Blog – Preliminary Research and Summation #1

A problem I’m passionate about is animal welfare.

Animal welfare:

Getting a pet on a whim with little to no research and the effects it has on the animal. 

I work at an animal facility and I see many problems when it comes to animal care and a big one is just education. It’s a fun idea to just get a new pet but that comes with many new responsibilities. Even just different dog breeds can come with its own challenges. A problem I might want to assess is if you do get a pet are you really sure you are prepared. Even a fish should still have correct tank size and requirements to have a good life. Just because you’re meeting basic standards and the pet is still alive does not mean you stop your care levels at that point. 

I found this link to a website to really get you thinking about all the realities about getting a new pet

Are You Ready to Own a Pet?

I want to find ways on how to tackle the challenges of having pets and all that comes with them. I think a big problem is when people don’t realize the time commitment. Different pets vary in life expectancy but for example dogs live 12-15 years. That’s 12-15 years of your life also. 

This article covers that pets can also be huge expenses if they get sick or injured.

Pets are expensive. From vet visits to food supplies pet costs add up. Costs definitely vary on the type of pet but does not mean they aren’t an expense. 

This indepth research article covers in deep details about animal welfare, human to pet interactions and covers on if your pet truly happy. 

Overall pets are a commitment. Buying a pet is one thing but giving it a quality of life is another. Time, research and love should be put in when letting a new member of your family in.

What causes people to neglect their pets?

Can good people neglect their pets?

Animal neglect and abuse are both sad to the animal but have different causes and effects. Animal abuse is not a forgivable act and should be punishable but neglect can be affected by other factors.

Some points the article covers. 

  • Lack of education about how to care for animals 
  • Lack of empathy for animals and their well-being 
  • depression of the caregiver
  • and, sometimes overly compassionate people who become obsessive about saving animals to the point where they take in more animals than they can reasonably care for, which is referred to as hoarding. Well-intended, compassionate people are capable of neglecting their pets.  
  • Minor neglect requires education. Most people want to do the right thing for their pet and might need to learn the basics of pet care to ensure pets are happy in their homes. Serious neglect, however, can not be ignored as it impacts the well-being of the animal and may reflect, in part, on the mental well-being of the human caregiver. 

This all comes back around to education. Taking in more animals then you can handle can cause more harm than good. I wish I could save every pet but realistically taking in every animal I find would cause more harm than good. 

Legal Rights for Animals

  • Under most state and federal laws, animals primarily are regarded as property and have little or no legal rights of their own. Because of this status, generally there is a presumption—provided no law is violated—in favor of the owner’s control and use over the best interests of the animal.
  • Anti Cruelty laws require that animals be provided with basic necessities and be treated humanely, unless it is “necessary” or “justifiable” to deny them food, water or shelter. As long as individuals comply with these minimal standards they may go unpunished for actions that are not necessarily in the best interest of the animal and that may even cause pain and suffering, such as relinquishing a cat to a pound that sells animals for research or subjecting a dog to cosmetic tail docking and ear cropping.
  • Yet even when anti cruelty statutes do apply, prosecutors are usually overwhelmed with cases and frequently lack the evidence needed to litigate successfully.
  • federal laws, the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and the Humane Slaughter Act, regulate practices involving animal research, animals in exhibition and entertainment, animal breeding and transport and slaughter of most livestock. However, these laws provide only minimal protection and represent a balance between not causing an animal undue pain and suffering and using them for human benefit.
  • With their status as property, animals are unable to bring a civil suit for themselves if they are harmed. 
  • Another consequence of animals’ status as property is that if one is hurt or killed by someone other than his owner, the damages that can be recovered—if any—are minimal. Even if devastated, an owner can usually only be compensated for the pet’s market value. In general, courts do not recognize or award punitive damages for “emotional distress” or “loss of companionship” in these cases.

In summary animals have very little rights. Most laws are very vague and have many loopholes people find around to push the limits on what is abuse. Just because you meet basic necessities does not mean there is a quality of life. There is change being made and worked on but the fight isn’t over yet.

