sleep cuz I couldn't let him suffer anymore. It's a difficult choice because pets are just like family to us!

Thanks for sharing this hub


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thanks mayhmong for reading - yes, it is one of life's toughest decisions indeed!


Sorrel profile image

Sorrel 7 years ago from France

These stories are just heart wrenching.I could never have my dog put down if for some reason I could no longer heep him, though the circumstances would have to be exceptional for that to happen,Luckly, we look after a friends dog regualrly and they dog sit for us, the dogs are best of friends, are there is an unspoken agreement that if anything happens to one or other of us, the other would take the dog.

However, I also know situations where the family has chosen to have the dog put down before even looking at other options, and Ifond it very hard to look at this person in the same way again.

Interesting to see all the different comments and ways people cope. I think you have to be a pet owner and true animal lover to really understand


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

How true Sorrel - unless you own a pet and really love them, this whole heart-wrenching dilemma woulod never arise! Thanks for coming by and reading - and again, welcome to HP :)


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

Sheesh, giving it away you at least hope for the best but killing Fido is permanent.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

True Dolores - thanks for reading!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Here's a happy outcome (to balance out the tragedy a wee bit).

I got my old girl two years ago from a family member who had to give her up for the sake of the children's health and also because she was being bullied by their two other dogs. When Cinnamon sees her former owners, which happens a couple of times a year, she is ecstatic and so are they. There's no mistaking this happiness...this behavior does not indicate in any way that she hasn't adjusted well to her new home (unlike that tragic story above). It was a difficult decision for the previous owners to make. They had raised her from a pup and she was 8 years old when she came to live with me.

Just wanted to share a good outcome resulting from making a very painful decision. Great question you posed, Shalini.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Thank you Sally - as always, you open the window and let the winds of joy blow thru :) Cinnamon is one lucky girl!

Yes, it is a painful decision if it happens - I just pray I'll never have to make it!


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

I could not imagine being without our pets but you have made me really think about in case of emergency, I am not prepared now but I need to truly be. I never want to have to make any decisions regarding them as it would break my heart. :(


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India Author

Hi AEvans - thanks for reading. Sad to say, I'm not prepared to even think of taking a decision either!


GracieLinda profile image

GracieLinda 6 years ago from Brandon, FL

Why in the name of all that is holy is this an issue? No, you don't kill your pet due to your circumstances, what about theirs? I have 3 cats, 3 dogs, 1 fish and 1 frog. I live in Florida with hurricanes and I wouldn't leave them. The rest of my family can go if we can't find a place that will take them, but I won't. I love them, they love me. I will take my chances with them rather than them taking the chances without me.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

While that would be the ideal thing to do, unfortunately, very often, circumstances force you to choose!


GracieLinda profile image

GracieLinda 6 years ago from Brandon, FL

Did you have to do this? If so, what happened?

I have placed unwanted animals since childhood and I don't understand what would make a person have to do something like that.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

No I haven't and hope I never will. However, as the examples above show, there could be a time when a decision has to be taken.


GracieLinda profile image

GracieLinda 6 years ago from Brandon, FL

Shalini - It is a good topic to make people think. I did read a few, not all of them. I knew you hadn't had to do this but some of your answers made me wonder. No one wants to be in this situation and should make prearrangements for their pets, as well as themselves. There are a lot of rescue groups that offer help with coordination. You can get info from the county or the Humane Society. Call the ASPCA. they will help with what to do. There are resources and people need to use them before they decide to kill an animal that does not deserve this fate.

If the dog bites a child, it should be put down, if it is old and/or sick, yes. It is our duty to be both responsible and kind.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

Hi Gracie - yes, there are a number of rescue groups and this really was a hypothetical question. The only reason I raised it is because I've seen how pets can suffer when their owners leave them - because of illness, death, whatever. It's really heart-breaking.


Puppy love 6 years ago

What about if your dog was always sick and had the worst luck in the world!

