Ordinances are being proposed to city councils in many states to change
the word "owner" to "guardian" in local city codes.

The Following Article points out some of the reasons
that this seemingly innocent change of words
can be detrimental to humans and animals as well.

The Following Article was reproduced, with permission, from Bob Vella who is the host of
Pet Talk America. Pet Talk America is a Nationally Syndicated Radio Show Devoted to Pets.
Near the bottom of our Home Page we have more information and links to this program.

Updated 7-12-2002

Pet Owner to Pet Guardian: A bad idea!

By changing the term "Pet Owner" to "Pet Guardian" is a dangerous ploy to remove the rights of pet owners, just look who is behind this movement. An Animal Rights group. By changing the name to a more Politically Correct term can have future, underlining ramifications. For example, it is a step in the direction to allow animals the right to sue their owners if a lawyer or C.A.S.A. (Court Appointed Special Advocate) feels that there is a reason to sue or remove the rights of a person that is deemed not fit to be a "Guardian". Animals would over time be able to sue for such things like: not wanting to be eaten, not wanting to be in zoos or tested on or being "enslaved" as a Seeing Eye dog.

Most pet owners take care of, love and nurture their pets and consider them part of their family. By changing the term to "Guardian" will not change how the majority of the pet owning population feels about their pets. Yes, there is a small percentage of the population that does not care about their pets and will not change their behavior based on a word change. We have current laws on the books that should be enforced to deal with this small segment to the population.

There is a movement in this country to give more rights to animals that could have very negative results. For example: There are several animal rights groups trying to get the same rights awarded to animals that humans enjoy. If this is achieved then we would not have Zoos. Cattle would be able to sue cattle ranch owners. Monkeys would be able to sue humans because of animal testing. Dogs would be able to sue their owners because they were neutered and they wanted the right to reproduce. Animals in entertainment would sue because they do not want to perform. Animals that are service providers, A.K.A. Dogs for the Blind, will be able to sue because they do not want to be enslaved (animal rights group claim that seeing eye dogs are slaves to humans) to help a human.

Look at the whole picture here.

The animal rights movement in this country has silently been working behind the scenes for years now and recently has been on a crusade to change the rights of animals. By changing the verbiage to guardian would be a step in the direction to help mold the future for animal rights groups. This one little change in words will give them the ammunition to take away the rights of pet lovers as we know it. We do have people in this county that need to prosecuted for the way that they treat animals, but we do not need to change the term to appease animal rights groups. It is a dangerous move in the wrong direction. These groups say that animals do not have any more rights than a toaster or a microwave. That is simply not true! There are laws on the books across the country in every city, county and state that protect animals against cruelty. I do not know of any law that would put you in jail for "toaster abuse". Animals have their own laws that protect them against cruelty and abuse.

One popular animal rights lawyer Steven Wise was quoted saying "I don't see a difference between a chimpanzee," he states unequivocally, "and my 4 1/2-year-old son." You draw your own conclusion as to where this movement is going with that statement. We are in for a long, hard fight to retain our rights as pet owners.

We need to be careful of what is going on with simple name changes. Name changes will not make people love animals any more or less. Humans, for the most part are a compassionate species and we want what is best for humans and animals alike but we do not want to go over board on giving animals the same rights as humans and in some cases more rights than us.

The animal rights group that is pushing this campaign has stated on their web site: "It is the policy of In Defense of Animals to no longer use language that accepts the current concept of animals as property, commodities and/or things. Rather than refer to ourselves or others as "owners" of animals we share our lives with, we now refer to ourselves and others as "guardians" of our animal friends and to animals as "he" or "she" rather than "it." Guardians do not buy or sell animals; instead they rescue and adopt. We urge you to do the same." In my opinion they are dividing people against each other, the Guardians Vs. Owners. This statement indicates that they want to end the breeding of companion animals.

Animal Rights groups have been going around the country trying to get cities to change their laws regulating breeders, limiting the amounts of litters that they can have on a yearly basis and putting high fees on breeders who have more than what they think is right. Why? Read on. Animal rights groups are also trying to get cities to pass mandatory spay and neuter laws. Why? Read on.

This group also states: "To promote the new language and the ethic underlying it, our campaign is committed to a nationwide effort to reach the hearts and minds of the public, with the help and support of animal organizations everywhere. When momentum is achieved, a legal test case will be sought." So what does that mean? In my opinion, to take away our rights as pet owners.

The animal legal movement in this country is one to watch. There is a growing movement to allow animals the right to sue in such cases as malpractice. Veterinarian care will skyrocket if these cases are allowed to proceed. Animals will then suffer because no one will be able to afford medical care. Insurance companies will start increasing the Veterinarian's insurance because of claims that will be filed. If an animal dies for what ever reason, it will be the doctor's fault and of course it will not be the owners fault for waiting too long to seek medical help. It will be a double-edged sword.

Do not get me wrong here! I love and protect animals and wish to spend the rest of my adult life with them as an owner and educator of people who keep them. I do not want anyone to misinterpret what I am saying. Animals have their place in this world and no matter what we do and how we legislate, species will still go extinct, animals will still be eaten and the chosen few will be kept as pets and some people will not change the way they treat them no matter what they are called.

Bob Vella
Animal Lover &
Host of Pet Talk America
1-661-324-PETS (7387)

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