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Animal Ethics


Introduction

A long time ago, before evolution turned the primate into the businessman carrying a brief case, the topic of ethical considerations concerning animals was as talked about as an episode of Barney at a dog trainer's convention. Why is this? I believe that this is because nobody bothered to decide to give the issue any thought. And how could they? Back in the day of the cave man, people spent their days' hunting, and looking after family. Whatever animals they owned were used for hunting purposes, or food. Today we as society still use animals for hunting and food purposes, however I am sure that we have a more animalistic view now than the cave man did back years ago.

Over the years, as we have evolved into what we are today, ethical and principle considerations have evolved right along with us. What I can not understand, is why it took so long for people to start considering the feelings of animals!

In today's society, many animals are abused, neglected and tortured in various hideous ways. Back in the day of the cave man, I am sure that similar behavior took place. Is it a case of evolution installing a sense of compassion towards our animals, or is it something deeper? I do not know the answer to this, but I do know that values and ethics are passed down from generation to generation, and it is up to us today to instill our values on the next generation so that we can continue to provide the optimum environment for our animals to live in and enjoy.

In the following paper, I will analyze key ethical principles that I have, and relate them to some of society's most talked about animal related issues. In doing this I will discuss issues from both sides of the fence however, emphasis will be placed on my own beliefs as this is afterall a reflection paper. Some issues being discussed in this paper include: Views on service dogs, animal rights, and animal-master bond just to name a few.

Service Dogs

"Dogs that have been specially trained to assist a disabled person with certain daily tasks." (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)

This definition given by the above source is the best way that I could ever describe a service dog. Having the ability to further one's independence is an amazing feeling that is not felt until one is in the position to do so; yet in a lot of cases, people have a negative outlook on the use of dogs or other animals as providers and assistive partners for those who need them. I myself, am a huge service dog advocate. Being able to witness first hand what a dog can do for a disabled person has made me wonder why there are people out there who disagree with the service dog concept; however, There are people out there who simply view the dog as "man's best friend." These people have the belief that a dog is a pet, and should be pampered, and not forced to be given the responsibilities that service dogs are given. I can totally understand why these people would be against service dogs based on their own values, however what I do disagree with is the way that these people go about degrading the work put in by thousands of dedicated individuals to ensure that a successful dog/handler team is formed. Rallies against the use of dogs for service needs are held now and again, and you can not get away from people staring or yelling "slave labor" as you pass them. What these people do not understand, is that service dogs live more productive, healthy and fulfilling lives than most family pets.

Because of the work that these dogs willing and happily perform, they are subjected to very high quality care, (e.g.) top of the line dog food, ample exercise and against popular belief, a lot of normal doggie activity. The aim in a dog's life is to please, and I wish those people against the use of service dogs could be there every morning when I ask Luther if he is ready to go to work!

Animal Master Bond

The saying "dog is a man's best friend" is one that I hold a lot of respect for. First of all unconditional love from a dog to a master is incomparable to that of another human being. Second, dog's do not blab secrets that you tell them! All kidding aside, the dog has and will be one of man's best comrades, because they have what we all want and need, this being an ability to put up with us, understand us better than we think they do, and the ability to make us feel better when we are sad.

On a personal level, I love spending time with my dog, and would rather his company to the company of most people. No he can not talk to me or give me advice on problems that I tell him about, however he is always there for me with a lick and a tail wag, letting me know in his own way that he loves me and wants to be with me.

I do believe that I may have an unhealthy relationship with my dog. When spending the majority of your day in close proximity with an animal I have found it impossible not to grow used to the constence of him being there. On an ethical level, people may view this as unethical due to the fact that it may look to them that I need my dog to function as a human being. This is not the case. I need my dog to assist me in day to day activity that could be performed minus the dog, however is greatly enhanced with the assistants that he provides me.

