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Uninsured Guy Livid After Mom Pays For Her Dog’s ACL Surgery But Refuses To Pay For His

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When people adopt pets, they often treat them like a member of the family.

Arguably, as well they should, as pets require a very high level of love and commitment.

Very often, however, people who treat their pets as if they were one of their children are often looked down upon, for no other reason other than animals aren’t people.

Redditor helpiminaclhell found herself in trouble with her son, who was furious when she forked over a sizable amount of money to come to the rescue of her dog, but would not do the same for him shortly thereafter.

Leaving him to somewhat feel that the original poster (OP) loved her dog more than she loved her son.

Worried that she had made a serious miscalculation, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**Hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for paying for my dog’s ACL surgery but not my son’s?”

The OP explained why she wasted almost no time paying for a significant surgery for her dog, but felt less inclined to do so when her son needed almost the same surgery.

“I know the title sounds bad but hear me out I (57 F[emale]) have a beloved yellow lab (5 F) and a son (26 M[ale]).”

“Last year my poor puppy girl tore one of her ACLs while we were out on a hike.”

“Seeing my poor girl limp broke my heart and the vet told me the only option was ACL surgery.”

“I of course paid the 15k to get her fixed up despite it being a pretty big strain on my finances but honestly my dog’s health comes first.”

“My son is a successful kid for the most part.”

“He works full time and lives on his own.”

“He just recently turned 26 and I told him numerous times he is going to need to get his own health insurance as he’s not allowed to be in mine anymore.”

“He kept telling me he knew this and would handle it.”

“Well, last weekend my son was playing in one of his soccer games and he got into a bad accident on the field and ended up tearing his ACL.”

“He is now demanding I help pay for his surgery because of course he couldn’t send one email to HR to enroll in his workplace’s health insurance.”

“He says this is my fault for not reminding him he’s not on my insurance any more enough.”

“I want to help him but honestly we have no idea what this will end up costing and I’m still pretty strapped from my sweet puppy girl’s surgery last year, plus the hubs and I would like to retire in a few years and I’m not sure we can do that if we take on who knows how much medical debt.”

“My husband agrees with my but the rest of my family is blowing up my phone and saying I’m a huge a**hole for not paying for the same surgery for my son that I have paid for for my dog.”

“So Reddit AITA?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for declining to pay for her son’s surgery.

Everyone agreed that the the OP’s son should have listened to his mother and gotten on his company’s health insurance, and when the OP paid for her dog’s surgery, she didn’t know that her son would need the same surgery down the line, with many pointing out that dogs, unlike people, don’t have the option of health insurance.


“Firstly, your dog didn’t have the option of getting her own health insurance.”

“Your son being too lazy to send one email is not your problem to fix.”

“If your family are so worried about your son’s surgery then they can pony up the cash for it.”- Select-Anxiety-1557


“He is now an adult.”

“If he just turned 26 he can apply for Cobra under your insurance but he’s paying the full amount.”

“At issue is that he waited and didn’t get insurance right away so he has a gap and this now considered pre existing and won’t be paid under his new insurance.”

“Will definitely be cheaper than completely out of pocket and he pays for it.”- Special8043


“But you got ripped off on your dog’s surgery.”

“TPLO on my large dog in 2020 only cost me $4k.”- lmchatterbox


“You didn’t choose one or the other, the dog tore it first and you paid for the surgery.”

“You expected your son to have his own health insurance through work.”

“If you would have chosen the dog over your son because the surgeries were at the same time and you could only afford one I would see your son’s frustration more.”

“But this is a year later and you can’t afford it.”- onceuponafigtree


“He’s a grown man living his own life and had access to insurance.”

“He just didn’t bother to arrange it.”

“You are your dog’s access to healthcare.”

“The fact your son is trying to blame you for not reminding him ‘enough’ shows his immaturity though.”- handsewnstar


“Son could have sent an email to HR to get the ball rolling on health insurance, while the yellow lab depends on OP.”

“This is a lesson for OP’s son.”

“I couldn’t imagine blaming someone else for me not remembering to do something.”- MotherODogs4


“Not sure if your family have noticed, but your dog isn’t able to take out her own insurance policy.”

“You take on the responsibility of caring for their needs when you bring them into your home.”

“Your adult son on the other hand is more than capable, ESPECIALLY after you have already told him to take out his own policy more than once.”- _Bee_1995


“He didn’t ‘forget’ to enroll, he just didn’t want to take the financial hit to his paycheck because health insurance is stupidly expensive.”

“He knew, he told you he knew with his words, and he’s just unhappy with the very unfortunate consequences of a decision he made.”

“Like many young folks, he probably thought health insurance was a waste of money.”

“Which it absolutely is, until you need it.”

“Because we live in the dumbest of countries.”

“The real a**hole here is the American for-profit healthcare system.”

“Your son is slightly a**hole-ish for trying to deflect blame onto you, and every relative blowing up your phone should just be told that the only way you will listen to them bitch is at the rate of $100 per 10 minutes, payable directly into a fund to help your son get his uninsured surgery.”-SnarkyBeanBroth


“And you wouldn’t be even if you hadn’t just paid for your dogs surgery.”

“Your son is a grown adult who couldn’t be bothered to do the adult thing and get his health insurance set up, now he has to do the adult thing and pay out of pocket.”- wildmishie

“This just sucks.”

“I’m of 2 minds about it.”

“To me- the dog is irrelevant in the calculus of what’s right here.”

“The problem I have with your son is 1) he didn’t handle his business and 2) and this one might be worse, he’s blaming you for it.”

“My inclination is to tell you that you ought to help him, he’s your son.”

“But I’m not sure I could do it without him at least saying ‘f*ck, you were right, I really should have handled this, I’m so so sorry for putting you in this position’.”

“See, now I’m looking for sh*t to sell to help cover the bill.”

“I’m going to go with NTA up until the point that he at least learns the lesson that HE is a grown a** man and ought to handle his own business and not plan on mommy and daddy bailing his irresponsible ass out- particularly at some significant cost to their retirement.”- chuckinhoutex

“15k is an absurd amount to spend on ACL surgery for the record.”

“I’ve had this done to many dogs in some of the highest cost of living places in the country and even if it’s both knees, that is crazy high.”

“Anyways NTA but letting that go untreated could be a night mare.”


“Tough situation but I’d probably handle it the same way.”- randolphmd

The hardest part of growing up is learning that you can’t always depend on your parents for everything.

One imagines that if the OP’s son was out of work and strapped for cash, she might have at least contributed a small amount of money towards his surgery.

But seeing as she’d been warning him for some time to get on his company’s surgery, it’s hard not to feel that he has nobody to blame for his current situation other than himself.

One can only hope he won’t waste any more time getting on his company’s insurance.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.