AIBU to nag my friend to give her pets away?(218 Posts)
Ok, so back story quickly. . My friend has 4 DD's ranging from 2-10. She is a good mum, not denying she is there for her kids as much as she can be. But I feel their lives are kinda ruined by her obsession with pets. I'm all up for having animals, of course I am, but this obsession I feel is affecting the kids. Their back garden is now just a dog run. Everything evolves around the animals, money etc.
says she cant buy them clothes but can buy a £45 dog house that day kids don't have the best clothes, or the best shoes. They sleep in beds where the dogs have been sleeping or the cats. There is hair everywhere in the food, on the cooker, on the sinks. The smell of dog poo is beyond a joke in their house if their back windows are open. In total there are 13 'furry-ish animals' I hate going round there because they are just everywhere. Literally. Every room you go into, and its not like they are laid back type of animals. I just feel bad saying to her that there are to many, and that the kids should come before the animals. That even though she loves the animals, the kids don't, and when she has a sh*t fit, its always about the animals and I feel she isn't coping well with all of them but makes out she is, if that makes sense? I know the kids don't like them, because they have told me outright. Some of the pets she has, I was like WTF?! Why? She thinks I'm being ridiculous and that they are her pets, she would never get rid of them but sometimes I just question how many are to many? Especially when the kids have to help out with them when they don't want to. I think what annoys me the most, is that because she is on benefits, every penny for the children goes onto these animals. Nearly £1500 of that on a dog. But the kids don't get much! God, I sound awful moaning don't I? But I just feel for the kids sake, surely this is to much for them? Lost count how many times one dog has poo'd on the kids bed. Or how many of the kids quilts have turned into dog beds. Or how many toys have been destroyed in the process. But sometimes I feel IABU!! Because it is her life, and her money and her house, but I just Arrgghh!
I know my friends sister goes round alot, and she has said that she doesn't understand why her sister wants all the animals, but is worried to say anything because her sister gets on the defensive and I know that the sister does have my friends DD's alot for her. So doesn't want any problems to stop that from happening. But surely if the sister can see theres a problem, then it isn't just me? I just hate going on Facebook and seeing my friend upload a new picture of another pet she has.
I don't really think there's much you can do, tbh.
What do her kids say?
If the kids are going without and the animals are shitting on their beds then you need to call SS. Clean and warm housing/bedrooms are one of the things they consider, rightly, to be a basic need that isnt being met in this case.
I dont say this lightly, having seen the fallout from a malicious report, but these children are suffering because of her refusal to see sense.
The hoarding stage has always been there (from what I've been told) every opportunity to 'own' something, she does. She had DD1 really young, and within the first 2 weeks of DD1 being born, I believe she had a hamster, 2 ferrets & a puppy. Then when DD2 was born , them pets had gone and birds appeared along side 2 mastiff type dogs. But as far as I'm concerned, in the past few years its got worse. When DD4 was born, she had 3 cats & a dog. Where now she has 6 dogs, 3 cats, 2 ducks & 2 parrots.
Her kids hate having to get up to let the dogs out (DD1&DD2 especially) There is bird poo everywhere, duck poo, dog poo, they can't open the kitchen door with out a pack of dogs running out to get
freedom out of there. The dogs sleep in their beds, which they hate. And like I said, the kids feel they have to take responsibility for what their mum wanted. A typical food shop for all 4 DD's & friend is about £40 a week, animal feed comes to a lot more!
I feel like I'm fighting myself, because I am so worried that SS would take the DD's away! Because I now, hand on heart, cannot swear that my friend will chose the DD's over the pets
I feel like I'm fighting myself, because I am so worried that SS would take the DD's away!
They dont just sweep in, take one look and then take the kids. She would be told what needs to change, offered help to make the changes and only after a sustained period of her refusing to change anything would removing the children be considered. If she would choose her pets over the kids then that is her choice, but the children are suffering, you have a moral obligation to help them.
