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Is it cruel to return a pet?

 
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 10:02 am
My DD, age 12, begged for guinea pigs last year. She spent several weeks researching and used her own money to buy a cage and and then adopted 2 guinea pigs (because it's better they live in pairs) from the humane society.

Anway, it's a year now and I have to pester her everyday to make sure they have food, hay and water. And to clean their cage. She does not enjoy them anymore.

It's a lot of work.

I would like them to be taken care of and would rather return them to the humane society.

Is it cruel to my daughter? I really do not like fighting with her about them yet she doesn't want to give them up. I can understand.
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amother




Pearl
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 10:06 am
At age 12 she should be able to understand that if she can’t take care of them without being pestered, she’s going to have to give them up - can’t get the best of both worlds!

That said, had you asked before getting them last year I would’ve advised that kids getting pets, no matter how responsible they are and how much they promise to take care of everything, is not a good idea unless a parent wants the pet too, and is prepared to be at least somewhat involved in its care.
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amother




Periwinkle
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 10:09 am
Not easy yet sometimes the better choice
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amother




Lavender
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 10:11 am
Sometime during Corona, my kids begged for a hamster .
All 3 agreed to take care of him. It was all working out fine.
Me& husband weren’t involved at all.
Sometime later on in the year, we also ended up getting a dog.
Even for 3 kids 2 pets ended up being too much work.
We as parents do help out w/the dog .
We gave them many chances to keep taking care of the hamster . They really couldn’t .
So we returned hamster to the store
Kids understood why & agreed
I don’t think parents need to be involved in care of small pets, if kids are able to do it
Large pets do require extra work .
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amother




Goldenrod
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 10:12 am
How long do they live for? I had this with my son and his hamster. I actually never considered returning it, but eventually it did die Smile
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amother




Puce
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 10:15 am
It is not cruel, it is humane to the animals and to your child. You need to find a home where they will be properly cared for.

Having pets is a great responsibility. Halacha addresses this as well. I have had many pets in my home and my children learn and understand the halacha of animal ownership. I am not the caretaker, and I will rehome the animals if my children do not follow their obligations.

I see families re-homing rabbits and guinea pigs all the time. How do you think your guinea pigs got to the Humane Society in the first place?

No guilt. Find the owner who will best care for the animals.
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amother




Scarlet
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 10:16 am
I don’t think you can just give them back against her will nor should you clean/care foe them.
Help her set up a schedule, give her a time line with a ultimatum-they go back, and then step away and let her be responsible or they go back.
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amother




Sapphire
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 10:25 am
For future reference, parents should never say yes to a pet unless they are prepared to do 100% of the work themselves. It's fine to have the kid promise to do it and then to do your best to enforce that promise, but you can't be certain up front about what a child will do next week, much less next year or next decade. You can only be certain about yourself.

If your daughter won't take proper care of them, either you and DH have to, or you can try to rehome the pets. I don’t know what their odds of adoption would be vs. being euthanized if returned to a shelter, but that is something you could ask the shelter about.
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ra_mom




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 10:25 am
Talk to her. Tell her the guinea pigs are suffering and it's tzar baalei chaim. If she doesn't understand, then ask her how she thinks a baby would feel if his diaper was not changed and he sat in his own filth, if his water wasn't filled as often as he was thirsty, if he only had stale food and not fresh for each meal.
Ask her what she thinks should be done for the guinea pigs?
If she comes up with a solution to take responsibility and better care of the pets, then tell her that you will make a trial run of 2 weeks. And if the guinea pigs are still being neglected, you will have to return them because they shouldn't suffer. Sit with her while she makes a visual chart to check off every day, which will work as a reminder for her, and so you can see where she's up to without nagging.
Do NOT remind her once in those 2 weeks. You need to see if she will really take responsibility or if the guinea pigs need a new home.
You can slip them some food when she's not around if see they haven't eaten to make sure they are ok.
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ra_mom




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 10:30 am
amother [ Goldenrod ] wrote:
How long do they live for? I had this with my son and his hamster. I actually never considered returning it, but eventually it did die Smile

Guinea pigs live an average of 8 years (can be as many as 12).
Hamsters live an average of 1.5 - 2 years (can be as much as 2.5).
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amother




Goldenrod
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 10:37 am
ra_mom wrote:
Guinea pigs live an average of 8 years (can be as many as 12).
Hamsters live an average of 1.5 - 2 years (can be as much as 2.5).


Then yes, please return it. Also my son is younger and has emotion regulation issues. But a normal 12 year old should be able to understand that if she isn't taking care of it and you don't want to be saddled with it then it gets returned.
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 10:41 am
I just can't imagine taking them back to the Humane Society. She will be an emotional mess. I can give her an ultimatum but eventually, I feel her interest will wane again. Her time is consumed by other things.

As it is now, the guinea pigs are cared for because I constantly have to be on top of her to do it. But it's not pleasant.
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amother




Puce
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 11:24 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I just can't imagine taking them back to the Humane Society. She will be an emotional mess. I can give her an ultimatum but eventually, I feel her interest will wane again. Her time is consumed by other things.

As it is now, the guinea pigs are cared for because I constantly have to be on top of her to do it. But it's not pleasant.


I hear you. It sounds like YOU are taking responsibility for the animals. That is certainly an appropriate choice that ensures their care. As long as you don't harbor resentment and it doesn't negatively impact your relationship with your daughter.

BTW, rehoming animals doesn't mean the Humane Society. It means trying to find them a home. You would need to take the role of humane Society and find them a home if possible. Facebook marketplace, or a guinea pig lovers community website/ board posting.
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ra_mom




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 11:42 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I just can't imagine taking them back to the Humane Society. She will be an emotional mess. I can give her an ultimatum but eventually, I feel her interest will wane again. Her time is consumed by other things.

As it is now, the guinea pigs are cared for because I constantly have to be on top of her to do it. But it's not pleasant.

Some things to think about. Constantly nagging her, and you being resentful, can ruin your relationship with your daughter. Avoiding responsibility and being nagged, can hamper how she deals with responsibility as an adult. Good luck with it all! We have a GP and I understand your predicament.
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rachel6543




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 11:58 am
If I were in your situation, I would re-home the pets. The agreement was for your daughter to care for them. Since she hasn’t lived up to her end of the bargain and you’re doing all the work, unfortunately, it’s time for them to find a better caring home.

Age 12-13 is more than old enough to learn there are real world consequences for not being responsible and honoring commitments. And some kids need to learn things the hard way.
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amother




Cyan
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 12:07 pm
My 18 year old sister got herself a dog. The poor thing would be soooo much happier somewhere else. She doesn't take good care of him and he's not trained and she never walks him or takes him out.

It's painful to think about. She won't give him up though. She insists her would miss her but she's a horrible pet owner.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jan 24 2021, 3:03 pm
I have to say that I love reading all of these posts, showing so much concern for the welfare of pets.

OP, I don't think the Humane Society is a good idea. They are often overcrowded, and if your pets do not get snatched up right away, they will be euthanized.

I think it will be easier for your DD to accept if she could know for a fact that you handed them over to a good home, and not just some organization.

Like others have said, try Facebook, and also see if there is a guinea pig rescue group in your area. With so many kids going crazy from quarantine, I'll bet you can find a good home right away.

Do give your DD one more chance to be responsible, though. If she really can't do it, at least it will help her with closure.
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