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Fido is now an official member of the family…

Fido is now an official-capa-mileniostadium
Créditos: Lifeonwhite

Just this past week the country of Spain made it official that you can register your dog with the government so the pet can get an official government designation and official name change. This is a chain reaction that many countries will adopt by precedence and make pets official family members with rights and accesses to government help. This status begs the question…. are pets’ people or animals and should they be treated in similar manners with all the same rights and privileges that humans receive?

This law can help protect pets if families split up. Officials will keep the animal’s well-being in mind during divorces and custody battles. It’s a step in the right direction for animal rights, but how many countries will join in?

Animals can no longer be abandoned, seized, or mortgaged. Instead, the judge must take the dog’s placement as seriously as any other family member. These changes significantly improve animal welfare, but Spain isn’t the first country to make this change. France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Portugal also see animals as recognizable beings instead of objects. Some custody battles have already taken a dog’s best interest into account.

Animals are part of the family and when a family decides to separate, the fate of the animal must be regulated with the same importance as the fate of other family members. With this change, joint custody of the pet will be awarded to a divorcing couple where possible, taking into account the new needs of the companion animal. With these new laws coming into effect, pets could have more rights than some people.

Supporters of animal rights believe that animals have an inherent worth – a value completely separate from their usefulness to humans. They believe that every creature with a will to live has a right to live free from pain and suffering. Animal rights are not just a philosophy – it is a social movement that challenges society’s traditional view that all nonhuman animals exist solely for human use. Animal rights advocates and rights protectors have gained a tremendous amount of support for animal protection and rights given to these creatures. 

There is evidence that interacting with pets reduces people’s stress, provided the pet is behaving properly. Good interactions do have quite a profound effect, causing changes in people’s moods. Those are actual changes in the body of someone who is stroking a friendly dog. So that’s the upside, but the downside is that the pets, that actually live with people, cause stress and expense and all sorts of other things that can cause arguments within the family. There are other downsides with pets, but the long-term effects on humans are more positives than negatives… right?

Is your pet a human or animal?

I ask this question because the answer obviously will be different and interpreted in many forms, but the genesis of the question moving forward could be argued whether your dog, cat or whatever animal you may foster have more rights than you neighbour, friend or foe?

On a personal level l have an open mind to all these questions relating to pets and their rights and privileges. My mind remains open to rights that animals need to have and the benefits that they bring us in our everyday lives. For myself and my family, we have adopted a beautiful small dog that has been a wonderful addition to our lives. This pet has been a journey for our family and the acceptance and regularity that it brings is something that can’t be purchased or replicated. Has he become a part of our family? The answer is yes and it’s a pleasant confirmation to our pet in becoming a part of our family in many forms.

There are some folks that l know who treat animals and in particular dogs, as strictly animals, and l have debated them but their minds are set. An animal they say should be treated like an animal and we should not treat them better than people. These folks are a dying breed to use a pun, and they need to be educated and reminded that animals have rights, and they need to be protected. My comments appear to suggest that I am on the side of animal rights and protection, but as indicated previously l have an open mind to animal rights and owning a dog and the pleasure that he brings to me and my family has won me over.

There is a growing global trend to consider pets as part of the family. In fact, millions of people around the world love their pets, enjoying their companionship, going for walks, playing and even talking to them. And there is evidence suggesting that attachment to pets is good for human health and even helps community building. Often animals are included in family events and become important to all members of the family. Many health benefits to humans occur when there is an emotional attachment to pets that live with us and people with pets often find that activities with their companion animal creates connections with other people. Whatever situation you may find yourself in these days owning a pet may just be that secret weapon that you were looking for.

Fido has arrived!

Vincent Black/MS

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