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Parent Stirs Drama By Making Pets Live Outside Until Partner And Kids Start Taking Care Of Them

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Pets are family.

And need to be attended to as such.

That can fall to the wayside when certain pet owners acquire a new animal, though.

Once the novelty fades then there are still a lot of responsibilities for our fur babies.

And too often that burden falls to only certain family members.

When that happens, drama ensues.

Case in point…

Redditor ravergraver wanted to discuss their experience and get some feedback. So naturally, they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for instituting a STRICT no plants or animals inside the house policy?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My children really wanted pets and so did my partner.”

“They got a mixed breed puppy from the pound and two kittens.”

“As these animals grew, none of the humans in my house did anything to care for them besides play with them and cuddle.”

“I got up at 5:30 a.m. to walk the dog before work; I cleaned the kitty litter boxes out, and I took them to the vet.”

“I had to buy and serve all their food and cleaned up their eating areas afterward.”

“People would just ‘forget’ otherwise.”

“Naturally, I also had to clean up after them when I’d arrive home and inevitably no one had bothered and there were messes all over the floor.”

“If I ‘made’ my partner or kids do it, they’d half-a** it to the point it where they may as well’ve not bothered.”

“Same way with plants.”

“Partner wanted house plants and to start indoor herb/vegetable garden.”

“Had fun with it the first week, then totally ignored it.”

“Dead leaves, spilled soil, bugs, etc. now proliferate in the ‘garden area.'”

“If I don’t water and groom the plants, it doesn’t get done.”

“I am busy and these are not my chosen hobbies.”

“I like animals well enough, but they’re a lot of work and when they aren’t attended to, destroy the house.”

“I grew up with a family that hoarded pets and our house was always nasty and smelly and embarrassing.”

“I swore when I had my own place it would be different.”

“The cats pee/spray everywhere if I can’t get to the litter box in time and the dog chews up stuff and leaves big messes on the floor if I don’t walk it.”

“I’m the only one who’ll walk him when it gets cold.”

“We have a fenced-in backyard.”

“I bought a dog house and announced he’ll live outside from now on, til they can prove they can take care of him better.”

“Same with the cats.”

“They’re now ‘outdoor kitties’ ’til my humans can show me they’re ready for in-door ones.”

“Of course, if the weather is extreme I’ll let them in.”

“Plants are all going out.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

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

Many Redditors declared OP and others were in an ESH situation.

“NTA for being frustrated or implementing a no pets or plants rule.”

“YTA for putting the animals outside, though.”

“They’re likely to just be even more neglected than they are now.”

“Outdoor cats are a public nuisance.”

“Take them to a shelter or rescue or find them new homes.”  ~ Broken-Butterfly-313

“Situation seems like a really solid ESH – family for neglecting the pets they said they wanted, OP for punishing the pets instead of the neglectful family members.”

“Suddenly pitching the poor animals into a totally different environment and conditions without any kind of adjustment is, frankly, cruel.” ~ beneaththeseracs

“This is just what I was thinking.”

“The animals are innocent and being punished because the humans are not keeping up with the chores involved with them.”

“OP… NTA for wanting the actual pet owners to do their responsibilities.”

“However YTA for punishing the animals by putting them outside.”

“Please call a rescue place to help find them new good homes.”  ~ Annual_Two6042

“This, exactly. NTA for not wanting pets because you have to do the work.”

“But YTA BIG-TIME for relegating these animals to outdoors.”

“Outdoor cats are invasive species, murderous, destructive a**holes.”

“Outdoor cats live shorter lives due to poor health, they are more likely to transmit disease.”

“They absolutely should not be outdoor animals.”

“I am a cat owner, but no one will ever be able to convince me letting cats live outdoors is a good idea.”

“I live in North America, where outdoor cats are a problem, but according to everything I’ve found since posting this comment yesterday, the same cannot be said for the United Kingdom.”

“Today I learned.”  ~ 13ECCA

“YUP, the animals should not be forced to live outside.”

