Home › Forums › Advice & Chat › Did I do a terrible thing?
- This topic has 127 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 8 months ago by Kate.
About a week ago I was running errands in my neighborhood when I came upon a girl who looked to be in bad shape. She was disheveled and sitting with a couple bags filled with her belongings and a small dog. I asked if she was ok and she told me she had been kicked out earlier in the day and was effectively homeless. I felt bad for her so I gave her some cash and asked if I could take her to the corner store for some food and she accepted. While we walked and chatted it became very obvious to me she was not mentally well, her stories made no sense, she made wild impossible claims about her past and her eyes were not focusing correctly. I suspected she might be on drugs or maybe off meds. She was pretty young and I didn’t like the idea of her being on the street all night so I offered to get her a room at a local motel for a couple nights. She accepted, unfortunately the motel was not pet friendly so I said I would watch her dog for her while she got a good nights sleep and figured out her next move. Initially I thought about just letting her stay with me but she was being REALLY strange and I didn’t feel safe. I gave her my number and we agreed to meet the next day.
Around 1am she called and sounded off. She asked me to bring her the dog and I said I would prefer not to because it was the middle of the night but she was insistent. I put the dog in the car and drove to the motel and found her in the middle of a psychotic breakdown. It was really scary. The motel staff were telling me she would need to leave because she had been acting erratically since she arrived and was making everyone uncomfortable. She didn’t ask for her dog (still in the car) but proceeded to scream obscenely at everyone around. The motel staff said they had called the police so I quickly ran to the nearest ATM and took out what I had (about 500 bucks) and called a cab. The police arrived the same time as the cab and after a discussion they said they would not arrest her if she left the premises. I was torn because she obviously needed help but she was not going to go with the cops without a fight. I told the cab to take her to an hotel just outside the city. I handed her the rest of the cash and said take this and go, And she asked about her dog. I said he couldn’t go with her. She said ok and I said the money is for the dog. She said ok and then the cab drove away.
I immediately blocked her number in my phone because I was honestly scared of her. By this point it was 3am and I was exhausted. I took the dog home and he’s been with me ever since. I feel terrible about the whole thing. Fight or flight kicked in and I just did what I thought was best but now I feel like a dog thief BUT I don’t want to speak to this girl again.
I am in a position where I can take care of the dog but is it morally wrong of me to keep him? My friends all have said it was likely the dog would’ve ended up lost or at a shelter anyway due to the girls mental status but I can’t stop feeling like even though I did what was safest for the dog I didn’t consider the human being. Was a wrong? What should I do now?
You did a really dumb and questionable thing, and yeah, it’s not okay to take somebody’s pet for yourself without their consent. She didn’t really consent to you buying the dog. You got involved and forced a bunch of stuff on her. You should probably contact the police and see what you can do to get the dog back to her.Idk2021Guest
I kinda want to clarify I didn’t “take the dog for myself”. Had I not answered her 1am call she likely would’ve been arrested for disorderly conduct and I may have never seen her again and would still have her dog. I spoke to the cops that night after she left and told them I had her dog and their response was “I guess it’s your dog now” so I don’t see how they are going to help me. I also attempted to take the dog to the local shelter in case she was looking for him and was told the shelter was full.
Ok so what are you asking? Are you open to feedback or no?Idk2021Guest
I’m open to feedback. You gave me yours and I appreciate it however I added the extra
info as clarification. This is a forum correct? This isn’t “Dear Kate”. I’d love to hear from some other people
Ok, even with the clarification I think it’s morally questionable to keep the dog, and wrong to have taken it in the first place (under these circumstances), as well as wrong to give cash to someone acting erratically and like they may be on something.VathenaGuest
It’s not your dog. You shouldn’t have gotten involved and acted like this girl’s personal savior. If you see someone in need of help, the appropriate thing to do is to contact a local authority (like a shelter or other homeless org) and direct her there to receive help from people who know what they’re doing. Taking her dog was a pretty reprehensible thing to do, IMO. You should un-block her number, just long enough to get her dog back to her, and give her the info for an organization that can help her. You can’t just steal a person’s pet.BittergaymarkGuest
Do you want the dog? Or not? If you don’t even want the dog then I am really confused about why you took it in the first place. Honestly, I am quite confused how any of this even happened.
It must be nice to be able to just throw money after lost causes. But honestly? Sending a deranged psycho to another motel so they can cause endless drama there seems fucking pointless. Yeah. I’m sure everybody working and staying there was just fucking thrilled. ??♂️
Why not just let the police take her away. Did you really she’s magically wake up and go one to live a blissfully sane life?
Honestly, LW? You sound very out to lunch yourself.BittergaymarkGuest
PS —- And yes — you now keep the dog. Animals suffer enough without being chained forever to the mentally ill. Seriously.CopaParticipant
My goodness. I’m not sure what part you’re asking about being right/wrong, but you did a lot wrong here. I don’t think you should’ve intervened in this way. She needs actual professional help (What exactly that should look like, I’m not sure), not all your savings or a hotel room for a couple nights. What you did isn’t helpful, in my opinion. The police may have been able to do more for her than you allowed them to. They could have taken her to the hospital if that was needed and/or taken her to a shelter. Instead, you made this woman the problem of a motel, a cab driver, and another hotel — none of these people are equipped to actually help her, not even a little bit! And no, you shouldn’t have taken her dog. What on earth were you thinking?
I don’t know what you do now. You made a series of very questionable (and, IMO, bizarre) choices that got you to where you are now. You decided to intervene so maybe you call her one last time to get her dog back and THEN block her.
Next time, give a few dollars, call 911, or MYOB.Karebear1813Participant
You should have let the cops manage the situation. They have training and access to resources to help this women that you dont have.
If she was having a mental health crisis then she should could have been taken to a hospital whether by agreeing or being forced.
And if she is an addict then the worst thing you can do for addict is supply them with cash and buying them a hotel rooms.
You didnt know what was going on with her and I know you were trying to do what you felt was right but what if this women, whether due to her mental issues or due to using drugs, had seriously hurt someone…had seriously hurt you?
And about the dog…you should unblock her and allow her the opportunity to get her dog back and/or ask if you can give the dog to her family. You don’t know her history with her dog. I would recommend meeting in a safe place like a police station and/or at the dogs vet to surrender the pup back.Idk2021Guest
Tbh I did not realize the severity of the situation when I initially got involved. The original plan was to find her resources but this happened on a weekend and nowhere I called was open, I got her the hotel for a couple days til I could get her into a better place. I’m not a mental health professional and I don’t have money to throw around. The money I gave her was the last dime from my account until I get paid again. I don’t trust cops so that is why I didn’t want them to take her. She was so unhinged I worried about her getting hurt by them. Cops in my city are pretty awful and I don’t like being around them any longer than I have to be which I think also contributed to my need to get her out of there as fast as possible. However based on what she was saying I am also terrified of her which was why I blocked her number in the first place. Believe me guys I know I made all the wrong choices here but I didn’t do it to be malicious.