My friends dog was feeling threatened and nipped a family member's arm because they werent paying attention. The nip did no damage and was as far as I know, because he was scared. Most of the family wants to put the dog down because he's "dangerous" even though it's due to their own stupidity. He is a healthy 7 year old and it was my friend who raised him and is very distraught. The dog belongs to the family. A) can they legally put the dog down and B) could it be considered animal abuse?

  • 1
    Domestic animals and pets are generally considered to be property, and can be sold or slaughtered for food; or euthanized as long as that is done in a manner considered to be humane, like by a veterinarian with approved drugs. May 16, 2019 at 2:15

1 Answer 1


As BlueDogRanch said, animals are property; you can have an animal put down because you consider it dangerous, because (if it is livestock) you wish to sell the carcass, or because you are tired of it. Legally, the dog belongs to the person whose name is on the dog licence; that person's view is decisive. (If you are asking whether the family should have a healthy dog put down, I doubt whether anybody on the internet can help; certainly Law.SE cannot).

And animal abuse would have to involve cruelty; use of the proper drugs by a vet definitely would not qualify.

  • Questions of ‘should’ can fit on philosophy or religion stacks
    – Dale M
    May 16, 2019 at 20:53
  • @Dale: they coulod help with moral philosophy, but not ethics. May 16, 2019 at 21:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .