Pet "Owners" or "Guardians,"
that is the question!
"They are not our property. We are not their owners," according to the Animal Rights Movement.
Veterinarian Elliot Katz, President of In Defense of Animals, says,
Now is the time to get rid of the concept of pet ownership!”
Language is a powerful tool. Usage of certain
words can eventually lull us into acceptance of an ideology. At least that’s
what the animal rights extremists hope will happen.
At the 11th annual meeting of the Summit for the
Animals, held in St. Louis, MO, in April, 1995, representatives from 47 national
organizations passed four resolutions, according to the Animals Agenda (Volume
15, No. 4). One of the resolutions was entitled "Adopting Language That
Recognizes Animals as Individuals and Not As Property or Things" and says,
"The animal advocacy movement accepts and works to teach others that
animals are not property to be used for the benefit or whim of humans. We see
this as an important first step."
San Francisco, CA, was the first testing of the
waters. Veterinarian Elliot Katz, president of In Defense of Animals declared,
"Now is the time to get rid of the concept of pet ownership."
Katz said changing the language is an important
part of a "revolution" that will change the way people see their cats,
dogs, and other pets. Katz considers pet "ownership" to be an
offensive term and likens his cause to black slavery and the suffrage movement
that gave American women the right to vote and own property.
An In Defense of Animals press release states:
"Remember to always adopt or rescue and to never buy or sell animals."
Katz obtained approval from the San Francisco
Commission of Animal Control and Welfare to add the term "pet
guardian" wherever the term "pet owner" is used by a 5-1 vote.
The Commission recommended changes to the
Municipal Code adding "guardian" as an alternative to animal
"owner" and defining "guardian" as "any person who
rescues an animal from a pound or shelter and has adopted that animal. A
guardian shall have the same rights and responsibilities of an owner, and both
terms shall be used interchangeably. A guardian shall also mean a person who
possesses, has title to or an interest in, harbors or has control,
custody or possession of an animal."
Public testimony was taken with commissioners
favoring the changes but both the Animal Care and Control and Police Department
opposed. Seven dog and cat fanciers and the city attorney also spoke out against
The city attorney’s office drafted the new
language for approval by the Board of Supervisors, who would make the final
decision whether to make the new language a part of the City’s codes. The
proposal hasn't been able to get a sponsor on the Board of Supervisors and
appears to be withering on the vine.
If this ordinance passes in San Francisco, the
fall out will affect all of us. Every major US city will have a similar
proposal, as with our on-going experience with Mandatory Spay/Neuter, Licensing
Differentials and Breeder Permits Ordinances. The proposal has already surfaced
in Boulder, CO.
American Kennel Club expressed the following
concerns about the proposal in Taking Command, November 1999. "To
the many dog owners who share a special, indefinable bond with their animals,
this idea may sound appealing. However the long term legal implications of
designating pets as more than property blurs the legal responsibilities of pet
ownership. While they may seem insignificant on the surface, they represent a
significant step forward for animal rights activists looking to terminate our
According to a briefing sheet published by the
Washington, D.C. based Capital Research Center, animal
rights groups profess to work for improved animal treatment while their ultimate
goal is to abolish the following: 1) the breeding and owning of pets; 2) the use
of animals in biomedical research; 3) the raising of farm animals for food,
clothing, and by-products such as insulin; 4) the use of animals in education
and entertainment, including zoos, aquariums, circuses and rodeos; and 5) all
forms of hunting (including field trial competition), trapping and fishing.
The Great Ape Project, USA, which includes
IDA’s Dr. Sheri Speede on the board of directors, is a social and legal
crusade to gain certain rights for primates. IDA says they intend to do the same
for other species. When momentum is achieved, they say they will seek a legal
Harvard Law School is
now offering a course on what some consider an emerging field: animal rights law
to be taught by Steven Wise. US News & World Report writes: "A
dozen law schools now feature courses on animal law, and in some cases, at
least, the teaching seems to be a simple extension of radical activism.
Steven Wise talks of using the courts to knock
down the wall between humans and apes. The advantage of the litigation strategy
is that there’s no need to sell radical ideas to the American people.
There are almost no takers for the concept of
"nonhuman personhood," the view of pets as slaves, or the notion that
meat eating is part of a "specter of oppression" that equally afflicts
minorities, women, and animals in America.
The rhetoric is highminded, but the strategy is
to force change without gaining the consent of the public." (End of
The removal of our right to "own" our
animals also removes our right to keep, nurture, and protect our pets. The
Animal Rights Movement is telling you what they are going to do and how they are
going to do it. Are you listening?
Provided here by the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance
Contact the Responsible Pet Owners Alliance at
protect your rights as an animal *owner*, the Feline Rescue Network suggests
that you join Animal
DISCLAIMER: Please note that The Feline Rescue Network does
not have control over or any direct relationship to the sites offered as links
from this site. The Feline Rescue Network is not responsible for the content of
these linked sites and is not responsible for any transactions based on contacts
made through this site or any linked sites. Our desire is to provide a
list of rescue sites that are trying to place pets into loving and caring homes.
While we make every effort to only publish links from reputable rescue agencies
and sources, we HAVE NOT physically reviewed these organizations.