Are Pets More Important Than Family?

When is it time to tell a family member to suck up their issues and get their priorities straight? Is it even appropriate to do so?

I got a call from my friend today complaining about her family's issues with their pets. My friend and her siblings live with their Aunt and Uncle. The kids attend college, the Aunt a displaced homemaker, the Uncle a... well, let's just say he's lost more than one job due to "innapropriate behavior" and now he cannot find a job (not that he's looked or applied much).

This particular family also had 4 dogs and two cats. Three of the dogs were the Uncles. The fourth the Aunt's. Because the Uncle has not "been able" (I use that term loosely) to find work since last year the family can no longer afford to feed the animals and cannot get by on what little money they do have coming in without assistance.

Let me just say, this Uncle never trained his dogs, never takes them for walks, pretty much doesn't take care of them. He makes his nephew feed them instead of getting off his butt to do it himself. The dogs have to be taken to the vet to have foxtails removed from their ears and throats numerous times a year, each dog costing the family at least 500-900 per visit, draining the family of what little money they have and sending them further into debt and depression... The Uncle won't even mow the backyard to prevent foxtails...

My friend recently told me how she was finally able to convince her Aunt to surrender the oldest dog a few months ago. The Uncle goes into a psychotic dramatic episode whenever the possibility of giving up his main precious dog is discussed. Alicia (my friend) said that whenever the possibility is discussed and he's away from home he suddenly goes into a state of emergency and threatens to rush home to defend his poor doggy's! How can someone pretend to care about his or her pets so much when said person doesn't even take care of them? And how can someone pretend to care about their pets more than they even care about their own family? The Uncle has rarely ever spent time with Alicia or her siblings.


The Aunt's dog was discovered to have an absess tooth, which, of course, they cannot pay to fix. Now the Aunt is forced to find a rescue home for her dog. This makes her even more depressed than she already is. Alicia said her Aunt told her that she has gone into "flight mode" which means that the Aunt is ready to tell everyone in the family to screw themselves and to leave her alone and that she's about to pack her things and leave for good, never to talk or see anyone from the family ever again!

How sad is this? Since when do animals or pets become more important than our own families? And when you tell someone in your family this very thing, how is that supposed to make them feel? Knowing that someone cares more about a stupid animal than their own neice or nephew or family in general is really sad!

Alicia said she wanted to tell her Aunt to stop cauing drama and to get over herself. And to tell her that animals are not more important than family and how sad it was that her Aunt valued pets more than her own family. Yes, my friend understands how hard it is to give up a pet that's loved, but that pet is still only a pet and not family of your own flesh and blood!

What is this world coming to??? I just don't get how people can be so senseless!

Alicia has already convinced her Aunt to convince her Uncle to give away or sell his other dog (not the main precious one) so I'm sure she will convince her to give the dog to the rescue along with her Aunt's. At least that will leave one dog and one cat.

Oh, Alicia and the Aunt took the other cat, Alicia's brother's kitten (who he was told he couldn't keep, but the Uncle relented without discussing it with the Aunt) to a park far away from the house and dropped it off in the grass and drove away... I sure hope that cat found a good home to infest with all it's fleas! I visited Alicia at her house once and I swear I am still picking fleas out of my hair! From one visit!!!

Alicia's brother thinks the cat took off on it's own free will. Or that the neighbors started feeding it and it lives with them now, which actually happened to Alicia's former cat many years ago. The closest she came to getting her cat back was to get it next to the fence, other than that it just wouldn't come back!

Anyway, that's my rant for the day. Feel free to weigh in your comments!

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