Putting our Family dog down


My wife was baptized Catholic only 4 years ago. I say that with humbleness as a "lifelong Catholic" for she led me back to Christ.

We have a family dog that we love and is paralyzed. We have spent money on trying to rehabilitate her but to no avail. We have been told that she will never walk again.

Tomorrow I am going to humanely put her down. Our Veterinarian is a family member and this will be done right.

Our family cannot afford to spend money on this dog's recovery nor have we been able to find anyone willing to take her in. We both work and have two young children. We can't give this dog the care she needs.

My wife as a new Catholic was embarrassed but asked me if this was murder. I told her of course not and that God wants us to treat Animals humanely but at the same time he would not approve of us diverting funds to a sick animal that could be used to support our children or other causes helping to save and allievate suffering humans.

Can someone please give us insight?

God Bless,



You’re correct, Bob…but it’s very natural that you are both hurting over this, and that your wife feels torn about it. I’m sure you’ll both give the dog all the tenderness and affection you can so that your dog’s last memories are happy. And your dog in her loyal, affectionate little mind would only want what is best for her beloved humans if she could choose. If she were in the wild she would already be dead, but you two have done your best for her.

I ask God to comfort you and your family.
Hugs to you both


For you both, from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Respect for the integrity of creation

2415 The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity.195 Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Man's dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.196

2416 Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory.197 Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.

2417 God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image.198 Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure...

2418 It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.



Thank you so much for your reply.

This will definitely help my wife and I.

Thank you so much.

God Bless You!



I agree with Trishie. I have 2 dogs (no husband or children or family nearer than a plane ride to me) so I know where you are coming from, but I know there will come a time where they will pass before me. They are not people. You can't murder them. You have taken very good care of this dog while you have had him/her. That's what you need to do.

However... there are 10 commandments to having pets. One of them (I think the last) is basically that you suck it up and are there when you put a pet down. It makes it easier on the pet (they love you). From what you've written, it sounds exactly what you are going to do... but in the off chance you weren't planning on being there... it's only fair to the pet.



In our family dog’s final moments tomorrow I will be there loving her and letting her know that we love her.

Do you think Jesus brings our pets into heaven? I have heard so?

God Bless,



[quote="Bob71, post:6, topic:200787"]

In our family dog's final moments tomorrow I will be there loving her and letting her know that we love her.

Do you think Jesus brings our pets into heaven? I hope so.

God Bless,




I don't know, but I sure hope so. I will tell you that my 2 doggies were a large part of how I survived my divorce. I would love to see them in heaven.

I'll say a prayer for you and your dog. What type of dog and what's her name?

God Bless,
Sasha (one of my dog's names... incidentally ;))


She is a doxie and her name is Mandy.



Sorry for the last quick reply, my son started crying.

Thank you so much for the insight.

I have been praying and judging from the “tingleness” I think Jesus does let our pets into heaven. I’m hopeful but even if not will always follow him.

Thanks so much and God Bless!



I am in agreement with the above posts & wanted to commiserate with you. 3 yrs ago this week we had to put down our beloved dog Ruthie. My son still says it was the worst birthday present he ever got but he knew she was hurting. She was such a good dog that when she was in so much pain she wet herself rather than getting up, she truly looked ashamed of herself. I felt awful for her. In her last days she developed a heart problem and edema in the lungs. She struggled to breathe. When the time came, they let us be with her for as long as we needed & we needed alot. Her struggling ended almost immediately because of the heart issue. They gave us a clipping of her hair & her collar.
One thing we did to help us cope was to plant a "Ruthie" garden. She had a St Francis medal on her collar from my daughter & we got a St Francis statue for the garden. We did the work & planting, while sharing our favorite memories of her. It was very helpful for the children to be there at the death & to help in her garden to remember her. My daughter was almost 12 & my son was just turning 8. Ruthie wasnt that old, just 13, we got her from the pound in MI when she was around 5. She was extraordinarily loyal & a fantastic dog. We agree there will never be another like her.
I asked my priest friend if he thought there would be dogs in heaven. He said the only heaven he wants to go to has to have dogs or it wouldnt be fully heaven. We laughed but it was comforting to the kids & me.
It wont be easy but it sounds like you are good hearted people wanting to do the right thing. (((hugs))) and prayers to you all


I have to agree with others.

I am so very sorry that Mandy is not doing well. Letting our dogs go when they are in pain and unable to live a normal life is the last wonderful thing we can do for them. I will keep you and your family in my prayers, this is a hard thing to do and I know your hearts hurt.


[quote="Bob71, post:6, topic:200787"]

In our family dog's final moments tomorrow I will be there loving her and letting her know that we love her.

Do you think Jesus brings our pets into heaven? I have heard so?