My dog is 1.5 year old, the most adorable amazing natured mini shar pei you have ever seen! loves people, sleeping & cuddles.

Ever since we got him there has been problems..stung by a bee (was actually was dead on the floor and he picked it up which resulted in a very high fever etc) 3 shar pei fever episodes to date, almost died when being attacked by another dog, ongoing ear infections, a knee surgery and now the other leg is popping out too which will need surgery done to it as well and potential ear canal and eye surgery in the future.

All dogs want to attack him, we can't walk on the street without holding some kind of stick to protect him from other dogs. I think they just look and smell different which is a shame because he can never really enjoying being a dog and play with others.

Not only are we suffering but I am sure he is as well. Most of his life has been spent at the vets or on some kind of antibiotic. The money is no issue, I would happily keep playing to keep him well but he is only 1.5!

Yes it is cruel to put a healthy dog to sleep just because it is too hard for us humans but in my case I am faced with the question: is it cruel to keep a sick dog alive that will be suffering or recovering from some surgery or treatment all the time?

I would love to hear your thoughts...


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

Puppy love - that's so sad and such a difficult decision. I tend to agree with you - it's so hard to see them suffer so I guess it's cruel not to end it. Very tough decision - and heartbreaking either way - I feel for you :(


Puppy Love 6 years ago

Thanks Shalini,

We just returned from another vet consol that has heaps of experience with Shar Peis and she suggested we see a dermatologist along with an ear specialist to see what they can do but to be honest with our pups ears being the way they are the only option will be to have the ablation as lateral resection would be difficult. This means my poor puppy wakes up deaf!

This is very heartbreaking and we also are expecting our 1st child in a couple of months.. Just plan bad luck I tell you! I don't want to give up but I can't put him through anymore pain..it's just not fair.

We also spoke to the vet about rehoming him and to be honest no one would take such a potentially sick dog under their wing. Most people that look to rescue dogs look for at least health wise a well dog..who would take a dog knowing that it would need at least 4 more surgeries and god knows what else and he is only 1.5years old!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

Puppy love - this is such a sad and tragic state of things. I do agree with you - it's unfair to put him through more pain - and it's hard on you when there's a baby on the way too! I do hope you find a way to be able to take a decision here!


oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia

Hi. Shalini Kagal.This is a very difficult situation to be in.We were in a similar situation once,as we were going to live overseas for an unknown number of years,but the person that took our precious dog looked after him in the same way that he was used to.I guess you have to think of your pet first and foremost,and we were extremely lucky:) :)


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

Hi oliversmum - how lucky you and your dog are. Yes, there are a few people who will probably look after them the way you've done and finding them is really fortunate!


justm 6 years ago

I wish I knew the answer as I am facing a difficult decision. We have three burmese cats and the two sisters are carriers of MRSA (deadly staph infection) and keep infecting my mum with it. My mum almost died from this staph infection. Although the two cats are healthy and only carriers of the staph, I am faced with a horrible decision. I can't give them to someone else because they might infect them as well. They are only three years old and are family. My daughter is beside herself because we have to make a decision. I just don't know what to do and I am so torn. My mum hasn't been better in two months and her treatment is putting me in so much debt. I am so torn.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

Oh justm - what a terrible decision lies before you! It must be heartbreaking for you and your daughter. I do hope you find a way out!


heather 6 years ago

my problem would be that if i put them down i would regret it the rest of my life and if i gave them away i would feel like im letting them down, like they might feel unloved and unwanted and keep in mind they DO have feelings too.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

Oh yes, Heather - both ways are heartbreaking :(


n jay 6 years ago

i see what you are all saying and im in that situation right now, i have had my dog for 6 yrs now since he was a tiny baby, (well my Ex got him but as he grew he could not be bothered so i continued to look after him because i love him with all my heart) i am now in the situation were i am working full time and live by myself, my antie has just lost here dog of 13 yrs and has started minding my dog if i go away, she really wants to keep him as she loves him to bits, she does not work and he gets 2 walks a day, bt it will break my heart to give him away but i know he will b better of in a sence, do u think he will think i have abandond him and don't love him no more, please help me as my hearts ruling my head at presant!!!!!!


