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College Student Wants To Sue Parents For $6k Vet Bill After They Let Her Puppy Swallow Dog Toy

A dog playing with a dog toy.
saraidasilva/Getty Images

Bringing a pet into your home is a great responsibility.

A much bigger responsibility than many expect, who just see an adorable cuddly friend to play and snuggle with.

These same people often willingly accept to watch their friend’s pets when they need to go away for an extended period of time, thinking it will all be fun.

However, it can take as little as a day for the fun to diminish when the sweet pet’s many needs become apparent.

A recent Redditor needed a place for her new puppy to stay so she could take care of some work.

Thankfully for the original poster (OP), her parents were ready and willing to watch their puppy during this time. Unfortunately, the puppy ended up needing medical attention during this stay, which came with a sizable bill.

A bill the OP believed her parents should be responsible for paying.

Wondering if she was wrong for believing this, the OP took to the subReddit “Would I Be The A**hole” (WIBTA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“WIBTA for considering suing my family for negligence of my puppy?”

The OP. explained why they were considering taking legal action against their parents after their recent dog-sitting duties:

“I 20 F[emale], am a college student.”

“Earlier this year I got a puppy.”

“She is the love of my life and means everything to me.”

“I decided that was going to move down half of my dorm the weekend before finals week.”

“This included my puppy, as our school has very strict quiet hours during finals week, and she has a habit of whining.”

“I thought all would be well when it came to leaving her with my parents.”

“All they had to do was feed her, take her out to potty, and give her some love.”


“However, when I was home, my dad fed her while I was asleep, overfed her actually.”

“She went to my clinic and got check out.”

“It was a concern but okay.”

“I gave my family very specific instructions and even prepared her food so they wouldn’t mess up her feedings from now on.”

“Then I left.”

“The next day I got a FaceTime from my sister saying my dog was throwing up.”

“She threw up a piece of a toy.”

“Which she’s not allowed to play with without supervision.”

“This concerned me so I asked them to take her to my clinic.”

“My mom refused.”

“The next morning my dad texts me saying the dog is sick and he’s taking her into the vet.”

“My clinic did an ultrasound and discovered a foreign body.”

“Aka the toy that she ate has now impacted her.”

“My mom called to blame it on me and claimed the dog was already sick.”

“This has now set me back $6000, and my parents are not taking responsibility for their negligence.”

“For extra context, I go to school a little over four hours away, so I can’t make the drive home very often.”

“So would I be the a**hole if I sued my parents for the amount of my pups treatment?”

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
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The OP received little to no sympathy from the Reddit community, who all but unanimously agreed that she would definitely be the a**hole if she sued her parents to pay her dog’s vet bill.

Just about everyone agreed that the OP clearly wasn’t mature or responsible enough to care for a dog. Since she left the toy the dog ended up choking on with her parents, it was her own fault the dog ended up at the vet’s.


“Your post describes someone who is irresponsible, impulsive, and lacking self-awareness.”

“Everyone here is correct.”

“You weren’t ready for a dog.”

“The fact that you’re referring to a tiny puppy as an ESA only paints a clearer picture.”- MusicHoney


“It would be ironic if you sued them for negligence when it’s your dog and you can’t even take care of it.”- puntacana24


“That poor innocent puppy is owned by someone who should not own a puppy.”

“Give the puppy to a good home where she can get the care, love, and attention she deserves.”-SlideItIn100


“I’m sorry, but your puppy really isn’t their responsibility.”

“Then you shouldn’t have brought the dog to stay with them, or you shouldn’t have gotten the dog in the first place.”- lihzee


“Why on earth did your puppy have a toy that could be so easily chewed up and swallowed, especially with a dog breed with known health issues from the get-go.”

“They make toys designed to be chewed on that can’t be torn to bits and ingested.”

“Did you really expect your parents to keep both eyes on her 24/7.”

“And PS your dog is far too young to be classified as an ESA.”- Intelligent-Log-7363


“Do not get a dog when you’re in college.”

“You have a 15-week-old dachshund.”

“You should have never gotten this dog if you were not going to be around to care for it.”

“You left the dog with them; that was your choice.”

“Maybe they were negligent, who knows.”

“But I’m getting a vibe like you didn’t communicate well.”

“You should have pet insurance.”

