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Featured Is "putting down" a beloved pet acceptable to God?

Discussion in 'Requests for Christian Advice' started by grandvizier1006, May 16, 2019.

  1. grandvizier1006

    grandvizier1006 Still a human by God's grace Supporter

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    My cat is fifteen years old and I love her very much. She's such a sweet cat that doesn't ask for much other than love, food, water and places to sleep. I know that she's approaching the end of her life, even though right now she doesn't show any signs of it. Eventually, my family will have to "put her down", which is what I understand happens to most pets when they get old and won't likely recover from something. Yes, you can wait for your pet to die naturally, but people hate seeing their pets in pain and suffering. I probably will, too, but honestly I don't know if I could bring myself to euthanize my cat if she was suffering. I'd much rather be there by her side and wait for her to die naturally. For all I know, even an old, dying pet doesn't want to die even if there's little hope of survival.

    But is this acceptable? Do we as humans have the authority to dictate when a life ends and when to take it? Even if it's just an animal life? I understand that a lot of Christians are against euthanasia and claim that we don't have the authority to take a life just because a person is suffering, and neither does that person. But it seems like this doctrine only extends to humans and not pets.
     
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  2. anna ~ grace

    anna ~ grace Newbie Supporter

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    I share your sentiments, and feelings on this. I have never fully understood "putting a pet down", just as I have never understood the supposed mercy of slowly starving an elderly patient with dementia to death. :(

    It just seems cruel. If we love something or someone, we keep them alive, and take care of them. Not kill them.
     
  3. devin553344

    devin553344 I believe in the Resurrection

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    I wouldn't euthanize my cat if just for old age. I think that's hypocritical of humans. To euthanize animals but not humans. At least that's my view on it.
     
  4. crossnote

    crossnote Berean Supporter

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    In the old testament the Hebrews were required to take in a baby lamb for a few weeks and then after the family became attached to it, they were told to sacrifice it. So no, I don't believe it is wrong to put down a pet but it is eeexxxtreeemely hard to.
     
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  5. grandvizier1006

    grandvizier1006 Still a human by God's grace Supporter

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    I don't know if I'll get the choice. I (and the cat) still live with my parents. More than likely if I move out of the house before the cat dies, then she won't come with me as she doesn't like travelling anywhere. She's lived in the house with our family her whole life.
     
  6. timewerx

    timewerx the village i--o--t--

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    We are not supposed to work on the Sabbath....

    But Jesus worked on the Sabbath....

    Noting those are good works of mercy...

    We are not supposed to kill...

    But if killing will be more merciful....
     
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  7. tampasteve

    tampasteve ✞ High Church Lutheran ✞ Staff Member Administrator CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team Supporter

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    In the end, they are animals, and putting them down is not wrong or against God in any way, if it is for mercy and not simply because we want to. That does not make it any easier, or the decision any lighter. Having to make that choice is heart wrenching for a loved pet. I have two dogs now and I dread the day in the future that we have to face that decision.

    However, it is not proper to compare animal euthanasia to human euthanasia/murder. Animals cannot understand the pain, suffering that they might go through like a human can. I had a dog when I was younger that had terminal cancer - it had spread throughout her lymph nodes. We had the option to treat her, but chose instead to euthanize her. Likely the treatment would only have prolonged her life a few more months anyways. Since then several family members have had to go through cancer treatment - and it was very tough on them. They were able to get through it and are doing well, but they could understand what was happening, why they were suffering in order to get better. Animals would not know why they are suffering, why it hurts all the time, it would not be fair to a dog to put them through that if there is little chance they would survive, or only to survive for another year.

    We had another dog that was 18 years old, she had lost most of her sight, most of her teeth, and was not able to hold her bladder any longer. At the end she had not eaten for several days, and barely drank any water. Would it have been better to let her waste away in pain and suffering for another few days for her to die naturally? Humans can be given drugs to ease their pain before death, animals are not. We opted to have her put to sleep at home with her family, just typing this makes me tear up. But it was the right decision, she was dying, and to let her go on would have been a worse decision than making the tough choice we did.
     
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  8. Lost4words

    Lost4words Jesus I Trust In You Supporter

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    Thats one reason i refuse to go to the vets!
     
  9. JacobKStarkey

    JacobKStarkey Well-Known Member

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    A pet that is suffering extremely with no hope of recovery must be put down if one understands why we have pets.

    A pet teaches us the opportunity to love and shelter and feed and warm.

    A pet teaches us compassion and humaneness.

    A pet teaches us the death comes to all. It is our duty to shelter our little 'friends' from the horrors of ongoing agony and pain.

    A pet does not understand death but does feel ongoing pain and believes that will be its state forever more. It thinks that will be its state forever more, yes.

    You will know when it is time to do so.

    I have had to do this several times, and, I thought one of those times that I was going to go crazy because of my love for my little friend. I did not want him to leave! Ever!!