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Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

If you do decide to give him to your aunt, you're so lucky - at least she loves him and he's used to her. So it won't be like you are abandoning him - just leaving him in a place that he's familiar with and with someone who loves him and takes care of him!


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habee 6 years ago from Georgia

When I went through a divorce years ago, I had to give up my beloved Great Dane. Whenever we went to see her, she always tried to go home with us. She had a wonderful new home, however, so I knew she was taken care of.


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Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

Oh Habee - it must have been heart-breaking! I'm so glad you found a good home for her - but it still hurts, doesn't it?


 6 years ago

Shalini, what an interesting thread. Relationships come with responsibilities. I wonder if people really think before they enter into them, whether it is a pet or people, about their commitment. The statistics seem to indicate otherwise. This has made me think beyond my Labrador. Well done.


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Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

Hi there - commitment is key, I agree. And yet, with every good intention in place, one could still have to answer this question someday. Thanks for coming by!


Adriana 6 years ago

hi there,

I find myself in that position right now. I have had to live outside my country right now for financial reasons so I had to leave my dogs with my parents. But now my parents themselves are facing extreme financial difficulties and have had to rent the house. They need to move to another country soon where the dogs can´t go. The dogs are living at a boarding kennel for now and my parents visit frequently. I am doing the best I can to pay for their maintenance and pet passport, but I fear it just won´t be enough. I´ve got practialy no savings and already need to live more at work than at home. Plus I´ve been looking for any kind of pet-friendly housing for over 4 months with no success. I love my dogs but I feel maybe keeping them alive is actually the selfish decision.. they are old and some of them with chronic illnesses, plus they had extreme behavioral issues when I adopted them so they can´t just be placed anywhere..

I´m really torn in two right now.. My rational side tells me I should just put them all down and move on with my life, but I'm scared the guilt won´t let me move on. Those dogs have been my saviors in many difficult situations and I feel I owe them my life. I still think I´d rather live under a bridge with my dogs than anywhere else without them, but now I have to think about my parents as well... I´m really at a loss and could do with some outside perspective...

thx..


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Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

Adriana - I'm sooooo sorry to hear. Yes, it must be heart breaking. And yet, pets are so perceptive. They know that if you have to put them down, you're doing it only because you love them so much and want to spare them suffering. Talk to them, tell them and maybe then let them go to their doggie heaven where they will be free of their illnesses. I'm sorry I took so long replying but I was away from a computer. Hugs to you!


Adriana 6 years ago

thx for your support Shalini =)


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Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India Author

Take care Adriana!


Leila 5 years ago

These are amazing pets but it's sad watching them get put down it makes me cry


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Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India Author

Yes, Leila - it can be quite heartbreaking!


Diana 5 years ago

Hey , ive been reading all these comments to come to a good solution for my cat. The situation is heartbreaking cos i have a special bond with him which i don't think he would have with someone else , and i look at him as my baby.

Last year i went overseas twice cos of personal reasons i cant avoid. And i feel so sorry for my cat.

The first time i was away for 5 weeks and i left him with a friend i could trust cos she is an animal lover. The second time i was gone for 3 months and i left him with a neighbour. She was good to him but i knew in a way that he didn't have the same attention and love like i have been giving him. Now in a week im going away again. I don't know how long but at least a year is the plan and im confused and beyond sad about what i have to do. Its been talking back and forth about what's best for him. I have also tried to find him a home but no response and my family is not willing. They just tell me to put him down which i find rather selfish. Cos i don't see why i have to put down a healthy , happy , loving cat? But then im thinking ...is it fear to keep him alive and be wondering if hes alright? All these feelings and thoughts is confusing me cos i don't know what the right decision is.

