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Destroying Elderly Dogs

I have 2 elderly dogs who are fit and healthy on meds but without them they would suffer and die. What is the Halacha on having them destroyed by the vet? I want to move to another state to become observant but cannot really look after them if I take the job I am applying for there.


It is permitted to put down the dogs in a manner that won’t cause them to suffer.


Unlike human beings, the principle prohibition with regard to animals is causing them pain and suffering.

It is of course permitted to kill animals for the purpose of human consumption, and many authorities rule that the prohibition of causing an animal suffering does not apply to actually killing the animal (see Maharshal, Yam Shel Shlomo, Bava Kama 10:38; Noda Biyhuda 2, Yoreh De’ah 10; Taz, Yoreh De’ah 116:6; Avodas Ha-Gershuni 13; among others).

Although some authorities are stringent about this matter (see Sha’ul U-Meishiv II, Vol. 3, no. 5), if a financial loss is involved all will agree that it is permitted, and the case of the question involves a financial loss.

It remains preferable, of course, to find an alternative option, but where there isn’t one it is therefore fine to have the dog put down. See also Techumin 10, p. 258.

Best wishes, and apologies for the delay in replying.

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