The Challenges Of Responsible Animal Rescue

The Challenges Of Responsible Animal Rescue

  • For individuals or organizations involved in the rescue of animals who do not have an ongoing relationship with existing animal sanctuaries specialized in those species’ care, it is critical that they establish a dialogue with sanctuaries prior to participating in rescues.
  • strongly recommend that individuals and organizations interested in rescue establish friendly communications with the sanctuaries in their region, long before any rescue activities are considered.
  • Even for organizations who are already engaged in sanctuary activities, and who may already have the apparent infrastructure and resources necessary, rescue is not a simple proposition by any means!
  • If a sanctuary is trying to decide whether they can participate in a rescue, it’s highly important that this rescue not come into conflict with zoning regulations. The consequences of being caught breaking zoning restrictions, depending on the governing body, can be quite dire, and could put the status of the organization and the safety of all of a sanctuary’s residents at risk

Saving every animal is a great idea but the actual task is a lot more complicated than people think. Of course most people want every pet to find a loving home but challenges happen with its temperament, condition and location. If a place already has healthy animals, taking in a shipment of sick distressed animals can affect the places already healthy ones. This friction happens with wanting to save the ones who need it without neglecting the ones already in care. 

People hate cruelty to animals, so why do we do it?

  • Humanity’s relationship with animals is dysfunctional: humans love animals yet simultaneously perpetrate extreme violence against them.
  • When we think about cases where animal lives are at stake, we often tend to think in utilitarian terms. When we think about cases where human lives are at stake, we often tend to think in deontological terms.
  • For example, when animals are used in scientific experimentation, researchers are mainly expected to show the benefits outweigh the costs: a utilitarian standard. But when humans are used, characteristically deontological considerations, such as consent and autonomy, are brought to bear; a cost-benefit analysis isn’t enough.
  • As a society we must confront deep and difficult questions about whether animals have moral rights and, if so, what those rights might be, and how (if at all) their rights differ from those of human beings.

This article brings up the difficult question of where the line begins for if animals do have rights what rights do they have and do all animals apply. A pig and a dog are both animals but if one would choose to do research on one or the other it is most likely the pig. Which is sad considering pigs are actually pretty intelligent. What is considered moral when killing an animal. A kill is a kill even if there is a benefit that comes from it.

The growing debate over spaying and neutering dogs

  • When overflowing animal shelters were euthanizing millions of homeless dogs annually, spaying and neutering puppies — procedures that involve removing ovaries or testicles — became the dogma in the United States.
  • Simpson was lead author of a recent paper on about 2,800 golden retrievers enrolled in a lifetime study, which found that those spayed or neutered were more likely to be overweight or obese. The study also found that dogs fixed before they were 6 months old had much higher rates of orthopedic injuries, and that keeping dogs lean didn’t prevent those injuries.
  • The research has sparked controversy in the veterinary and shelter worlds, in part because widespread spaying and neutering are credited with helping fuel a dramatic decline in euthanasia. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which says about 670,000 dogs are killed in shelters each year, supports “early-age” sterilization.
  • “People are pretty capable if they take ownership of their responsibility,” she said. But, she added, “none of us want to see more unwanted puppies.”

This article brings up should you or should you not neuter or spay your cat or dog. It is interesting because people don’t want strays on the streets but may be hesitant to spay or neuter. Research around if it affects the animals and to what extinct isn’t fully proven either way. What is known is they can’t reproduce without reproductive organs which helps lessen the amount of dogs that wind up in the shelter. Nobody wants puppies ending up in the streets but how else to fix the problem besides neutering and spaying. It also varies on the breed of dog or what age they were neutrated. A dog is a dog but a chihuahua is built a little different from a saint bernard which would mean they might get different results. Either way this brings up the question of whether it is still ethical.

Is It O.K to Get a Dog From a Breeder, Not a Shelter?

  • Each year in this country, something like four million dogs enter shelters, and 1.2 million of them are euthanized.
  • Having a preference for one kind of dog (or person) is not morally equivalent to being hostile to all others.
  • There is much to be said for adopting a shelter dog; if every canine companion that died or ran away were replaced with one, the shelters would be pretty much empty. But given that you are morally free not to have a dog, you are morally free not to have a shelter dog.

