Mom Making Teen Quit Hobby and Get Job To Pay $2,000 Vet Bill Applauded

A mother-of-three has been applauded on social media for making her 15-year-old daughter quit a hobby and get a part-time job to pay nearly $2,000 in veterinary bills.

The woman, who posted her story on Reddit using the handle aitavetcost, explained that the family's dog, Pebble, had become seriously ill as a direct result of her daughter's actions—but she had started to second-guess the decision she and her husband made.

Readers of the "Am I the A**hole" forum upvoted the post 15,000 times in less than 24 hours and the vast majority of commenters felt the parents were right to make the teenager take responsibility.

The reaction on Reddit might also reflect Americans' concerns about the cost of veterinary services. A 2019 survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association found that 30 percent of pet owners do not bring their animal companions for a check-up at least once a year. The primary reasons cited were that owners felt the animal wasn't sick or they simply did not have the money.

A dog and an unhappy girl.
Stock images of a vet treating a dog and a teenage girl looking unhappy. Redditors have praised the parents' decision on how to punish their daughter, saying: "The sacrifice she's having to make is the lesson." Freila/SeventyFour/Getty

In the Reddit case, the bill was "close to $2,000 after insurance" when Pebble, the family's chihuahua-dachshund mix, needed emergency treatment. He became unwell after spending too long on the deck outside their house during a heatwave, when temperatures reached 41C.

The woman wrote: "The deck is off limits because there's no shade on the deck. The problem is Pebble loves the deck because he can watch the cars, people walking on the trail behind our house, and he can see our neighbor's chickens."

She added that Janie, her 15-year-old daughter, leaves for school later than the rest of the family so it is her "responsibility to make sure Pebble is inside, the fans are on, and he has water."

Two weeks ago, Janie let Pebble go out onto the deck, but then forgot he was there and went to school.

Her older sister Allie, 18, came home and discovered the dog "passed out on the deck." She contacted her mom and Pebble was rushed to an emergency vet.

He made a "full recovery" and the mother wrote that Janie had been "very nonchalant about what happened because he's fine," which prompted her parents to punish her by making her pay the "expensive bill"

As a result, the teen has been forced to quit the swim team and get a job. She has accused her parents of "ruining her life over a mistake."

Redditors had little sympathy for the 15-year-old. 47Harpys acknowledged that it was a mistake, but a mistake that "nearly killed a family member."

"She knew the routine and knew better than to let the dog out onto the deck in the first place," they wrote.

Thatshowsyougetants20 posted: "The worst part is she doesn't even feel bad about it now that the dog is okay." They felt the mom was right to make her pay the bill adding: "I'd even suggest keeping a very close eye around her with the dog from now on too."

Jemifig wrote: "The sacrifice she's having to make is the lesson. It's painful to fix a grave mistake."

Chakura added: "She has 3 years before she's considered an adult, she needs to learn that mistakes have consequences no matter the end result."

UDontInterestMe praised the mom, writing: "You are giving the dog a voice by enforcing consequences—good for you!"

Newsweek has reached out to the original poster for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.

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