Would you kill a stray to save your own pet?

Just a curious ethical question.
Let’s say in order to save your beloved pet, (dog, cat, whatever) would you kill or have killed by someone Else’s hand, a stray animal as the same kind as your pet?
Myself, I’m pretty sure I would. Even tho’ I know it’s morally wrong; I think I’d still do it.

Do you mean that the stray is a threat to my pet?

Can’t I kill a stray cat instead? They pee in the thatch in front of my front window, and now I can’t open it in warm weather. I’d gladly off one of those little fuckers.

I suppose if “same kind of animal”, if my neighbor’s non-stop-barking schnauzer were to suddenly find a stray soulmate, I’d gladly leave some food out for it in a dish. It probably wouldn’t even notice the micro switch and the C4 underneath.

Yes, but I’d expect to pay some heavy karmic dues for doing so.

Well, of course I would, though how I’d manage to kill a dog who was attacking my dog without killing my dog as well is a mystery. I certainly wouldn’t get in the middle of a vicious dog fight.

No, not at all.
I mean something more along the lines of: “I’ll wave my magic wand and your dying pet gets to live for another five or ten years but a stray somewhere in the world has to die before his or her time.”

My last post was intended for gigi . :smack:

I once (and only once) kicked a dog, and might have broken its ribs. My dog was getting ready to hop into my truck, and two dogs came from up the street. One attacked her hindquarters, and one went straight for her neck. I kicked that one, and they both left pretty quick after that. I felt bad for hitting an animal at first, but my gut reaction of guilt cleared up when I realized I saved my own dog from being seriously hurt.

For the record, my dog did absolutely nothing that could be considered aggressive. She had her tail between her legs, and was so hunched up she looked like a halloween cat.

Hell yes I would. My pet is a member of my family. If a dog was attacking my cat (let’s say), you’d better believe that I’d beat the dog about the head and neck with whatever heavy object was conveniently at hand, and if it has to be destroyed, then oh well.

In the spirit of SHAKES clarification, no. I took my dog with the realization and understanding that large dogs don’t live all that long. I will try to give him the best life I can until he dies or I have to put him down. But when that time comes, I’ll be able to look back and be thankful for the joy and happyness his life brought me.

The only caveat to this is if I got to pick the specific dog. There are plenty of dogs out there that are in dire straights and would benefit from being put out of their misery.

In the case of an attack on my dog, I will defend him with whatever means are necessary. And after the situation is normal and my dog is safe, I will try to take the dog that I shot, kicked, killed, etc. to the vet or try to find his owners but with no guilt about my actions.

I have had to do that in the past. A huge tomcat kept my cats out of their heated shelter when it was colder than 35 degrees below Celsius. We chased it away a couple of times, but when I found my cats 20 feet up in a tree and the stray warm and toasty, that was the end of him.

I may not be the biggest animal lover out there, but damn it, my cats are family, and family always wins.

I don’t think I understand the depth of the question:

  1. There are two similar animals
  2. One of them is your beloved
  3. One of them has to die
  4. You get to pick

Where is the dilemma? Replace animal with “child”, “country” or something similar and it is the same.

Hmm. I guess that doesn’t seal it for me. I assume you mean the choice is clear that you would kill the stray/child/country?

Yes, absolutely. Why wouldn’t you? Letting your own animal die could come from a couple of different viewpoints.

  1. They are animals so let nature decide. That is crap for domestic pets however and often illegal depending on the specifics.

  2. Resisting your own desires and letting yourself experience pain is always virtuous. That is also crap because all we know is that we have one animal that is loved and another random one. The random one may not have anything going for it while yours is known to have a loving family, health and age are know, etc. There is no reason to make a contrary decision just because you feel taking the pain yourself is always the admirable thing to do. For all we know, the stray is flee-ridden, ancient, and has a terrible demeanor and that is why it is a stray in the first place.

Enough with the philosophical babble. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t pick what you desire given that both alternatives seem to be equal on average or even less so given that one is an admitted stray.

For my first thought: if a stray is attacking my pet, I would kill it in a second. Heck I would kill it to save my rosebushes.

After the clarification: I am thinking something in the lines of your dog needing a transplant and you find a compatible stray and a vet who is both willing and able to do the transplant. Would I trap the stray and kill it to save my dog? That’s a tricky one. The straight moral answer is no but my heart is telling me that it may go otherwise.

Shit, if an animal has got to die, it might as well be the one that’s not mine. There’s nothing to think about for me here.

Well, if it is a choice between my cat and the stray cat that is attacking him I will pick my cat. If it is a choice between my cat and a person who is attacking him I will pick my cat. I wouldn’t feel bad about either choice, not even for a moment. Now if I was killing a random animal for a transplant that would not be okay and I would use whatever other medical means necessary to keep him alive, but if it is a fight situation that other being had better hope I don’t catch them because I am not above doing serious bodily damage to protect my cat. He sleeps in bed with me, he curls in my lap when I read. He showers me with love and asks so little in return that I couldn’t just step aside and let him die.

Probably. Hell, there are people I’d kill to save certain dogs of mine.

I’m not passing any kind of judgment here, but what did you do to resolve the situation? It seems a bit – unfair? – to kill a feral cat that is only trying to make its way through life on its own. By keeping your cats outdoors (which I also do, BTW) you are more or less saying they are meant to fend for themselves against such competition. I would certainly take steps to ensure the cat house (which I also provide) is used by my cats and not others, but felicide? I dunno. Catch and release somewhere far away, more likely.

I’m not one of the PETA types who believe that animals are co-equal to humans in ethical terms, and firmly believe in promoting the welfare of my personal pets (as extensions and objects of my family’s affection) over any generic, off-the-street stray.

For example I thought the OP was going to bring up a scenario like accepting a heart or liver transplant for my ailing cat from an healthy but unclaimed shelter stray. I’d do that without much compunction, unless my cat were already quite advanced in age, in which case I’d probably feel somewhat obliged to let nature take its course and adopt the younger cat (like that line from Sin City: A young cat lives… An old cat dies. Fair trade). In all likelihood the shelter cat could well end up euthanized anyway – might as well take the parts I need while I can.

Would I take this attitude towards people? Of course not. But cats are not people. I would certainly save the life of any random person from my burning house over my pets, for example, though I assume there are people out there would would make the opposite choice.

Perhaps, if we are talking about animals. But that’s only because of how I view animals. I don’t see the extension to humans and countries. Although perhaps it’s analogous to hoping for an organ donor for your child; but then again people feel very guilty that another child has to die for theirs to be saved.