Do Dogs and Cats Have Rights? What Do You Think?

Do dogs and cats have rights? According to the law animals are considered property. They have the same rights as a suitcase which basically is none. Their owners have rights. Legally owners are responsible for controlling their animals' behaviours
The mind set throughout history has been to use animals for human need whether it is consumption for food, skins for clothing, partners in hunting foxes, rats, bears, and other large and small animals. Dogs serve as guard dogs protecting other animals, people, or possessions and then there are service and therapy animals. We use every part of the animal for our purposes even its ability to provide us with companionship and affection. The American Indian culture showed great respect for animals even though they killed them for their own survival. Some belief systems see animals as having no souls and that they do not go to heaven. Other belief systems venerate animals and find them sacred creatures who can share in the after life and are with us as teachers and healers. The debate goes on. Do animals have souls? Do they have innate rights to exist free of human 's exploitation?
I believe the pet over population problem, the horrors of factory farming, and the horrible way horses are slaughtered all indicate that it is important to re-evaluate how people see their pets and all animals.

Here is an interesting book that looks at animals rights. The authors are
Cass R. Sunstein is Karl Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago and Martha C. Nussbaum is Ernst Freund Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. Together, they previously edited Clones and Cloning.

Publisher Comments: Millions of people live with cats, dogs, and other pets, which they treat as members of their families. But through their daily behavior, people who love those pets, and greatly care about their welfare, help ensure short and painful lives for millions, even billions of animals that cannot easily be distinguished from dogs and cats. Today, the overwhelming percentage of animals with whom Westerners interact are raised for food. Countless animals endure lives of relentless misery and die often torturous deaths.

The use of animals by human beings, often for important human purposes, has forced uncomfortable questions to center stage: Should people change their behavior? Should the law promote animal welfare? Should animals have legal rights? Should animals continue to be counted as "property"? What reforms make sense?

Cass Sunstein and Martha Nussbaum bring together an all-star cast of contributors to explore the legal and political issues that underlie the campaign for animal rights and the opposition to it. Addressing ethical questions about ownership, protection against unjustified suffering, and the ability of animals to make their own choices free from human control, the authors offer numerous different perspectives on animal rights and animal welfare. They show that whatever one's ultimate conclusions, the relationship between human beings and nonhuman animals is being fundamentally rethought.

Read More about this book and Animal Law at these links.

Laws Relating to Animals

Do Feral Cats Have a Right to Life?

Pet Trusts
"Another recent trend in animal law is the enactment of state statutes specifically authorizing trusts for animals."
This site may not be up to date . There are links on it that will lead you to where the issue of Pet Trusts are today

Animal Rights and Pet Law

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