£40 a week on food shopping? What are they eating? I have been on the bones of my arse before now so I know that sometimes you have to make the money stretch, but if she can afford way more on the pets then that is neglect not necessity.
I know you dont want to hear this but if you dont contact NSPCC or SS then you are complicit in the neglect because you knew and did nothing about it. How does that sit with your conscience? I am not being horrible to you, I know you want to do the right thing, but think about it...
I would contact ss or an animal welfare organisation. It can't be a good environment for the children or the animals.
I second ss and i like the other poster's description of what is likely to happen. It might just be the reality check that she needs.
report to social services and let them take a judgment call on it. they are used to lots of lifestyle choices and will probably work with her to balance her lifestyle better. really unlikey to sweep them into care.
Rose, I opened this thread thinking I'd say you needed to mind your own business.
Your friend has issues and the children are suffering from neglect. The animals may also be neglected. You need to inform social services and an animal welfare charity. You can remain anonymous.
Agree with what others said so far. Report to ss
Doesn't sound as if the animals or kids are being looked after as well as possible, does it?
I mean 6 dogs???
really, how many people can realistically properly look after that many dogs?
How do they all even get a good walk everyday?
Report to social services. They'll visit, take a look at the house and the children's belongings, and let your friend know what the acceptable standard of living is for children.
thats so sad. You do need to call ss- she may not know it was you, I imagine neighbours arent too happy with the smell too.poor kids
I agree with other posters - you really need to report this to SS. They will keep your details anonymous if you request it. Poor kids, this is really sad.
I really feel for the kids. I think you need to contact SS and possibly the RSPCA because although kids should be
Priority the animals cant be happy either.
That is far too many animals, I have just the one dog and he is quite expensive and I do spend quite a bit of time staying on top of his mess! It sounds like some addictive behavior on her part. Agree with what previous posters have said about SS as I don't think she will listen to your concerns.
You really do need to report this and the sooner the better for all they're sakes.Your friend sounds like she has a problem and needs help addressing it.
Some people can cope with a lot of children and a lot of pets but it sounds like your friends far from coping.
Owning one lot of pets and then replacing them to get another is not caring for animals or being an animal lover it's very disruptive for the animals and extremely unfair.
I have none two separate family's that were exactly the same,both family's ended up with SS intervention.Neither family had any of they're children removed.
Contact the rspca and ss letting animals shite in a house is neglect so not only is she neglecting her children but her animals too. Bird poo is highly toxic and her kids ARE breath ing it in, if you really want to do something then do it today
I'd be tempted to start with the rspca, as they might hopefully take the animals away - SS are not likely to take the children, but work with her to meet their needs, which she can't do with the animals in place. Also, sounds awful to say but she might be more sensitive to the needs of the animals - is she is told that they are in an unacceptable environment she might change it for them.
Where is these children's father? Can he intervene? Are her parents around - it is probably safer for them to tackle her as even if she goes NC they still have a line pf connection, and they could be more support for the children, or take them in on a short term.
You might be better off speaking to the girl's school than SS directly, they will have more experience dealing with vulnerable children and can probably support the girls better with statements or whatever no real experience of SS, but i know schools have a student support person, who logs the child at risk thing and it might be more concerted coming from the school. They will also have a good idea of the affects on the children directly.
I have four dc similar ages. Two cats. A hamster. But my kids never go without or come before the animals. Similarly the animals don't suffer because of the children. I have recently accepted I will never own a dog because dogs need so much time and attention, it would just be too much. And that's one dog, not four. I did try having one and he was absolutely lovely but I just couldn't cope in the end and he is now with the most lovely elderly couple that spoil him rotten.
I'm not sure your friend needs the ss involved. As you say you do believe she is a good mum. I think she needs to know you are considering doing that however. Sometimes being a proper friend means not being the nice guy. She needs to rehome most of the dogs and just keep one. I can't see how having more than that is beneficial to any of them.
Does she even have insurance for any of the animals? What would she do if they needed expensive emergency treatment?
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