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Single Mom Threatens To Rehome Daughter’s Pets For Not Helping Enough After Diabetes Diagnosis

Teenage girl with dog and cat
MelkiNimages/Getty Images

A chronic disease diagnosis can be life-altering.

For Redditor Shot_Neck_1754, her daughter’s life was forever changed with a Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis.

The Original Poster (OP) is a single mom raising her daughter as well as two other kids under the age of 10. Not only that, she has a few dogs to take care of.

The dogs were taken in at the plea of the OP’s daughter, but her new diagnosis has made it difficult for her to help out with the pups.

This has driven the OP to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) for feedback.

She asked:

“AITA for telling my daughter her disease is not an excuse to neglect her responsibilities?”

She went on to explain.

“My daughter [17-year-old female] got diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in late April. Her DX [diagnosis] wasn’t really dramatic or anything.”

“My step-sister has had it since she was a child, so when I noticed that she was drinking a lot, I immediately brought her to the doctor, and here we are.”

“I can honestly say we’ve adjusted pretty well. My step-sister came over when she came home and helped us out a lot. My daughter is old enough that she can handle most of it on her own.”

“Here’s the problem, ever since her DX, she has completely stopped taking care of anything around the house.”

“We have quite a few animals that she and her siblings (6 and 9) share the responsibilities of. They have had to step up a ton because she won’t even feed the dogs anymore.”

“Because they are so young, there’s a lot of things that they cannot physically do.”

“I am a single mom who had to get a second job to pay for her insulin (obviously, I don’t hold that against her, it’s not her fault), but I don’t have the time for the animals.”

“Not to mention her grades are all Fs now.”

“The other day, I hit a breaking point and basically told her that if she doesn’t start helping out, I will start rehoming the animals that her siblings can’t handle.”

“She had a total breakdown telling me I have no idea what she’s going through and how hard it is.”

“I told her it’s not an excuse to neglect everything completely and that she had to get her sh*t together or the animals will be finding new homes.”

“She ran out of the room crying and has spoken about three words to me since then.”

“I understand that this disease is a lot to handle, and I’m trying to be as supportive as possible, but I don’t know what to do anymore.”

“My step-sister says I need to give her time to adjust, but I don’t know if I can. Am I a terrible person for doing this?”

“FAQs because answering the same qs over and over is getting really annoying.”

“Yes, she is in therapy and a support group for teens with chronic illnesses.”

“Yes, the animals are hers that she wanted and bought herself.”

“So AITA?”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors decided:

“Yeah dude. YTA. ‘Her diagnosis wasn’t really dramatic’”

“for who?? Would severe DKA be dramatic enough for you to validate her?”

“She’s 17, and her whole life is different now. She’s a child. You’re the parent.”

“She’s depressed because it sucks, and she’s struggling to adjust to her new reality. Consider the developmental stage of a 17 year old.”

“Your sister’s experience is helpful, but she’s had years and years to process this while your daughter is 2 months in.”

“Clearly you’ve both got a lot on your plate.”

“It’s f*cking ridiculous we live in a country where you had to pick up a second job to pay for a drug keeping her alive, and it sucks that she’s now dependent on machines and needles to manage her autoimmune disease, her body unfairly attacking itself.”

“Still, I don’t think starting with “I’m going to rehome your pets bc your mental health blows and you’re not caring for them adequately ” was the move either.” – roamsaround


“Your daughter is in fact going through a lot, and it does sound like your empathy is running short.”

“Maybe good reasons for that but she needs more support than she’s getting and, while your relative’s diagnosis makes it more blasé for you, it’s still a lot for her to work through.”

“Support groups, therapy, etc should absolutely be high priority.”

“You are, however, NTA on the animal front.”

“It sounds like you are at the end of your limit of what you can do with your time and money as you are carrying the entire family, your other kids are too little to do some of the work, and your animals do not deserve to suffer because of what your daughter is going through.”

“And where the welfare of other, dependent creatures come to play, personally, I am of the opinion that you either need to be able to put those other creatures first or find them a home that can care for them properly.”

“You are not the a**hole for putting that choice to your daughter, and she is – understandable for a teenager, but still – too caught up in her own issues to have any thought about what the extra shifts mean for you or to even give a sh*t about the pets, and that makes her TA.”

“She doesn’t have to relearn how to walk, she hasn’t had cancer or a stroke or something immediately debilitating, and to make the pets suffer is not ok.”

“The solution probably is to rehome the pets if you all don’t have the capacity, that sounds like the kindest option for the animals which gives you and her more breathing room.” – antizana

“I am a bit sad that I had to look so far for a sensible answer.”

“OP is obviously doing the best she can, her daughter has support from her aunt who has the same diagnosis, and she is in therapy.”

“I am sure this is a huge adjustment for a teenager, but the fact remains OP is a single parent with three children – I can’t even imagine.”

“OP – there is absolutely nothing wrong with finding good homes for your pets right now. Not only will it help time-wise, financially it may help enough that you can work less.”

“Unfortunately, between her new diagnosis and her just being a teenager, chances are you won’t be able to do anything right at the moment. Just be patient and support her while she adjusts.”

“FWIW, my cousin was diagnosed when she was very young. She lives a very full life now (in her 30s), rock climbs, hikes etc.”


“*Edit* I also want to add, these are your younger children’s pets too, so if you do rehome them, make sure your younger two are ok – they will also be losing pets they love.”

“They need to understand why it needs to be done (for the pets welfare, don’t blame it on your oldest or her diagnosis).”

“Maybe some of their friends families would adopt – that could help.” – SeorniaGrim

“NTA Animals cannot be neglected just because you feel upset. You are not able to because you are working longer hours.”

“If she can’t step up, then the best thing is to rehome the animals where they will get the care that they need. The animals cannot wait. They need feeding and care daily.”

“Edited to add: the cost of insulin should come down in the next year. I think Eli Lilly prices drop on July 1. Contact the manufacturer to see if you qualify for current reduced-cost programs.”

“You may need to switch brands of insulin (I.e. Lantus to Levemir), but your doc will work with you on that. They are used to this issue.” – Mosquitobait56

“NAH ,and here’s why.”

“Yes, your daughter is going through a really hard time in her life, she’s a teenager who has a disease that could kill her if not managed properly, but is so expensive to manage that you had to get a second job.”

“That’s sooooo devastating to a teenager, and her brain is not developed enough to make sense of those feelings.”

“As someone who also has a lifetime diagnosis that will never ever get better, I cannot imagine how hard it would have been to have gotten my diagnosis in high school.”

“That age is difficult enough, and this is a huge deal. It’s understandable that she would have a lot of anger, frustration, and grief.”


“You don’t get to stop feeding your dogs because you are going through a really, really hard time. That’s not responsible pet ownership.”

“If she weren’t living with other people to pick up the slack, that would be animal abuse. A pet is a responsibility that can not be neglected or given up because things get hard.”

“She took on the responsibility, and if she can’t handle that responsibility, then the moral and ethical thing to do is rehome the animals.”

“I’m so so sorry that the garbage healthcare in this country (because only America treats sick people like cash cows) has forced you to take a second job to pay for her insulin.”

“It makes me see red that so many people are in such financial hardship over f*cking medical bills.”Throwforventing

Best wishes to the OP and her entire family.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)