And he was a homeless cat who i rescued cos his last owner abandon him. So i feel like im betraying him and not being there for him... it hurts so much but im sure he will suffer more without me. Could you give me your opinion please?

- Diana


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Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India Author

Hi Diana - it's so difficult and yet, I feel it's better to be cruel to be kind. When they love you so much, they miss you terribly too and you might want to spare your cat that pain.


Diana 5 years ago

hey yes thats true , i don't want him to suffer and to share a bond with someone else than me , he knows me the best. Im his mother and i know he loves me unconditionally like i do him... its just very painful and i don't know if i manage to put him down... its so devestating. I preciate your reply , thanks!


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Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India Author

Hi Diana - I hope whatever decision you arrived at, you and your pet are at peace.


Chantal Van Der Berg 5 years ago

I am currently looking for a puppy a cross between a yourkie and dutchund if any of you know of someone who want to give theirs away. I live in South Africa in Northwest Rustenburg and my phone number is 0719251966 I can also be contacted via email at chantalakapoohbear@gmail.com Please if any of you know of someone who have a puppy like that and need a good home please contact me Kind Regards and puppy love ;-))


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Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India Author

Hi Chantal - I do hope you get just the pup you want!


seanorjohn profile image

seanorjohn 4 years ago

It is areally tough decicision ending the life of a loved pet. In this harsh economic climate more pets are being put down. Vets bills are too high and insurance is rising. More animal welfare charities will hopefully spring up.


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Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Hi seanorjohn - yes, it's so tough, isn't it?


pompeii 4 years ago

hi all, I have a 2 year old cat who has lived with me in 4 different houses and I love him more than anything. I just now broke up with my boyfriend and have to go back to my dad's house in spain ( I currently live in liverpool ), alas I can't take him with me. He doesn't have all the vaccination and is going to take a lot of time and money to sort out and I only have 8 days until I live. the honest to god truth is that what is hurting me the most is not the break up, considering that I'm 2 months pregnant and getting a degree and after 4 years in uk I now have to star over again and lose everything, go home and bring up a baby alone. What is killing me is the thought of not having my cat with me. that is the main reason I've cried ever since the break up, I don't know anyone here and can't bear the thought of living him alone, of course my ex doesn't want him. I always thought I'll be ready in case of an emergency like having to leave the country, but because I thought I had met my partner for life and we had planned a family and everything, I didn't give much importance to sort out the cat's passport, etc... Now I am scared what is going to happen to him, I wish I could take him with me or come back to pick him up soon, but I just can't. don't do like me and get ready for emergencies because you don't know when are they going to happen. I can't imagine putting him down,he's only 2 years old and very active, but I can't bare the idea of being apart. whoever read this, learn from me, a pet is a commitment for life, don't leave anything until the last minute, not even if you think everything is fine. is good to have a plan in case of emergencie. I love my cat so much and I feel such a failure


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Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

I'm so, so sorry - but don't blame yourself. It's hard but maybe you could put up a poster at the vet's or the pet store so someone kind and caring can take him in? I do hope you find the right answer!


Jillian 4 years ago

I have found myself in an awful situation and I literally don't know what to do. We have had our dog for 3 years and we love him to bits. He sleeps in our bed, we take him for country walks every day, he has pretty much been the centre of our lives since day one.

He was a rescue dog and was mistreated during the first six months of his life. We noticed a little while ago that he was unsure around children, but since we were very rarely around children, initially we didn't think it was too serious. This Christmas, however, he snapped and growled at a toddler in our company, and although he never bit her, I am not convinced he wouldn't have, had I not removed him from the room.

He is very boisterous and protective (he is a terrier) but, other than the child issue, he is a very obedient, tactile and smart dog.

Here's the problem. I'm pregnant. I know that we can't keep him because of his behaviour around kids and my child obviously comes first. I would never forgive myself if we kept the dog and something bad happened so as soon as I found out that I was pregnant we bravely decided to find him a new home.