Of course you will get the "oh he's so smart," or "Oh he is so well behaved in public," kind of people, however others again may view the fact that the dog is so in tune with what I am doing as a negative. I have talked with people in the past about my dog's willingness to be with me and why he travels everywhere with me instead of lying in the corner 24 hours a day or chasing cars like normal dogs. The animal bond works two ways: them being, the dog bonding to the master and the master bonding to the dog. I never knew the feeling of a human dog commensal relationship until I got to know my own dog, and it is a feeling that I will not trade for the world, and I would say that Luther feels the same as I do. We both respect each other, we both know what is expected of each other, we both know what buttons to press and not to press, and we definitely know how to have fun either with each other or apart. However going back to the unhealthy bonding issue, this is where I believe I may have gone wrong with my dog.

By spending so much time together, we have become used to each other's company, and when we are apart, I miss him terribly and I know he feels the same way I do. Dogs wear their emotions on their paws, and I can tell when he is stressed or upset as I'm sure he can tell if I am feeling different than normal. This said, I would not trade or relationship for the world. Luther makes my life easier, and in return, I provide him with love, a stable home, and everything else that a big slab of lab needs to enjoy his life to the fullest.

Animal Rights

Being an animal lover, it is hard to understand the difficulty over the years to ensure animal rights are afforded to our animals. We as humans have the power to control a lot of external powers that may confront us, however our animals don't, and for the longest time we have ignored this fact and focused on fending for ourselves. This puzzles me because I am sure that over the years, we have noticed that human rights issues have become more and more prominent. People fighting for their rights is a great thing, however why is it so hard to believe that animals shouldn't have rights also? Just because the common dog can not stand up and say, "I have the right to pee on any patch of grass that I want," does not mean that that right should not be given to him/her does it?

I am not a huge animal rights advocate, however I do believe that they do need to be prominent in society so that people know that they can be held responsible if a right to an animal is withheld, the same way that some one can be held responsible if a right to a human is denied.

Do We As Humans Have The Right To Make Decisions For Animals?

The answer to this question I believe has changed over the years. Years ago before the cat and dog were domesticated, I share the belief that these animals had the ability to fend for themselves without any human interaction. Now that we have taken steps to domesticate the common dog and cat as well as numerous other types of mammals, reptiles and birds, I believe that we do play and need to play a role in the decision making process that these creatures go through.

When we domesticate an animal we suppress its natural instincts that it is born with. This sounds harsh, but it is so true. Take for example the undomesticated dog. The undomesticated dog kills for its food as today's domesticated dog is fed from a bag or a can. I would like nothing better than to delve into the mind of a dog to find out which he prefers, however that component of science is unfortunately yet to be developed.

Being able to modify such an important aspect to the dogs life pattern scares me because it shows me how much mankind can dominate basically anything living that it chooses; this said, I do believe that humans do need to play a big role in the lives of today's pets. Suppressing an animals instincts is quite different from eliminating them. Stray dogs will still form packs and can be cause for concern if not delbt with. Your cute little guy could be all hunkie dorie in the daytime, and turn into Wolf Dracula at nighttime while you are sleeping, returning to curl up by your fireplace the following morning. The pray drive of the common dog is what can get him/her into trouble and this is why I believe that human, master bond is so important.

Speaking from experience, having a good relationship with your dog or cat helps to eliminate bad decisions that your pet can make. Sometimes, your furry pet is triggered by primitive instinct, the same instinct that mankind has tried so hard to suppress due to its unwantedness in human society. This is an excellent example of why I believe that we need to play a part in the decision making of our pets. I think ethical beliefs need to be modified when discussing domesticated or non-domesticated animals. Thanks to the effort of mankind, we need to assist our domesticated friends because they do not have the capability to fully function by themselves. I do not mean to sound derogatory by this last statement. I am 100% thankful for the work that our predecessors have put in to allow us to enjoy the company of a non-human companion. My belief is that most domesticated animals live better lives than they would've led in the wild so how can domesticating an animal b unethical? I'm guessing the response to this question would very depending on the person answering it, and that is ok. People's opinions will be different based on their ethical beliefs and I would never try to push my beliefs on to some one else, however I think I speak for the majority of the population when I say that without domesticated animals in our lives, life would just not be the same.