“You already have a GoFundMe. So you want to double-dip.”- jrm1102


“You got an animal in a building animals aren’t allowed, you aren’t capable of caring for her so you shuck that responsibility on your parents and then to top it off you refuse to drive and take care of your pet yourself when you’re concerned.”

“Sounds like the only negligent owner is you.”- sbgkhzhd


“I would never fathom suing my parents over an animal.”

“It’s mind blowing to me the way ppl treat their pets, especially those who don’t have any business with a pet and aren’t properly training them.”- Luckyzzzz

“Why couldn’t you wait to get a puppy until YOU could take proper care of it?”

“YTA for expecting anyone else to care for YOUR puppy.”- Ok_Play2364


“Don’t think anyone in this sorry tale is coming out smelling of roses other than that poor puppy.”

“You shouldn’t have bought the pup if you couldn’t care for it and your family probably could have done a better job, but this is ultimately on you.”- ReviewOk929

“YTA…why did you get a dog that you can’t take care of?”- TimeRecognition7932


“Sounds like you went and got a pet that you don’t know how to take care of, don’t have the money to take care of, and don’t have the time to take care of.”

“Then, from what I can gather in the comments, you claim it’s an emotional service animal.”

“Everything about this screams ‘I got a brand new puppy to love on and post on Instagram and TikTok for likes and to make sure I can take it everywhere and ignore all the rules and abdicate responsibility I’m going to tell everyone I NEED him here all the time for my mental health’.”

“I’d also like to know what happened to this puppy you posted about getting three years ago since the one you are talking about today is a different one that is the ‘love of your life’.”- cheeseburgerwaffles



“You decided to get a dog, not your parents.”

“Why wouldn’t you just go home to take care of the dog instead of blaming your parents?”

“This is your dog, your responsibility, not your parents.”

“Sue them and see if they ever do anything for you again.”

“You shouldn’t have gotten a dog if you couldn’t take care of it.”- CptKUSSCryAllTheTime


“You got a high-needs puppy when you were not in a position to care for her.”- Swirlyflurry


“As someone with a roommate with an esa puppy and whose treatment is borderline on abuse and neglect, YTA.”

“College students should not have PUPPIES.”

“I’ve been left alone with my roommate’s dog countless times without warning, and even then, it is not my responsibility.”

“I’m sorry, but it’s not ur parents either.”- thrivinandsurvivin1


“Dachshunds are hunting dogs.”

“They’re bred to chase badgers down holes and bring them back to their owners.”

“They are not built for boredom, especially at that age.”

“If it wasn’t a toy it would’ve been something else like a shoe or a blanket as they have a natural hunting instinct and at that age they don’t realize what’s a toy and what’s not.”

“What on earth were you thinking getting a puppy while living in a dorm?”

“That in itself is negligent.”

“Don’t bother telling me it’s an ’emotional support animal’ when you have had him for maximum seven weeks (if you’re really that caring, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you got him early).”

“Puppies need constant supervision which is impossible when you’re a student.”

“How did you think you could handle a dog which costs thousands and lives for up to 20 years?”

“Your family was kind enough to take the dog in for three days while you were still in college and by the looks of it it was having a much better time away from you as it actually got attention.”

“You chose a dog known for torture breeding.”

“Not only did you get a dog that’s currently being overbred for fashion, but you chose a full black one which is known for all sorts of issues due to recessive genes.”

“You purposely chose a dog that would be seen as fashionable.”

“For the love of Christ and all that is Holy, did you even do any research prior to getting a dog?”

“Before getting a dog you need to have all your finances in order and be prepared to put your life on hold for six months minimum.”

“Pet insurance is costly but saves thousands in the long term.”

“College is not the place for a dog.”

“You are mistreating an animal by allowing it in your care.”

“I own a dachshund.”

“I adopted her three years ago from a girl like you who bought one thinking it’d help her.”

“The dog was absolutely terrified of everything when I took her in and still has issues that I’m constantly working on.”

“People like you should not think of getting another pet for at least another 5 years.”

“A dog is for life, not for attention.”- glas-boss

The OP’s youth and naivitée seemed to have gotten the better of her.

As she had very simplistic expectations about what adopting a puppy would entail.

She might want to consider this further, as if she can’t give this puppy all the love and attention she needs, then it would probably be in her best interests to find her a family or owner who can.

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'.