Is it permissible to be mechalel Shabbos to save the life of an animal, such as a family pet? Could minchag, chumras, and/or purely Rabbinical prohibitions be relaxed in such a situation, and to what extent?

Please assume no Gentile is available to save the animal's life. However, if it would be permissible to relax certain rules in order to summon a Gentile for this purpose, please discuss.


1 Answer 1


From the Mishna Brurah 332:6 it is assur to violate a Torah or Rabbinic law to save an animals life but one can ask a אינו יהודי . However to heal it in a certain way see Mishna Brurah 332:5,9 .

  • 1
    If dying would cause it pain, couldn't Tzar Baalei Chayim be a factor? We permit at least some Rabbinic laws to that end (eg. milking cows in certain ways).
    – Double AA
    Mar 10, 2013 at 17:35
  • @DoubleAA ,That's the Mishna Brurah 9.However,it seems assur generally.The heter seems to come from בהול .
    – sam
    Mar 10, 2013 at 17:42
  • +1. I have a crazy family story about this; in short, someone asked my father (a people doctor) about a rabbit whose life was in danger....we asked the rabbi, who said to ask a non-Jew to take it to the veterinary hospital. (the rabbit, unfortunately, didn't make it)
    – MTL
    Nov 30, 2014 at 17:28

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