[Avodah] animal ownership

Zev Sero zev at sero.name
Sat Aug 4 22:24:24 PDT 2018

On 03/08/18 06:48, Ben Waxman via Avodah wrote:
> A relative asked me about neutering cats and I told him that I go by the 
> "sell your animal to a non-Jew and have another non-Jew do the 
> operation" psak.  This relative has some cats that he wants to neuter. 
> He asked me what constitutes ownership. Meaning, my cat was born in my 
> house, I take him to the vet, he sleeps inside, and has a name. My 
> relatives cats are basically well fed street cats. He feeds them but 
> doesn't give them shots, or let them inside, or take care of them in any 
> other way.
> Is ownership in this case a restriction? Does someone need to own a cat 
> to do this operation? Is feeding a cat (that lives in your property) 
> enough to constitute ownership?

I don't see what ownership has to do with it, except in the negative 
sense that obviously one has no right to do anything with someone else's 
animal.  But there is no difference between your own animal and one that 
is hefker; the issur is to surgically sterilize *any* animal, regardless 
of who owns it.  Some rishonim hold this issur applies to bnei noach 
too, some don't.  Either way, giving it away to the vet is just a means 
of surrendering control over it, so that when he chooses to neuter his 
animal you can tell yourself it's not your responsibility, you didn't do 
it, you didn't tell him to do it, you had no power or right to stop him. 
And then you buy it back, already sterile through no fault of your own. 
The fact that the profit the vet made on the transaction exactly equals 
the fee he usually charges people for this service is just an amazing 

Zev Sero            A prosperous and healthy 5779 to all
zev at sero.name       Seek Jerusalem's peace; may all who love you prosper

More information about the Avodah mailing list