    But I put its need before mine, and I am, despite all of the pain I felt emotionally, convinced to this day that I did what a loving Savior would counsel.

    Knowing everything I know now, I of course would do it again.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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  10. crossnote

    crossnote Berean Supporter

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    It's another reason we refuse to have any more pets.
     
  11. Lost4words

    Lost4words Jesus I Trust In You Supporter

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    I know i look young in my pic but i am over 50!
     
  12. JacobKStarkey

    JacobKStarkey Well-Known Member

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    That's a 50 year old puppy that can write?
     
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  13. Lost4words

    Lost4words Jesus I Trust In You Supporter

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    I can use a keyboard! It has BIG keys on it

    Only problem i have, is dribbling all over it while typing!
     
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  14. JustRachel

    JustRachel He welcomed me back! <3 Supporter

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    Your kitty may live a while yet. We put ours down at 19. We returned from a trip and she was in some terrible pain. She wouldn't stop yowling. I slept with her that night and the next day, it was done. I can't imagine not having helped take her pain away.
     
  15. All4Christ

    All4Christ ✙ The Handmaid of God Laura ✙ CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    It is a very tough decision. My family's black lab got terminal cancer and was literally wasting away. She wouldn’t and eventually couldn’t eat, she was only able to lie down and whimper (which she never did willingly), and her bodily functions started to shut down. The doctor said there wasn’t any hope, so we eventually “put her down”, as it seemed selfish to watch her suffer. It’s not an easy thing to do. I still miss her years later.


    ETA: There is a difference between human and animal euthanasia. While the underlying reasons for euthanasia may be similar, the nature of the human soul makes one acceptable at times albeit extremely difficult (pets), and one unacceptable (humans). I wouldn’t do it lightly though, and not just because of old age.
     
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  16. DennisTate

    DennisTate Newbie Supporter

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    Little Colton Burpo whose near death experience at three years and ten months was made famous by the book Heaven is for Real saw lots of animals in heaven.

    One near death experience in six involves a meeting with a deceased pet.



    Near-Death Experiences with Pets
     
  17. Andrew77

    Andrew77 The walking accident Supporter

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    Do we as humans have the authority to dictate when a life ends and when to take it?

    Yes. If we can't kill any living thing, we'd all starve to death. Plants die too. So can't eat anything anywhere.

    You realize that in the very act of taking a bath, that you are killing millions of living animals? Micro-organisms living on your skin, die horrible deaths being dissolved in lye.

    The only difference between one animal, and another, is that you like this animal, and don't like the others.

    Similarly, if you had an infestations of bed bugs, or roaches, or termites.... you wouldn't wait until every inch of your body was chewed up every night, or until you heard crunching noises under your feet when you went to the bathroom at night, or until the entire house caved in on you... you would kill those animals.

    So killing animals is normal, and acceptance. Killing another human, just simply is not. Why? Because we are made in the image of G-d. We are different from the animals.



    So the bottom line is, with a pet, it is humane to put the pet down if you know it is suffering. There is no value in allowing a pet to live in agony when the end is a given.
     
  18. rhawk

    rhawk I'm a CAT-HOLIC, proud cat parent & Catholic. Supporter

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    You have received a lot of replies and many of them said things I would too, so I'll not reinvent the wheel here.
    I will say this, 15y for a cat is not a death sentence. Focus on your kitty and love her and soak in her unconditional love. One day, no matter how it happens, euthanized or natural death, she won't be with you and it will be painful for a time. But over time the pain will subside and you will remember her fondly.
    I have lost cats at 3y, 7y, 10y, 12y and 17y. My sister had a cat that lived to 24y. You just never know when and how and I just cannot dwell on the inevitable, lest I want to live my life in pain. I love my cats very much and do all I can to make them comfortable and when they get ill I do all I can do to make them well. If there is nothing to be done I do what I can to extend their life with a quality worth living. Right now we have 4 senior cats (this summer they will be 16 and 17) and ALL of them have issues now and 3 of them have issues that will one day lead to their death (renal failure). 2 of them are ill enough that we cannot guess how long they may have. We thought Orion was not going to make it in October, but he pulled through, though he will never be 100%. Now Andromeda is our worry.

    I will add your kitty to my prayers and hope she remains healthy for a long time. Know that when the time does come, you have people on this site who are happy to offer a shoulder to cry on and who have gone through it themselves, so know the sadness and pain.
     
  19. Joined2krist

    Joined2krist Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    If she's healthy, don't do it.
     
  20. grandvizier1006

    grandvizier1006 Still a human by God's grace Supporter

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    Thanks for all of the advice. I should explain that I'm not putting her down soon or anything. Right now she's fine and healthy. I just wanted to have a discussion on the issue now so that when the time comes, I'll know what to do and it won't hurt my conscience as much.
     
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