Conclusion

I wish I could say that both nondomesticated and now domesticated animals have thrived on evolution as we as humans have, however I do understand that a significant component of animal evolution is due to man's interference. Whether we like it or not, mankind was and is responsible for a large aspect of the animal kingdom as we see it today. Clearing land, expansion and willingness to befriend, has greatly altered natural evolution and has imposed the will of mankind on to our co-habitating non-human species. In today's world I am grateful to have the option of walking up to a dog or a cat and petting him/her, an option that I would not have before domestication became prominent. In today's society, animals play a huge role in the lives of millions of people worldwide. Whether it be by fulfillment, labor related or just company, it is very evident that life would not be what it is today without the domesticated animal along side us. These animals provide us with friendship, love, protection, a good laugh, and stress relief and it is because of all these positive factors that make me selfish as well as very thankful that evolutionization has occurred to the level that it has.

For more great Dog Articles and tons of other great dog info, visit our Dog forum or visit our Pet blog


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Sat. January / 19 / 2019

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This Louisville-area company is making a name for itself protecting your pets  Courier Journal

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Pets and freezing temperatures  khqa.com

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Adoptable pets for Jan. 18-24  Knoxville News Sentinel

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How To Find A Pet-Friendly Retirement Community  Forbes

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KCAS Pets of the Week: Berry and Drake  WOODTV.com

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Here's how to keep your pet safe this winter in the cold in Kentucky  Courier Journal

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The scene as pets are blessed in Spain  Washington Post

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Verbatim: New city ordinance protects pets from frigid temperatures | The scoop  Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

The city of Fort Wayne issued this news release today:


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Man hurt, pets killed in Gwinnett County house fire  FOX 5 Atlanta

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Standard Journal Pets of the Week from the Wednesday, January 16, 2019 edition - Northwest Georgia News
Standard Journal Pets of the Week from the Wednesday, January 16, 2019 edition  Northwest Georgia News

Look for a loving companion for you or a friend right now at Polk County Animal Control as we celebrate this week's Pets of the Week.


Simple steps to keep your pets safe in extreme cold - 13abc Action News
Simple steps to keep your pets safe in extreme cold  13abc Action News

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10 tips to keep your pets safe in the wintertime - Asbury Park Press
10 tips to keep your pets safe in the wintertime  Asbury Park Press

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New rule leaves House members' pets in the doghouse  krcgtv.com

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Indianapolis residents must bring their pets indoors during extreme cold  FOX 59 Indianapolis

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Keeping your pets warm during the coldest months  WBNG-TV

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Protecting your pets from the cold  WPSD Local 6

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Pets Are Family, Too When It Comes To Helping Furloughed Government Workers  CBS Denver

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How to keep pets safe during winter weather  WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland

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Two people, several pets killed in house fire  CBS19 News

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Mobile Meals of Toledo helps clients in need feed their pets - 13abc Action News
Mobile Meals of Toledo helps clients in need feed their pets  13abc Action News

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House bill takes care of pets - West Virginia MetroNews
House bill takes care of pets  West Virginia MetroNews

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Rebuttal: How to Pick the Best Cannabis Products for Pets  American Veterinarian

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Seven ways you can keep your pets safe from the cold  Evansville Courier & Press

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Pets of the Week | Local News  Valdosta Daily Times

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Pets of the Week, Jan. 19  Coos Bay World

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Fisher cat being blamed for death of pets in Brevard County  WESH 2 Orlando

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15 Pet Reunions That Will Melt Your Heart  Reader's Digest

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PETS: The perfect day for a movie and popcorn  Red Bluff Daily News

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These adorable pets need new homes!  WCVB Boston

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Things To Know About Medical Insurance For Pets  Patch.com

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Tips for protecting your pets in the cold, wintry weather  WKYC.com

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Animal experts urge the Valley to bring its pets inside this weekend  WAFF

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Keeping your pets safe during winter storms, frigid temperatures  WSYR

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Heartbreaking Photos of Pet Owners Saying Goodbye to Their Dying Pets  PetaPixel

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Veterinarian's advice: How to avoid stepping in IT with pet insurance  Courier Journal

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At what temperature should you bring your pets indoors?  WHIO

