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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear fellow dog/animal lovers,
I have a situation and need advice. I am engaged to be married in a couple of weeks. My fiance and his 19 year old son have a dog (Beagle) that they keep in a crate when they are not home. (I do not live with them at this time). They are gone for 12+ hours every day. The crate is only as big as the dog. No litter box (doggie pee pad), no blanket or cushion, not near a window (so nothing to look at all day), no tv on, no music on. My fiance says that if they make the crate bigger the dog will pee/poop in the crate (well, that's because you can't expect an animal to hold it's bowels/urine for 12+ hours). He won't put a blanket or cushion in it because he says that the dog will chew it up. I know that's from boredom.

They are going to find a home for the dog when we get married, hopefully a home where he can run and play and have more hands on attention - so I have kept my mouth shut about my feelings and I just do not go to his house to see it.

Now his son has adopted a bunny rabbit and I have been told that he is going to keep it in a cage on top of his dresser. Again, no litter box, no room to hop around for 12+ hours a day, shut up in a bedroom.

To me it's a form of animal abuse. They would never literally hurt an animal but it is still a form of abuse in my book. I asked him how he would feel locked up in a small cage for 12+ hours and not given any food, water, or bathroom breaks - he said, "well, I'm not a dog".

He just does not respect animals the way I do. I do not want to lose my relationship but how do I live with this?

Please help, I really need advice.

Hurting in Florida
 

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I, personally, would never be in a relationship with someone who treats animals poorly. That seems more like neglect to me, rather than abuse, but it can be a fine line. Some people you can reason with and teach, others you can't... you may end up trying to explain until you're blue in the face and they might still be like "So what? It's only an animal."
 

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This would be something I could never compromise on, it would be a deal breaker. If by some miracle the relationship survived to the marriage point, I would be taking over care of the dog and the rabbit. I wouldn't even ask, I'd just do it. Seriously, at this point I'd be taking that poor dog to a daycare during the day.

ETA - I literally could not imagine being with someone who would treat a living creature in such a manner.
 

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This would be a deal breaker for me as well. I'm no relationship expert but in my opinion I don't think you can just ignore this an hope you don't have to deal with it. My advice would be to talk to your fiance and explain your point of view, have some sources ready that you can offer to send him to read if he seems interested in expanding his view. Ultimately you need to decide if you can marry a guy who views animals in this light.
 

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I don't think you should necessarily loose the relationship over this but I think in general you should be sure that you can communicate your concerns and resolve problems as a couple before you get married.
 

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Hi FloridaGirl,

I don't any of us can or should suggest whether you should continue with your plans to marry your fiance. I would urge you to reach out to people in your real life who can advise you and help you sort out your feelings about marriage. I think Esand is right that you "should be sure that you can communicate your concerns and revolve problems as a couple." Being able to do that in a healthy way is fundamental to a marriage.

Take care and I wish you the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for your replies, I am so sad and heart broken. He is a wonderful man, actually very quiet, gentle, and sweet but just does not view animals the way I do.
I have so much to think about and with a bridal shower two days away.

Thank you for your thoughts and advice.
 

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I'm a very outspoken person and if my boyfriend was doing this I would blatantly state the obvious neglect and let the dog out myself. I would educate and tell the boy that if he can't properly care for the rabbit and meet its daily needs then he needs to rebome it.

And if that still fails I'd honestly remove myself from the relationship.
 

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Would you be willing to take over caring for the dog and rabbit once you are married and live together? Perhaps having you there to give more care to the animals will resolve how you feel about the whole situation since you will be giving them much more than what they have now.
 

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So my first thought is this forum isn't an advice column, we can't give you advice on your love life.

What I can say is I, personally, wouldn't be with any man who said the words "it's just a dog". EVER.

Also not to be mean but if you feel the dog is being treated unfairly, do something. Take the dog out when you can, sign it up for daycare, hire a dog walker, etc. In my eyes the dog would become your dog if you were to marry him, so might as well take some responsibility now, or get the dog rehomed now. Why wait until you're married?
 

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Sounds like abuse to me. Make an anonymous call to humane society.
You knew about the circumstances I'm guessing before you agreed to be engaged since you avoid his home because of it. Which I'm assuming he goes to your home instead so the dog is locked up at night also?
If any woman I was about to marry said my attitude towards animals was a turn off, I'd fix the issue by at least rehoming the pet.
If your feelings for animals is a deal breaker for him...whew! You dodged a bullet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you All !!

So much great feedback and advice. You are all so wonderful. Thank you for caring and sharing your thoughts.

We have had a long talk and he is going to find a good home for the dog, one where the dog can run and play and not be caged all day. As for the rabbit, they are willing to get a bigger cage and litter box train the bunny. Things like that can be so hard when you don't see eye to eye, but this is an area that I can not compromise on. As I've always said "Dogs are people too" :) I love you all, my fellow animal lovers! :)
 

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I don't think any of us can save your relationship but....for me to continue on with this individual the least he could do is agree to never, EVER be the primary caretaker of an animal again. Animals are not there to look pretty in a cage so you can say that you have a dog. He doesn't need to own animals. He doesn't know how to.
 
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