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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71157
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am a widow whose husband died 3 years ago ( suicide following

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I am a widow whose husband died 3 years ago ( suicide following years of pain) and I cannot afford to pay vet fees /care for my 11 year old black lab anymore I am also about to move to the south west and to New Zealand thereafter for a year. I am away most weekends and cannot afford to kennel him any longer. This month I had to find £700 for fees and care. He was my husband's dog. I love him but do I have the legal right to put him down. He is not dying: just old and has arthritis. I think it would be very hard to re-home him because of his age and the associated costs. I don't mean to be cruel but I just cant manage it any more alone. Thank you. I am really sorry to ask you about this.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Is there any reason why you think you might not be able to do this please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I do not know whether it is legal to ask a vet to have a dog put down who is neither dying and suffering nor is he vicious.

It is legal to destroy humanely any animal for any reason but the vets probably will resist your wish. Its not really consistent with their duty to act in accordance with the interests of animal welfare.

Probably they will try to persuade you to rehome him and I have known some vets refuse to put down a dog in these circumstances.

You might find the RSPCA will assist with the bill and anyway there are cheaper vets than this. The PDSA vets will deliver vetenary care very cheaply for those on benefits although obviously not for kennelling costs as thats a lifestyle choice.

You can always rehome him through a rescue which would be safe.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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