Is a breeder doing more harm than good? That is what this article covers. I have seen adopt don’t shop on so many bumper stickers but reality is more complicated than just a sticker. This article covers that it is your choice on whatever pet you get and if you have guilt over it donate to an animal cause you truly love and support. You don’t automatically get a pass in other people’s eyes for this but still it is your choice what pet you pick. My newest pet is from a breeder. We had to get a hypoallergenic dog that was smaller than my other dog because my other dog hates big dogs. We tried for a year with every shelter and hooked up our phones and emails with notifications. We were even going to drive across the U.S to have a chance at finding one. All breeders aren’t bad and the good ones will only breed their dogs 2-3 times in their lifetime. The good breeders I have met spend weeks with their dog and the puppies making sure everyone is ok. A good breeder puts in this work because most of the time the dogs they breed are their dog. I did have an inbred dog we got for free because no one wanted to put the time and money to help him heal. I lived firsthand of what bad breeding can do for 12 years and yet I still believe there are good breeders out there. I don’t support backyard breeders at all and the conditions those dogs live in. I don’t count them as true breeders, just evil people making a profit.

Beyond the Belly: The Health consequences of pet obesity

  • APOP’s survey revealed 59 percent of cats and 54 percent of dogs were classified as overweight or obese by their veterinary clinics. That adds up to an estimated 50.5 million cats and 41.9 million dogs at risk for weight-related disorders.
  • Pets with obesity are at increased risk of metabolic and endocrine disorders, especially type 2 diabetes, respiratory disorders and renal dysfunction.
  • Longevity studies in dogs have found dogs fed 25 percent fewer calories than normal and kept at a lean body mass lived an average two years longer and had fewer medical problems.
  • Obesity is known to cause diabetes and insulin resistance in cats and dogs. In obese pets, the number of insulin receptors on the fat and muscle cells are reduced, damaged or don’t function normally.
  •  It’s clear that excess weight in dogs and cats can lead to high blood pressure. Hypertension directly affects the kidney, largely because it receives approximately one-quarter of the blood pumped by the heart.

This article covers all the complications that come with overfeeding your pets and obesity. I find this interesting because many people always advocate giving their pets the best care possible but most are overweight. Technically not the best care. There are pets who will eat themselves to death but pets get their food from us. Humans giving their pets too much food can cause so many health problems and pain. Even though our pets are adorable we should put their health before their hunger for snacks. 

Cosmetic testing on animals

  • Where is cosmetics animal testing mandatory?

Historically, the Chinese government required all cosmetics products to be tested on animals. Fortunately, Chinese cosmetics regulations have been modified to eliminate some of these requirements. In 2014

  • Where is cosmetics animal testing banned?

In 2013, a ban on testing cosmetics on animals and on selling cosmetics tested on animals went into effect in the European Union, paving the way for efforts to find alternatives for common cosmetics tests that use animals. India, Israel, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland have passed similar laws. Cosmetic companies in the United States and abroad that conduct animal tests are not able to sell their products in these countries unless they change their practices

  • Are there other arguments against testing on animals?

Yes. Animal tests have scientific limitations because  animals often respond differently than humans when exposed to the same chemicals, leading to inaccurate estimates of real-world hazards to people.

This article covers should we use animal testing and why we even used it in the first place. Many cosmetic brands make it a part of their campaigns that they are a cruelty free brand. I support this because animal testing is cruel and if the results are not 100% accurate to how humans can react to it that’s a problem. Testing cosmetic projects for companies not already doing this should completely switch from animal testing to other alternatives. By using more scientific methods and safe and healthy chemicals, reactions should be little to none.

The problem with puppy mills and backyard breeders

Buyer Beware: The Problem with Puppy Mills and Backyard Breeders

  • Puppy mills are commercial breeding facilities that mass-produce dogs (and cats in cat mills) for sale through pet stores, or directly to consumers through classified ads or the Internet. Roughly 90 percent of puppies in pet stores come from puppy mills.
  • The animals produced range from purebreds to any number of the latest “designer” mixed breeds. Cat breeding occurs under similar conditions to supply pet stores with kittens.
  • Some backyard breeders may only breed their family dog once in a while, but they often are not knowledgeable on how to breed responsibly, such as screening for genetic defects.

This article covers the dangers of both puppy mills and backyard breeders. You should be very aware of where you get your pets considering there are many unethical breeders and mills out there. It breaks my heart there are people out there who care about making a quick buck then taking care of their animals. Be especially cautious of breeders because they may come off responsible but that could just be a front.


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