I have been honest about his behaviour as I don't want him placed unwittingly with a family, this could risk him harming a child or being moved on yet again, which I really don't want to happen. I also really can't face putting him in a shelter because he spent the first part of his life in one, in a concrete space, behind bars. I'm worried he won't get rehomed and spend the rest of his life confused and unloved and i will spend the rest of my life wondering if he is okay. The vet has suggested putting him to sleep but he is only three and I know he could be such a good friend to someone. It has been five months since we started trying to find a new home for him and so far, nothing. I'm due in two and a half months and I can't stop crying every time I look at him because I just can't see a way out of this.

I never, ever wanted to give him away, so I understand all the people on here saying "I could never give my pet away or put him to sleep" etc, but sometimes circumstances take these things out of your hands. To those people I ask genuinely, what would you do if you were in my position?


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Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Hi Jillian - what a hard decision you face. And yet, you have to think of the baby as well - that is your priority. Wouldn't it be better to put him to sleep rather than not knowing if he were happy or not? He is with you - and you've been good to him - at least he'll go happy.


RPrevoltion 4 years ago

Izetti,

We have a dog who doesn't like children too. I always keep an eye on the dog and my 2 year old. They have learned to stay away from each other. I babysit other children and the dog stays outside, or in another room when children are over. The children know he is not friendly. My dog was my first baby and getting rid of him at age 11 was not an option. Other people don't have to understand. If you love your dog, keep him.


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Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

If you love your dog, yes, keep him. And I hope every dog lover gets to do that and does not come to a point where he or she has to make a choice!


Kala 4 years ago

wow this hits the hard spot im being forced with this decision and its killing me but i cant live with wondering for the rest of my life is he in good hands? is he being loved the same as i have loved him? i would much rather know that hes in Gods hands and can no longer suffer by the hands of men. i don't want him to ever think what did he do wrong. But sometimes love means letting go when you want to hold on tighter and your statement "Would i be strong enough to be cruel in order to be kind" sticks with me because i only have one more day.


stl 4 years ago

So I have a 11 year old collie that has really bad allergies. And we have tried all kinds of different meds and the last one that seemed to work, just stopped working as well. It's like he got used to them. The vet also told me that the medicine would hurt his kidneys in the long run. He also has one eye that has gotten cloudy (not sure why). he just seems like he is sleeping and eating and not really wanting to do much else. I have been avoiding making the call to the vet because we had previously talked about that if this medicine didn't work that he might have to be put to sleep. I don't want to put him to sleep but I feel like he is suffering. I am taking him to the vet on thursday to see what his options are, but I don't feel like it is going to be a good outlook.


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Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Hi Kala - whatever decision you made must have been hard. I do hope you feel you made the right one.

Hi stl - that's so sad. I hope your collie goes peacefully!


jack 4 years ago

hi i have a 11 year old sheep dog and her legs are playing up is it crule of me letting her suffer or should she be better off being put down ???????


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Shalini Kagal 4 years ago from India Author

Dear Jack - I feel for you! I do hope you make the decision that you can live with. To see a dog suffer is so hard - to see a dog go is as hard - so the choice really is yours :(


loved animals 3 years ago

What does one do if they have lost their job and have multiple cats for many years. All rescues and now I don't know if I can keep them . (3) over the age of 10, (1) 7yr.old, (1) 6yr.old and finally (1) 3yr old. The older ones

are very, very needy and I don't think they could adjust to another home. I may have to move back to Canada of I can't find work here, my time is running out. Will I ever be forgiven if I put them to sleep and not have to worry for the rest of my life if they were taken care of. Please help me with any thoughts or advice. I am more than heart broken...


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Shalini Kagal 3 years ago from India Author

So sorry to hear about your dilemma - it is finally your decision. Will they be happy is you leave them with someone else? If it is a categorical No, you have your answer. It's so hard, isn't it?

I'm so sorry!

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