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News Pets and pot: One pet owner's story after his dog ingested marijuana 8:43 AM  KGUN

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Early birds and potential pets at Moose Feb. 2 | News, Sports, Jobs  Tiffin Advertiser Tribune

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12 super cute pets you can adopt this weekend on Staten Island: Jan. 19-20  SILive.com

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Berks ARL provides pet food for government workers affected by shutdown  69News WFMZ-TV

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How to keep your pets safe from an increased risk of infections amid persistent wet weather  AccuWeather.com

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Weather News Winter weather tips for pet owners Drew Scofield 4:20 PM, Jan 18, 2019  News 5 Cleveland

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Capitol Hill Pets | Seymour at Plymouth Pillars  CHS Capitol Hill Seattle News

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Family, 7 pets escape from Jeannette house fire  Tribune-Review

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Pets, owners flock to Madrid church for blessing of animals: 'We come every year'  AOL

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Recently widowed Mississippi woman dies trying to save pets from fire  Jackson Clarion Ledger

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Mississippi woman dies while trying to rescue pets in fire - WDAM
Mississippi woman dies while trying to rescue pets in fire  WDAM

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Otters are being poached from the wild to become pets in Japan and Thailand  National Geographic

The market for these poached animals is booming in Southeast Asia.


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Asheville Humane Society using facial recognition to help find lost pets  WSPA.com

The Asheville Humane Society is now using facial recognition technology to help identify lost dogs and cats.


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FDA expands dog food recall; 9 brands pulled for making pets violently ill  FOX 31 Denver

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Protecting yourself and your pets during coyote mating season  WKOW

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Pet of the week: Sage is an energetic 18-month-old Border Collie mix with a heart of gold  ABC Action News

Sage is an 18-month-old Border Collie mix with a heart of gold.


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Coyote season is in effect through March, how to protect your pets | WJAX-TV  ActionNewsJax.com

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Some People Using Their Pets to Get Opioid Prescriptions  Newsmax

Some People Using Their Pets to Get Opioid Prescriptions.


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What Is Zooeyia? Science Confirms the Health Benefits of Owning a Pet  Inverse

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, ...


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Two people, multiple pets die in large Chesapeake house fire  WTKR News 3

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Firefighters in Chesapeake responded to a deadly house fire Thursday morning. Officials said two people died after they were taken to ...


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Pets of the week: Sweet Daisy, playful Niko need new families  MLive.com

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Pets of the Week: Simon and Lillybelle - KTVI Fox 2 St. Louis
Pets of the Week: Simon and Lillybelle  KTVI Fox 2 St. Louis

ST. LOUIS - We've got a pair of adorable puppies in the station as our pets of the week! Simon and Lillybelle are 2-month-old terrier/bulldog mixes. They came ...


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Carnivorous coyotes torment residents, pets at Clearwater retirement community  WFLA

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Mountain Lions Suspected In Attacks On Pets Near Glenwood Springs  CBS Denver

WEST GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– Wildlife managers are urging residents in West Glenwood Springs to take precautions when it comes to wildlife, ...


Adoptable pets at Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (1/16/19) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets at Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (1/16/19)  ABC15 Arizona

Want to save the life of a shelter pet and bring a new best friend into your home? There are hundreds of adoptable cats and dogs awaiting a new home.


Pet of the Week: 2019 pets - WTOP
Pet of the Week: 2019 pets  WTOP

Pet of the Week is a weekly feature that highlights a pet available for adoption from D.C.'s Humane Rescue Alliance.


Pets and pot: One pet owners story after his dog ingested marijuana - WXYZ
Pets and pot: One pet owners story after his dog ingested marijuana  WXYZ

Since the legalization of marijuana in California, cases of pets accidentally eating pot have jumped 130 percent, and now that marijuana is legal in Michigan ...


Officials urge pet owners to check on animals throughout storm - WJAC Johnstown
Officials urge pet owners to check on animals throughout storm  WJAC Johnstown

Bedford County officials are reminding pet owners and farmers to check on their animals throughout the storm. Bedford County Director of Emergency Services, ...


