Niece Tries To Steal Dog From Aunt For Giving It Vegan Food

There are lots of reasons for taking a dog away from its owner, like abuse and neglect. But feeding it vet-approved vegan food? That’s what one Redditor is talking about on the AITA forum. It seems that her sister and her daughter (the OP’s neice), came to visit the other day when they saw the OP feeding her dog vegan dog food.

To the OP’s surprise, while she was out of the room, the two of them grabbed her dog and attempted to leave with him. In retaliation for this aggressive action, the OP said she would revoke her niece’s college fund, which has $60k in it. She wants to know if this was an overreaction. I don’t know folks, dognapping is pretty awful. 

“I have a college fund set up for my 16 year old niece, which currently has about $60k in it. My sister (her mom) was visiting the house yesterday with my niece,” the OP begins. 

“At one point I was feeding Jupiter, who is my dog. My niece started interrogating me when she saw the bag of dog food and noticed that it was vegan. I do in fact feed him vegan dog food with the full blessing of the veterinarian, and under the supervision of a veterinary nutritionist. My sister then joined in on this interrogation, so I just asked them both to leave.” 

“I went upstairs while they were gathering their things. When I looked out the window, I noticed that they grabbed Jupiter and were about to drive off with him! I immediately dashed downstairs and out the door, stopping them in time before they went off. I managed to get Jupiter back, and they were both screaming at me about how I don’t ‘deserve’ him.” 

“As a result of this incident, I have decided to revoke my niece’s college fund, informing them of this fact this morning. I then received a very long and unhinged barrage of texts from my sister, telling me that she is going to sue me for all of the money in the college fund despite the fact that there was never any contract.” 

Redditors were eager to give advice. 

“It’s your money. Unless you had it in her name, then that’s different. But otherwise, it’s your money and you can do with it what you want. Someone tried to steal your pet! Family or not, that’s unacceptable,” said Mrs_Hannah

“If it was a cat? That would be an entirely different story (they cannot live healthy without meat on their diet). Dogs are more complex but possible; as long as your doggo gets his check-ups and the ok of your vet, you are golden. As the above Redditor said, that doggo is your family and they tried to take him away from you. Just cut them off if you think that’s possible. Let your sister be laughed out of court (most like out of a lawyer’s office) if that’s what she wants,” said blaziken2708

“Put the money into your own retirement fund or something. They had absolutely no right to try to take your dog. I do have thoughts about feeding carnivore & omnivore pets vegetarian and vegan diets but “time & place” and if the vet likes it, I love it,” advised BlackStarBlues

“Did your sister deliberately not save up herself for a college fund because there was a clear understanding that you were doing it? Or is she just feckless and didn’t contribute when she should have? If she has not budgeted for college all these years then it’s not going to be possible to save the money now, in which case your niece’s education and life chances are going to be permanently damaged because of this. Firstly, whilst it is clearly your money and you have generously gone above and beyond what is expected – you would be the asshole if you now used this as conditions attached to behaviour – i get that your niece and sister shouldn’t have behaved that way – but they were motivated by caring about your pet on a subject that is pretty contentious (vegan diets for pets) – I don’t know whether Jupiter’s diet is the best for him – it seems you have done your research and have his best interests at heart – and he’s your pet – but whilst it was totally wrong of them to try to steal him, I think your reaction is disproportionate and smacks of controlling behaviour. Your niece’s behaviour to you and your pet is not linked to her education- so you shouldn’t be using it as a weapon. It would have been far healthier for you to have told them how hurt and upset you were about their behaviour and explain to them why they are incorrect about the diet. But you just pressed the nuclear button. Are you entitled to? Sure, maybe. And maybe you are better off without them in your life – but you have clearly invested in the relationship enough to save up 60k. Do you want to throw it away because of this,” asked Browneye422

“They definitely were wrong, but if you are close enough toe be willing to spend $60k on college with a family member, you would think you would try to talk this out. I have no issue with cutting family out and have done it myself, but it wasn’t the first thing I did. Especially for the people I was close to. Before I cut them out I talked through the issues because I feel like that’s what an adult does. This isn’t a clear case of abuse, and instead seems like they were genuinely concerned about the animal,” said sraydenk

What do you think the OP should do? Punish her niece or sit down and have a real conversation?

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Patricia Grisafi

Patricia Grisafi, PhD, is a freelance writer and educator. Her work has appeared in Salon, Vice, Bitch, Bustle, Broadly, The Establishment, and elsewhere. She is passionate about pit bull rescue, cursed objects, and designer sunglasses.