“What happens during the winter and the cats have nowhere warm to go?”

“They’ll sleep where it’s warm in/on cars and that’s a whole risk, or freeze to death.”

“The cats could be killed in so many different ways.”

“OP needs to rehome them or make sure the others do their part.”

“Also if the animals stay, Dr. Elsey’s cat attract litter is really helpful with cats who go outside of the litter box.”

“Replacing the litter box every few months, putting a trash liner over the box but under the litter is helpful for changing the litter out, scooping it out every day once or twice.”

“Multiple boxes as well.”

“A doggy door so the dog can go outside without needing someone to let him/her out or walk him/her.”

“Honestly though, the family really does need to step up.”

“Abusing the animals and neglecting them more isn’t the solution, it’s just taking her frustration with her family out on the animals.”

“They don’t deserve that.”  ~ mkat23

“NTA for wanting to enforce a boundary that is important (and clearly not being addressed by family members).”

“YTA for just tossing the animals outside.”

“The cats are going to start eradicating local small wildlife, and if not fixed, breeding like, well, cats.”

“The dog will most likely be neglected outside since no one ever cares to walk it, and will either develop alternative behaviors to entertain itself or get really depressed.”

“Don’t punish the animals (and the local wildlife) in order to teach the humans to do better.” ~ Calypsosin

OP came back with deets…

“Hi. I’ve read all the responses and am now going to stop with comments back because I get the overall consensus.”

“I’m going to copy/paste here what I put in another comment…”

“I have no idea how to ‘re-home’ these adult pets besides Facebook or Craigslist.”

“And you don’t know really who’s going to take them, you don’t know anything about the people showing up, they could be going from a bad situation here to even worse.”

“‘Re-homing’ adult pets is not as easy as everyone is making it out to be.”

“I don’t have abundant resources of time or energy to address this.”

“It’s causing problems and this is the best solution I can come up with, for now, to calm everybody down.”

“I’ve tried for over a year to do the best I possibly could for these pets, but I just can’t anymore.”

“I don’t know know how to ‘force’ other people to do the right thing and be more responsible.”

“Pets aren’t just for snuggles and cuddles, they require a lot more attention and devotion.”

“And yes I have tried punishing my children and withholding privileges for lack of care.”

“I told my partner they weren’t ready for pets.”

“He brought them home anyway.”

“If finding other homes for them is the best long-term solution, then I’ll look into that.”

“But I’m not taking them any place they can be put down and I don’t want them walking away with just whoever.”

“I have a nice, landscaped backyard with a big, covered deck and patio where he’ll have a dog bed in addition to the dog house I bought.”

“And the cats will have little cat cozies, too; it’s not like I’m tossing them into the jungle.”

“We live in a temperate climate and of course, I’ll bring them inside when the weather’s inclimate.”

“Where I live, which is in a ‘countryfied’ area where most people have a great deal of lot acreage and live down private dirt roads, it is not unusual at all to keep outdoor pets.”

“Many, many people love and care for their pets.”

“But it is very common for them to not have animals in the house.”

“I didn’t want it to be like that, but I don’t know what else to do.”

“My pets, including the cats, have been indoor/outdoor all their lives, the cats were not exclusively raised indoors.”

“Now those are my excuses, and I won’t give any more.”

“I completely understand that many people feel like animals should never live outside.”

“I am listening to everyone here who is saying just give them away.”

“Giving them away is better and even to people saying return them to animal control/the pound, where there’s a possibility if they aren’t adopted they will be euthanized.”

“Even though I do not see it like this.”

“That’s definitely the majority opinion here.”

“So, I appreciate all these responses and will give more thought to this.”

“But that’s all I have to say for now.”

“I am thankful to those who offered supportive encouragement and alternative ideas.”

“And to those who didn’t, well, I put this on the internet and no one forced me to so that’s on me.”

Well OP, you have your hands full for sure.

Hopefully, you and the family can come together and decide on a peaceful outcome.