Find your hidden gem: PACC offers pet discounts during Tucson gem show - Arizona Daily Star
Find your hidden gem: PACC offers pet discounts during Tucson gem show  Arizona Daily Star

If you've lived in Tucson for a while, you know the annual gem show is right around the corner.


Animal blood donors saving lives of other pets - WBAY
Animal blood donors saving lives of other pets  WBAY

Fiona can be called at any moment to donate blood for an animal in need. Other employees at the Fox Valley Animal Referral Center have also enrolled their ...


Pets killed, first responder hurt in Lexington house fire - WKYT
Pets killed, first responder hurt in Lexington house fire  WKYT

The fire started just before 2 a.m. Tuesday on Monticello Boulevard, off Clays Mill Road.


The Adoptables: Pets of the week (01/16/19) | News - Fredericksburg.com
The Adoptables: Pets of the week (01/16/19) | News  Fredericksburg.com

A weekly look at cats and dogs available for adoption at the Fredericksburg SPCA and the county animal shelters in Spotsylvania and Stafford.


Consumer Reports: Saving money on pet meds - KGUN
Consumer Reports: Saving money on pet meds  KGUN

Last year, Americans spent almost $30 billion on veterinary services for their pets. Consumer Reports has some tips on how to save money caring for our furry ...


Rescue group helps stranded Beaver Dam pets after crash - WTMJ-TV
Rescue group helps stranded Beaver Dam pets after crash  WTMJ-TV

A Milwaukee pet rescue group stepped up to help a Beaver Dam rescue group after a bad crash. They are going a step further and trying to get them a new ...


Pet Resolutions for 2019 - FOX 31 Denver
Pet Resolutions for 2019  FOX 31 Denver

Bentley's Pet Stuff is ready to make some fantastic resolutions for your pet. They joined us in studio with ideas on how to keep your pet healthy and hydrated ...


The UK's most popular pet names have been revealed by Pets at Home - Countryliving (UK)
The UK's most popular pet names have been revealed by Pets at Home  Countryliving (UK)

Birds named Kirsty, fish called Molly, and Athena the snake – Britain's most popular pet names have been revealed, and there's some unexpected entries in the ...


Pet of the Week - KRQE News 13
Pet of the Week  KRQE News 13

NMDOG's Pet of the Week goes to Nikki, one of the sweetest little Pocket Pittie's you would ever want to meet.


Homeowner and pets die in Marion house fire - Knoe.com
Homeowner and pets die in Marion house fire  Knoe.com

State Fire Marshal's Office investigating fatal house fire in Marion.


Shelter waving fees to reunite pets with lost owners - KCRA Sacramento
Shelter waving fees to reunite pets with lost owners  KCRA Sacramento

The Front Street Animal Shelter is waving fees to help reunite pets with lost owners after they had an influx on lost animals during last week's storm.


Bedford Police said summonses could be issued for pets in the cold - WSET
Bedford Police said summonses could be issued for pets in the cold  WSET

BEDFORD, Va. (WSET) -- The Bedford Police Department said Animal Control will be following up on complaints about people leaving their pets out in the cold.


Virginia Beach mom accused of setting house fire, killing pets takes plea deal - WTKR News 3
Virginia Beach mom accused of setting house fire, killing pets takes plea deal  WTKR News 3

Nearly two years ago, Monica Lamping disappeared from her Virginia Beach home with her two children. The home she lived in was set on fire, and her ...


Pet Owner Captures Her Cat and Dog Snuggling with Secret Camera - My Modern Met
Pet Owner Captures Her Cat and Dog Snuggling with Secret Camera  My Modern Met

Have you ever wondered what your pets get up to when you're not at home? One pet owner known as elphaba1 on Reddit recently decided to install a secret ...


Montreal turns iconic hospital into a shelter for people and their pets - Mother Nature Network
Montreal turns iconic hospital into a shelter for people and their pets  Mother Nature Network

The landmark Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal will will provide a lifeline for homeless people and their pets.


Pet food pantry reaching out to federal employees affected by shutdown - WAVY-TV
Pet food pantry reaching out to federal employees affected by shutdown  WAVY-TV

"Winston Wishes" gives out pet food and supplies to people in need year-round.


