Letter: Pet Care Question Gemach

Around this time of year is when many families decide it’s a great time to buy a pet, be it a rabbit, a few chicks, etc. Seemingly an innocent, fun & interesting activity, this idea is a very bad one for a few reasons- animals aren’t disposable toys; if you are not planning on keeping the animal for it’s entire lifespan, passing them on to someone else when ur done having ur fun with them is tzar b’lechaim.

Animals need stability & proper research into their care, which can be more expensive & complicated than at first glance.

What kind of message are we teaching our children when taking care of the pet loses its luster & you start asking around for who wants it next? That Hashem’s living creatures are only here for our momentary enjoyment & can be discarded onto the next person when we get tired of it? Or worse, abandoned to fend for themselves? Please think twice before acquiring a new family pet.

To help decide if a new pet is right for your family, or for info/help regarding the care of an existing pet, I opened a pet care question gemach – (347)733-0365. I can be reached via txt with any inquiries regarding animal care.

Thank you,

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Much respect that he has an issue with what people are doing and instead of just complaining, he took action and opened a phone line. Nice.

    • I am an adult with years of animal husbandry knowledge. I have taken care of many animals & researched their care carefully before doing so. I am also associated with shelters & rescues & have fostered & rescued many animals. I care about animals & have witnessed many instances in which people keep animals in terrible or sub-par conditions, from either ignorance or indifference. I would like to help those that want to provide the right care for their animals. I can also provide info regarding any animal that needs help, in general.

      • Clarification to my reply, to prevent misunderstanding -what I mean when I say ‘animal husbandry’ is that I have a lot if knowledge regarding the care of animals, I do not have a farm & do not breed animals

  2. Thank you for posting this. I was near one of the local schools a few weeks ago on Shabbos. The building is being used by one of the camps for the summer. They apparently bought several sheep, goats and chickens I assume for the amusement of the campers…. Walking by on Shabbos they had no water, no shade , it was over 90 degrees out. Seichel…..

  3. Question, we have two bunnies. They have gotten too big and too hard to care for. They are climbing out of their cage, the smell is bad etc. We keep them inside as the heat and rain wouldn’t be good for them. What do you suggest ? Not give them away?

    • There is no easy answer to that question. Cleaning their cage daily will help with the mess/smell. If they keep jumping out that means they need more space. Thank you fo keeping them indoors, that’s great! Two rabbits that are over a few months old can fight & inflict injury to each other as their hormones come in & they reach maturity. Their urine smells bec of those hormones & that will not go away if they aren’t spayed/neutered, which is a question for your LOR, as it means altering a rabbit surgically. That is commonly done in the non-jewish world, as it is the only way to safely keep 2 rabbits together & to prevent aggressive behavior due to those hormones. rabbit rescues all over are overwhelmed with surrendered rabbits. My suggestion, if you truly want to do what’s best for your rabbits, & if you cannot/don’t want to fix them, is to immediately seperate them & keep them in side by side enclosures (like x-pens, found on amazon) spaced a few inches apart for the rest of their lives. Rabbits aren’t cage animals, they need a minimum of about 9 to 10 square feet of enclosure space per rabbit They can be litter trained to cut down on the mess. Txt me for more info on that if ur interested. Prior research is so important to prevent these situations. Please txt me for any more questions, thank you

        • If those cages are less than around 8 square feet, that is way too small. They should have about 2-3 hrs minimum out of cage time daily. 10 min is a joke. Please buy them each an x-pen as I recommended in my comment above, it is so much better for them. Buying a pre-cut roll of vinyl from lowes is a good, cheap way to provide easy to clean flooring for it. They should each have a heavy ceramic water dish, not a bottle. Bottles make it very difficult for them to drink enough. If they usually use a bottle, keep in both a bottle & dish until they get used to using the dish. Also provide fresh hay daily, they should be eating their weight in hay. Hay should be in a hay holder off the floor to prevent a mess & to keep the hay clean. Pellets portion should be half a cup a day.

  4. you need to ask a Rav about this, tzaar baalei chayim is not the same idea as animal rights, compassion, vegan etc. lehavdil, there are things that you can do and things that you cannot do and they are clearly delineated in the Shulchan Aruch, for each issue a qualified Rav must be consulted, certainly not an internet activist as well meaning and as full of feeling as they may be

    • Thank you, I have recommended to people that their LOR should be contacted for certain matters, but they are general baselines in animal care that need to be met-adequate food, water & medical care. You wouldn’t beleive how many people shrug it off when I tell them the food their feeding their pet is bad for it, or that their pet has no water, etc

      • Can you share what your name is? Before people turn with questions to someone, is there a way to verify this won’t actually backfire with calling authorities on people who ask questions?

        • I can share my name with you on an individual, private level. Feel free to text me. I am not a public figure, just an individual who sees a need & wants to help. I am not here to ‘punish’ or call the authorities on anyone. My goal is to spread awareness/knowledge to those who want to give the animals under their care a good life.

  5. And who do you think a Rav will consult in the matter? Well…an individual like the OP who, even as perhaps a lay person, has extensive knowledge and expertise in the inyan. Let’s give the OP the credit he deserves for taking this initiative.

    • The act of someone finding his unwanted pet a good home isn’t in itself a bad thing. It’s the fact that that owner has taken on the care of an animal with the view that eventually, if it’s too hard/inconvenient/fill in the blank, he will give it up to someone else. Animals need stability & routine. It’s is detrimental to their health & wellbeing to switch environments, it is extremely stressful for them. If someone cannot fully commit to taking care of an animal for its whole life, owning a pet isn’t for them. Fostering is a good option, they can take care of a pet without that lifelong obligation. Txt me for more info if interested in that.

  6. Why is it acceptable to own an animal which is singled out in the same category as a pig, but not to own a dog, which is praised? In my humble opinion, Jews ought not own either, it’s a goyishe custom.

    • why don’t you learn the gemara in Bava Kama about owning dogs, or read some sippurei Tzaddikim?

      Rav Binyomin Dennis zt”l one of the Litvishe baalei mussar owned a dog and Rav Elchonon Wasserman zt”l HY”D used to visit him and the dog didn’t bark at Rav Elchonon, you can ask his grandchildren today they are the world famous Telzer Bloch family.

  7. This is an amazing chesed and very much needed. I actually needed this a week ago and spent hours trying to figure out who to call for advice about a medical issue my pet was having without incurring a huge expense. I also asked a rav about medical care for my pet because it could be expensive if they have an issue and wanted to know if I was obligated to take it to the vet.

  8. I happen to enjoy having a pet. Right now we have a cat, or rather in cat fashion, she has us. We took her in as a stray a number of years ago and have no idea how old she is. However, it’s obvious that she getting on in years, and I was wondering what we do when Hashem takes her to the big litter box in שמים 😪. We buried our guinea pig in the backyard many years ago, but what do we do with a cat? Just want to be a little prepared when the time comes c”v…Any advice?

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