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— June 18, 2013 —

I OWN my dogs.
I do not subscribe to the theory of “animal guardianship.”
by Daniel McElroy Jr.

There is a subtle agenda behind the concept of animal “guardianship.” It is not simply about political correctness.

This article will probably surprise some people. It may also upset some people. I hope that it educates a whole lot of people to the fact that they are being lied to. I have heard the term “guardian” relating to pets for many years now and on the face of it, it seems like a nice, caring position to take. After all, we own cars and trucks. We own clothes and houses and we generally don’t care about how our car “feels” about a particular issue. Animals on the other hand are living, breathing, feeling creatures and we need to take those feelings into account as we deal with them. While I agree that we should all care about our pets and work to ensure their well being, there are other ideas at play regarding the term “guardian” which we will get into.

Before I go any further. I will make a very important statement. The fact that I say that I own my dogs does not demean their value to me. Neither does it eliminate my responsibility to care for their well being. My claim of ownership is based on the fact that I value them greatly and understand the technicality of property rights. Those rights give me additional leverage to protect my animals and I wish to retain that legal protection for my animals.

The concept of animal “guardianship” was started by a group called In Defense of Animals (IDA). The IDA was founded in 1999 by Dr. Elliot Katz. He equated animal ownership with human slavery, declaring that we don’t “own” our animals, we simply have “guardianship” of them.

There is a great divide between animal welfare advocates and the extreme “animal rights” activist. The former are true animal lovers who want to reduce suffering and neglect of animals, and the latter want to confer upon animals all of the rights of human beings. There are certain well known organizations that are actually lobbying behind the scenes to eliminate ALL private ownership of animals. They equate pet ownership to slavery. Most notably, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and HSUS (Humane Society of the US). These groups are well funded, well organized and are very good at hiding their true agenda.

The ultimate goal here is to basically create an animal-free world, except for animals living in the wild. From a PETA handout titled “Pets Or Prisoners?”

“In a perfect world, animals would be free to live their lives to the fullest: raising their young, enjoying their native environments, and following their natural instincts. However, domesticated dogs and cats cannot survive “free” in our concrete jungles, so we must take as good care of them as possible. People with the time, money, love, and patience to make a lifetime commitment to an animal can make an enormous difference by adopting from shelters or rescuing animals from a perilous life on the street. But it is also important to stop manufacturing “pets,” thereby perpetuating a class of animals forced to rely on humans to survive.”

Another quote:
“I don’t use the word “pet.” I think it’s speciesist language. I prefer “companion animal.” For one thing, we would no longer allow breeding. People could not create different breeds. There would be no pet shops. If people had companion animals in their homes, those animals would have to be refugees from the animal shelters and the streets. You would have a protective relationship with them just as you would with an orphaned child. But as the surplus of cats and dogs (artificially engineered by centuries of forced breeding) declined, eventually companion animals would be phased out, and we would return to a more symbiotic relationship — enjoyment at a distance.”
—Ingrid Newkirk, PETA vice-president, quoted in The Harper’s Forum Book, Jack Hitt, ed., 1989, p.223.


The true intent behind re-labeling the relationship as a guardianship v/s ownership is to chip away at the rights you have as an animal owner under the law. The law affords you certain property rights which means that your property can’t just be taken away at the whim of a bureaucrat or politician or activist. In order for someone to come and take anything from your house without your permission, there is a lengthy process involving the courts and laws and lawyers. These things are put in place to protect your property rights. To give up the concept of ownership is to give up that protection for your animals. This animal-free existence would go far beyond pets. There would be no farming, no agility or sporting dogs, no seeing eye dogs, no police dogs and no hunting or fishing. There may be things in that list that some people would be fine with not having. You may not participate in hunting or farming, but these groups view all of these things the same. Ultimately, the loss of ANY animal related activities could lead to the loss of YOUR animal related activities.

I can hear it now. Someone is reading this and saying, “Doesn’t PETA and the HSUS raise lots of money and save lots and lots of animals?” That would be half right. They do raise lots of money. What they do with that money is lobby for laws against your rights to own animals, raise more money and euthanize animals. PETA is registered with the state of Virginia as an animal shelter and they operate a facility there. According to a Virginia Department or Agriculture investigation report dated 07/07/2010, 290 animal custody records were audited. Of those 260 intakes, 94% of the animals were destroyed within 24 hours of custody. Source: Virginia Department of Agriculture


What you also may also not realize is that the The Humane Society of the U.S. doesn’t operate a single shelter, not one. The local humane society in your town is in no way affiliated with the The Humane Society of the U.S. While your local humane society is probably run by volunteers who work tirelessly (and for free) to rescue homeless animals, the HSUS has over $100 million in assets and pays out over $11 million in salaries and $3 million in benefits…and since they don’t operate a single animal shelter it doesn’t sound like a whole lot is being done to rescue animals, does it?

What these organizations have is great marketing. The public has been duped and they are using their name recognition and popularity to push their true agenda even further. While the “guardian” term sounds good, please look a little deeper. As with most things, there is more to it than meets the eye.

P.S. The next time you see the commercial with a sad song playing over a slowly scrolling slide show of abused, suffering animals and think, “I need to do something to help.” please send your check to a small, local animal rescue. K9 4 KEEPS, NFP is a great choice. Every dollar you send will go to feed, house and medically treat an actual animal somewhere, not to fill the war chest of an organization that is actively working against your ability to even have a pet.

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