The Pets' Bill of Rights
A pet should have basic rights. While pets enjoy a wide spectrum of treatment (see the Five Stages of "Critter"), some basic rights should be expected for all of them.
The Pet's Bill of Rights
- Pets are not accessories, weapons or toys. They are a commitment, and should be treated with dignity and respect.
- Breeders are not bad, but there are bad breeders. The AKC has a definition of responsible breeding that is worth reviewing (http://www.akc.org/breeders/resp_breeding/).
- All pets deserve a safe and loving home for life.
- Pets require regular veterinary care, appropriate food, clean, fresh water, and regular exercise.
- Spay or neuter your pet as soon as possible to prevent unwanted litters, and for the health of your pet. The HSUS estimates that three to four million unwanted pets are euthanized each year - don't add to those statistics.
- Pets require monthly heartworm medication and an anti-flea and anti-tick medication, especially in Texas where mosquitoes and fleas can live year-round.
- Pets and owners should attend at least basic obedience training to help remain a pet for life.
- Pets should always have a collar with an identity tag and licenses. Pets can also be microchipped (rescued pets must be).
- Younger pets should be crated for their safety when they cannot be observed.
- Pets should always be on a leash when outside a fenced yard or the house.
- Pets should be restrained when riding in the car. Pets should not be uncrated in the back of the truck!
- Pets should not be left unattended in vehicles at any time.
- Pets should not be left unattended in the yard. They can dig out or they could be stolen.
- All poop should be scooped for the health safety of the pets and the people.
- Make sure your children know how to properly approach a dog, and know not to approach any unknown animal.
In The Home
- Dogs are pack animals. The human family is part of his pack. Therefore, dogs belong with the family and not out in the yard.
- Pets should live inside, to allow interaction with the other members of the household and to keep them safe from the elements and predators - both human and animal.
- Have an emergency plan for your pets in case the need arises.
- Many pets outlive their owners. Consider this in your estate planning.