God Bless,



I am not a pet person, but I do feel bad for people when they are losing an animal that they have long cared for. I just wanted to respond to this post because Tim Staples (on Catholic Answers Live) has answered this one in the best way. We know that animals do not have an immortal soul, they are not the same as humans. However, Tim's response to people is that if you require/want this animal to be with you in Heaven to make you happy, then this animal will be with you. We will not be denied things in Heaven. :)

Hope that helps!


My condolences on the situation. It’s difficult when the time comes to make such decisions about a family dog or cat. This is one of the hardest parts about pets! It’s near the anniversary of when we put down a beloved family pet. Intellectually I know it was okay to do it, but still I wish it had been different. I’ll say a special prayer to St. Francis of Assissi for your family.


The day before my cocker spaniel died, I had just come out of confession and when I went to the pew to pray, the image of him playing with Jesus somehow popped into my mind.


I think it’s a very wise and noble thing for you to do for your beloved pet. May God comfort your family at the loss of your faithful companion, Mandy.


I want to thank all of those who responded to my post.

I told my wife about this and showed her tonight. My wife was touched with the responses.

I want to respond to everyone....

Trishie.....Your response helped immensely and gave extreme comfort to my wife.....We can't thank you enough. The Cathecism info you provided has ultimately gave my wife peace. We thank you again for taking the time to respond.

Sasha.....We got Mandy a cheeseburger beforehand and loved her at a local park. Our Vet supplied us with a pill that calmed her beforehand. She was very calm. Both of us were there with her as she went. We both were petting her and loving her. It was as peaceful as this situation could be. We thank you for your prayers.

Autdrew....Thank you for sharing about Ruthie....St. Francis holds a special place for me. Your response has given us ideas. Your priest friend has solidified our belief that we will one day see her again. She was a loyal dog that we loved unbelievably. Thank you.

gh4....Thank you for your prayers it means a lot. We felt them today. Thank you.

Jea9....Thank you for the info on "Tim Staples". The whole idea about Mandy being in heaven when we go there is very comforting, especially to my wife. I found links to him online and we can't thank you enough.

gardenswithkids....We thank you for your prayers. We felt them today. St. Francis was with us.

Norseman82....You struck a chord.......I had visions of Mandy running through pastures. These were not just "hopeful thoughts". I truly felt that Jesus was letting me know he would bring her into heaven and she will be waiting for us. Thank you so much.

Yellowbird....Thank you for your prayers. We felt them.

Once again thank you all and God Bless You all!


Dea Bob,

I empathise with you and your wfe. I have had to put my pets to sleep and it has always been so very hard. I have always held them and talked while it was done.They seem to know and understand. As I believe i will see my human family in heaven I believe I will see them there. You will see Mandy again. Mandy loves you and maybe she wants to go, life is a burden to her now. You were not wong to spend money and time on her. There are those who spend a lot on things like golf, a dog is so much more. The thing is there are not sufficient resources and facilites for animals in this world. Perhaps it will change.

I have said a prayer for you all. God bless and comfort you and you family.


Our family just put our dog to sleep a few weeks ago. She was 14 years old and was suffering terribly. Hugs for you and your wife I am so sorry you have to go through this. It's one of the hardest things a pet owner has to do. I'm praying for you guys.


Really feeling for you tonight, Bob71 - I don't call in to the forum that often at the moment and only saw this thread tonight.

I bet she enjoyed that cheeseburger. :) We take the view with our older and sicker ones that they can drink, smoke, gamble and swear in their final days if it brings them comfort.

Others have mentioned the catechism and St Francis ... I can only share some practical words that I as a lifelong cat rescuer with a garden and lawn now full of fondly-remembered little grave plots have tried to live by ... animals do not understand death as a concept, though they have their natural self-preservation instincts, but they do understand pain and suffering, and for that reason it is better to put an animal to sleep a week too early than a day too late. I have had two or three now that I realise I let go a day too late and I regret it every time I think of them.

It sounds like you judged it just right with your little one.


My adult son and his wife had a large dog. The dog started to get serious ill. They took her to the vets to put her to sleep. But the dog used body language to say she wasn't ready to die yet. The dog made it clear that she wasn't ready to die.

They decided to use their vacation money to let the doctor do surgery on dog.
Then a couple of years later their dog was put to sleep because she used her body language to say she was ready to go. Their dog was put to sleep.

I think that it is very cruel to keep a dog alive while their quality of life has gone downhill.

All pets go to a fictious place called the RAINBOW BRIDGE where all of your pets will be waiting for you when your time comes to also die.

I once knew a lady who had a real old dog that could hardly walk. When I first saw him I said to the owner of the dog that Bobby the dog was ready to go the rainbow bridge.
There were three adults present when Bobby the dog sent an image of a beautiful rainbow.

We all saw the rainbow on the while wall. I then looked at Bobby the dog who was projecting the rainbow image. When he turned away from starring at the wall the rainbow disappeared.ie
I started to believe that maybe there is a place for pets.

There is a web-site for the Rainbow bridge. Go look at what people have to say about the rainbow bridge.

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