Mother-in-Law Rehomes Son's Dog to Ex-Wife While He's Abroad

Gillian Sisley

Does anyone have the right to rehome another person’s pet?

There’s a reason people say that dogs are man’s best friend. This statement originally comes from the significant bond and special relationship an owner can have with their canine.

And science backs up this very saying, as data shows that having a household pet increases an owner’s overall well-being and health. Pets are proven to reduce stress and increase a person’s quality of mental health.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a woman rehomes her son’s dog to the son’s ex-wife, and is heavily criticized for it.

Does anyone have the right to rehome another person’s pet?

An online post published on September 25, reported on by Sophie Lloyd from Newsweek, has gone viral with 19,300 upvotes and 1,500 comments.

The author begins her post by explaining that her son owns a border collie, which he originally shared with his ex-wife and children. The son’s ex-wife kicked him out of the house, and so now he’s living with his mother, the author.

The 25-year-old son was kicked out because he was caught cheating on his wife with a coworker, and for that reason, the couple has separated. The author clarifies that, while she ‘doesn’t agree’ with her son’s infidelity, she was still trying to be there for him, and thus she let him move in. While she was fine with her son moving in, she wasn’t okay with him bringing the dog along.

The author explains that she feels her son only brought the dog to spite his ex-wife, because his children love the family dog, but he won’t let them see their dog as much as they’d like. The author also adds the context that her son has a ‘fly-in, fly-out’ job, which results in him leaving the state for weeks on end.

Dogs need an owner who will be responsible for their well-being.

While the ex-wife and children live in a house with a big yard and parks nearby for the dog to enjoy, the author lives in a downtown apartment. She has tried to adapt to having a dog in her home, but admits that her son doesn’t walk the border collie often, which is not only cruel to the animal but also means the dog doesn’t get to work its energy out. The 25-year-old doesn’t brush the dog, or walk him, and for that reason, she feels her son is ‘holding the dog to lever his way back into his ex’s life’.

Then the straw that broke the camel's back happened. After being away for two weeks for work, the son immediately left to go on vacation with his ‘new girlfriend’, leaving his mother to look after the dog for several more weeks. That was when the author reached out to her daughter-in-law and asked if she would ‘like to have the dog back’.

The daughter-in-law was so happy that she ‘cried with joy’. The author happily packed up everything that belonged to the dog that was in her apartment and dropped the border collie off. Her grandchildren were equally as excited to have their pet back. However, when the son learned what she had done, he was absolutely furious with his mother, whereas she told him that if he tried to bring the dog back he would ‘not be welcome in her home’.

What do you think? Was the author entirely justified to rehome the dog back to the ex-wife, to allow for the animal to live with a backyard rather than in a downtown apartment? Or is the author just kicking her son while he’s down, and even though he’s away for weeks on end, she should have supported him by looking after his dog?

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