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Pet in need of expensive medical procedure

Question:

My daughter’s guinea pig needs a medical procedure (and possibly subsequent procedures as well) that will cost thousands of dollars. Otherwise, it will continue (increasingly) to suffer until it dies. What are my moral obligations in this regard? I do have the money to pay for the procedure, but I also know that I could be spending that money for other things instead, or saving it for a rainy day. How important is the life of my daughter’s pet? Thank you!

 

Answer:

Thank you for your question.

Morally you are not obligated to spend money, especially such a crazy amount of money, to pay for medical procedures for the pet. If you have the money and can afford it, spend it by feeding hungry poor people. According to halacha, while we may not cause suffering to an animal, we are not obligated to lose money in order to save it from suffering. On the other hand, since the pet is suffering, it is best to have it killed in order to end its suffering. (It is not considered making it suffer, rather ending its suffering). As a side point, you will also have plenty of money left over to get your daughter a different pet.

Best wishes

Sources:

שלחן ערוך הרב הל’ עוברי דרכים וצער בעלי חיים סע’ ג’ “ומשום צער בעלי חיים לא חייבה תורה אלא להטריח גופו אבל לא להפסיד ממונו. ולכן אין אדם חייב להאכיל בהמת חבירו או של הפקר משלו. ומכל מקום נכון להשליך חתיכה קטנה לפני כלב להדמות בדרכי הקב”ה שמרחם עליו ומשהה אכילתו במעיו ג’ ימים מעת לעת הואיל ומזונותיו מועטים.”

 

וע’ גם בס’ נפש כל חי פרק ה’ הערה ג’ מכמה אחרונים שאין איסור צער בעלי חיים בממית בהמה.

 

 

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