Whenever someone thinks about adopting a pet into their own, it’s always advised to thoroughly think it through.
Do they have the money to properly support the animal? Do they have the time and energy? Do they really want the animal, or do they just think they look cute?
Because when these decisions aren’t thoroughly thought out, there can be tremendous consequences, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Potential_ThrowRA was appalled when all of the responsibilities of a dog were heaped on them after their roommate stopped caring for the animal.
When the roommate reacted poorly to them speaking up about this, the Original Poster (OP) took matters into their own hands.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for returning my roommate’s dog to the shelter?”
The OP tried to help their roommate pick the right kind of dog for their lifestyle.
“A few months ago my roommate decided he wanted to get a dog.”
“I and my other roommates were fine with it, and I was excited, I gave suggestions for a good fit for lifestyle, and helped him search.”
“I knew I didn’t have time for a dog, but I was eager to reap the benefits of having one in the house that wasn’t my responsibility.”
“My roommate and I agreed that he was best fit for a low-energy adult dog that was small/medium due to space.”
“Then he came home with a german shepherd mix from a shelter – 6 months old, large, and very energetic.”
“She was untrained and had separation anxiety.”
The OP tried to help their roommate with the dog.
“I did my best to help, making suggestions like getting her a crate so she could have her own space and could go in there when everyone was gone.”
“I picked up food for him after my roommate ran out of what the shelter gave him and forgot to get more.”
“I even exercised her when she got to be too much, taking her on walks or throwing balls.”
“That was probably my mistake because almost immediately my roommate stopped doing anything for her.”
The roommate took advantage of their help.
“He basically abandoned the dog to me. He wouldn’t buy her toys, wouldn’t exercise her, wouldn’t even come home to feed her or let her out after work!”
“I talked to him several times, tried to get him involved, and tried to step back.”
“But my other roommates were too busy and this guy would do nothing.”
“If I didn’t feed her, she wouldn’t eat. If I didn’t exercise her, she’d destroy the house and annoy everyone until someone shoved her back in her crate.”
“It got to the point where my other roommates would come to me if they had issues with her, instead of her ‘owner.'”
The OP became stressed.
“Juggling classes and a full-time job, I was running myself ragged for a dog I didn’t even want, so I gave my roommate an ultimatum.”
“Take care of the dog, or I would take her back to the shelter.”
“My roommate laughed and said sure, and the next night I stayed in town after work to eat out with friends instead of going home to take care of his dog like usual.”
“I got home around 11 PM. The poor dog was in her crate COVERED in urine and poop.”
“He hadn’t been home ALL day and clearly had not let her out to go potty or fed.”
“I was furious.”
The OP took action.
“The next day I returned the dog to the shelter.”
“I told them what had happened and showed them the pictures of the night before.”
“They called my roommate and told him they had reason to believe there was neglect and were enforcing co-ownership to take the dog.”
“My roommate was furious.”
“The rescue blacklisted him from adopting from any of their locations.”
Not everyone was happy with what the OP did.
“When I got home, he shouted at me, saying it wasn’t fair and I should have told him I was serious instead of stealing the dog.”
“My other roommates, while happy the dog is gone, agree that it was an AH move to move so fast and not to have made sure he knew I was serious.”
“TBH (to be honest), I thought I gave him plenty of notice.”
“I talked to him several times about stepping up and caring for the dog, and I didn’t give him the ultimatum like it was a joke, he’s the one who laughed it off.”
“But, maybe I’m missing something.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP did the right thing.
“NTA. it’s always hard to deal with a roommate who’s neglected their pet because it makes things uncomfortable (I’ve been there) but good for you for standing your ground.”
“The dog didn’t deserve all that neglect and mistreatment and you had done as much as you could.” – catlover703
“That poor puppy, I’m so glad OP returned it to the shelter. It should be hopefully easy to adopt because it’s still fairly young.” – arika_ito
“‘You should have let me know you were serious about not letting me commit animal abuse in the home!'”
“NTA, OP. Your roommate shouldn’t be allowed a goldfish.” – sugarxb0nes
Others agreed and couldn’t believe the roommates’ reactions.
“Some people truly do not understand what goes into taking care of a dog. It’s no excuse, though, especially since they thought, with OP’s AH roommate, that OP should be responsible for the dog.”
“NTA, OP. Tell them since they all acted like YOU were responsible, you did the responsible thing for the dog. And for gosh sakes, find other roommates! These people sound nuts!” – Warriorwitch79
“Honestly, the actions of the other housemates are also concerning, and I’m not talking about them not taking care of the pup as it’s not their responsibility and I get it, I’m talking about how they think OP’s the a**hole.”
“Like, they saw how the dog was basically neglected by the actual owner and probably also saw the pictures that OP showed the shelter – and they still think OP’s TA? what kind of mental gymnastics is this?” – ttoastii81
“Who even cares about your housemates? The dog was suffering and deserves a proper home.”
“I’m glad they blacklisted the guy and I hope he doesn’t get another pet. I don’t think I even need to say what my vote is.” – FjortoftsAirplane
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.
“Not sure if anyone will see this, but I wanted to get out there that after chatting with one of the non-dog owning roommates things have adjusted a bit around the house.”
“She happened to see this post and recognized the situation and wanted to apologize for not having sided with me.”
“Like many of us do, she believed the first story she was told, which was from our horrible roommate and not me. Apparently, he told her that I had told him I was joking when I gave the ultimatum and told him I liked helping out with the dog and wanted to continue.”
“With emotions high and our roommate highly angry, she was scared to disagree and told me she didn’t think it was fair for me to not give a better warning when he insisted she and our other roommate give our opinions. And afterward, she just wanted to hide and not be involved.”
“Since then, seeing my side of the story, she says she feels awful and realizes this is a flaw she should work on (not believing the first story she hears).”
“We’ve actually grown a bit closer through this, and we’re talking about finding a place without the other two once our lease is up in January.”
“I did call the shelter and ask about how the dog was and if our roommate would be able to go to other shelters to adopt, and they said they have contacted all the other local shelters to let them know, and he will not be approved for any adoptions within a good radius of our town or from any of their places nation-wide.”
“The good news is, the dog is doing okay and is already back to harassing people to play with her.”
Though the roommates thought the OP was too harsh and too quick in their actions, the subReddit believed they did the right thing. It was certainly a sad situation for the young dog, but neglect would be worse than waiting a little longer for a good quality home.