Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Pet ownership ethics - an overview

 Good Afternoon!  (Hey, its always afternoon SOMEWHERE, right?!)

The DogMageddon continually raises issues and questions regarding the keeping of animals in our communities.  

As I have noted in the past, just about any animal that can be a nuisance (aggressive towards humans, noise polluting) has been zoned out.  By "zoned out" I mean they are banned or severely restricted in neighborhoods, and possession of such creatures is typically only allowed on farms, zoos, or in remote / rural areas.   How many sheep are living in your downtown apartment tower.  I thought so.

So, what are the boundaries of pet ownership in cities and suburbs?  I believe that pet ownership is a *privilege* in such places, and the privilege may be maintained if the following 2 criteria are met:

1) The animal must be kept in a humane manner.  For example, you can argue that a gerbil can be kept humanely in a small apartment BUT a horse cannot.

2) The animal must be kept in a socially acceptable manner.  The keeping of said animal should not violate the rights of anyone else.  The ONLY person subject to the downsides of owning the pet should be the pet owner.  

I estimate that dog people fail both of the 2 criteria on a regular basis.

This raises the question, what sort of animals CAN be kept in human communities, given both of the criteria set above?   I believe that any animal kept in a human community should meet the following 3 general guidelines:

1) Non-aggressive towards humans.

2) Quiet.  If the animal vocalizes at all, it should be at human-level volume or LOWER *and* for short durations.

3)  Small and light enough to be easily handled by the average adult.

Again, dogs and dog owners flunk the above on a very consistent basis.  Small dogs typically flunk 1 and 2 above, and large dogs flunk all 3.  

Think about it.


  1. Good news from Tucson! Farmers market BANS dogs!


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