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Destroying, castrating or spaying animals
novanoahide Wrote:My parents have two cats at their house that have been in the family for about 12 years. Because of damage to property caused by the cats, and a general unwillingness to continue caring for them, they want the cats out of the house, and there is no one else in the family with the ability to take them.
So I have two questions relating to this situation:

1. Who is considered the owner of the cats and therefore responsible for them? My brother and I are the ones who initially brought them home some 12 years ago ...

From your account of the history of this situation, you would be justified if you left the responsibility for the cats with your parents, since they have already accepted practical responsibility for these pets for many years. If they claim that the cats belong to you, you can remind them that you abandonded your ownership of the cats years ago. Of course they have the option to seek secular legal advice about that if they want to. But if the situation starts to get contentious, you should consider the merit you will have in being careful to honor your parents.

If it is just a problem that the cats are damaging your parent's property, they can be de-clawed for this reason, or humanely confined to an area where they won't be able to cause damage.

novanoahide Wrote:2. If we are unsuccessful in finding a suitable adopter for them, what are the implications of giving them to the local animal shelter? ... Is it considered cruelty to animals, or "destroying one of G-d's creations wantonly," to leave older, unwanted, but not necessarily sick and dying pets with a shelter, knowing they have a chance of being adopted, but most likely euthanized?

If you leave them at an animal shelter where there is a reasonable probability that they will be humanely treated and eventually adopted, you can rely on that probability to remove your parents from responsibility for the lives of the cats, if they leave you with no other acceptable choice.

Our overseeing Rabbi, Rabbi Moshe Weiner, says it appears that a person has no permission from G-d to perform a “mercy killing” of an animal. This means that if one sees an animal that is sick or injured, even it if will surely die, he should not kill it just from the desire to end its suffering. If there is a practical benefit the person can legally derive from some part or all of the animal's carcass, it is OK to kill the animal and follow through with that purpose.

Messages In This Thread
RE: Destroying an Animal - by rabbiyitz - 07-13-2007, 07:06 AM
Destroying pests - by Donny - 07-25-2007, 11:44 AM
RE: Destroying pests - by Director Michael - 07-26-2007, 03:58 PM
Castration of sheltered pets - by bdschuh - 04-11-2008, 03:16 AM
RE: Hunting - by Director Michael - 01-08-2009, 03:32 PM
RE: Destroying an Animal - by Director Michael - 04-28-2009, 08:53 AM
RE: Destroying an Animal - by deldopson - 02-04-2010, 01:34 AM
RE: Destroying an Animal - by Rabbi Moshe Weiner - 09-15-2010, 01:08 AM
RE: Destroying an Animal - by Director Michael - 09-15-2010, 01:25 AM
RE: Destroying an Animal - by Bill - 09-22-2010, 02:12 PM
Pests and my cat - by Director Michael - 07-26-2007, 04:03 PM
Why is it wrong to "fix" animals? - by Nika - 02-29-2008, 08:55 AM
Unwanted Pets - by novanoahide - 04-02-2008, 01:13 PM
RE: Unwanted Pets - by Director Michael - 04-11-2008, 12:28 AM
RE: Unwanted Pets - by Mattityahu ben Noach - 09-12-2010, 04:43 PM
Hunting - by AZNoahide - 01-05-2009, 11:14 PM
Starting my beagle pup on rabbits - by aegd - 03-02-2009, 11:15 PM

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