Fulton, DeKalb animal shelter offering free pet adoptions - Atlanta Journal Constitution
Fulton, DeKalb animal shelter offering free pet adoptions  Atlanta Journal Constitution

LifeLine Animal Project is asking for the support of the Atlanta community to help get animals out of the Fulton shelter and into loving homes before upcoming ...


Dog left abandoned behind pet supply store - WSYM-TV
Dog left abandoned behind pet supply store  WSYM-TV

An abandoned dog is in good hands after being left outside a Williamston pet supply store.


It's National Dress Up Your Pet Day! Enjoy this look back at Northeast Ohio pets dressed in their holiday finery. - cleveland.com
It's National Dress Up Your Pet Day! Enjoy this look back at Northeast Ohio pets dressed in their holiday finery.  cleveland.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio – It's National Dress Up Your Pet Day and we had so much fun seeing dozens of Northeast Ohio pets dressed to the nines in holiday finery ...


Meghan Markle Met Some Extremely Cute Rescue Dogs - The Cut
Meghan Markle Met Some Extremely Cute Rescue Dogs  The Cut

On Wednesday, Meghan Markle stopped by the Mayhew animal charity for an official royal outing as its new patron. There, she was spotted petting every rescue ...


Pets of the week, Jan. 16 | News - Hickory Daily Record
Pets of the week, Jan. 16 | News  Hickory Daily Record

Check out local, adoptable pets from Catawba County Humane Society, Hartman's Haven Dog Rescue and NC Paws Rescue.


A new law aims to help the pets of domestic violence victims - CNN
A new law aims to help the pets of domestic violence victims  CNN

The Pets and Women Safety (PAWS) will create more housing and sheltering options for the pets of domestic violence victims, lawmakers and advocates say.


Licon Dairy starts GoFundMe to replace pets killed in dog attack - KTSM News Channel 9
Licon Dairy starts GoFundMe to replace pets killed in dog attack  KTSM News Channel 9

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) - Licon Dairy Farm has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help replace the animals that were slain by two dogs earlier this week.


Record number of Wake County pets find homes for the holidays - WRAL.com
Record number of Wake County pets find homes for the holidays  WRAL.com

Raleigh, N.C. — Wake County officials shared some great news on Thursday -- although the need for adoption is constant, a record number of once-homeless ...


New California divorce law: Treat pets like people — not property to be divided up - NBC News
New California divorce law: Treat pets like people — not property to be divided up  NBC News

A new pet custody law is going into effect in California on Jan. 1 - calling on judges to consider the best interests of a pet when a couple splits.


170 puppies removed from dangerous conditions at St. Charles County pet farm - KSDK.com
170 puppies removed from dangerous conditions at St. Charles County pet farm  KSDK.com

A popular 'pet farm' in St. Charles County was shut down after more than 100 puppies were found living in filth, eating moldy food, and in some cases, being ...


Have you seen this lost pet in Piscataway? - New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio
Have you seen this lost pet in Piscataway?  New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio

Okay, yes, I can't believe I'm doing this either. But something about this woman's email got to me. So the award for the most schmaltzy article ever on the D&D ...


3 people, several pets rescued from house fire in DuBois - WJAC Johnstown
3 people, several pets rescued from house fire in DuBois  WJAC Johnstown

Fire crews said three people and five animals were rescued from a house fire in DuBois Tuesday morning. According to emergency dispatchers, crews ...


Photo series 'Last Moments' shows owners during pet's final moments - Daily Mail
Photo series 'Last Moments' shows owners during pet's final moments  Daily Mail

The series of heart-breaking photos explores the intimacy of the human-animal bond at the end of a pet's life. The collection taken in Tampa, Florida, shows ...


A photographer documents the heart-wrenching final moments of pet owners with their dying pets - Washington Post
A photographer documents the heart-wrenching final moments of pet owners with their dying pets  Washington Post

Ross Taylor's photographs of pet euthanasia are a somber and beautiful testimony to the human-animal bond.


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