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Pets are classified as property by law. Should this legislation be changes???

Since the whole recall of pet food started recently, a lot of interesting information has come out about the rights pet owners have when they lose a pet to this sort of tragedy. According to our legislative branches, pets are classified as property, just like your car, your television, and your microwave. Under these laws, do you think it is fair that your only recourse in these matters would be the reimbursement of only the value you paid for these pets? So after raising a dog from puppy hood, spending money on training, healthcare, food, and the unknown amount of time you spent making your dog and active part of your family, you’re only entitled to the actual cost of the dog. I’m sure everyone looks at their dog as an active part of the family, just like other human family members. But in this situation, the pet owners that lost their pets due to the contaminated food, watch their pets go through this torment all along thinking they were feeding their pets food in which they trusted. So much emotional pain and suffering, from the pet and the pet owners, was experienced from this, that now these companies are protected and are only responsible for the actual purchase price of these pets and not what you have invested into them. Is this fair? Should pet owners be able to collect emotional pain and suffering also from these companies?

To have these legislative changes made to have pets not classified property, how would that affect us in the future? One obvious change I would think would be in the mal practice insurance rates for vets would rise tremendously from their insurers. The vets’ only recourse would to be to start charging higher prices for your pet’s healthcare. They would also likely be changing they way they handle pet treatments due to their liability and risk of them being sued which the judgments of these suits can cost they a lot more money. So in the long run, we the pet owners would be paying the price for this.

Even though this will make the pet food companies come up with more stringent guidelines and make them more aware of the distributors that they deal with, does this actually benefit the pet owners in the long run. Would we see increases in the price of pet foods to compensate all this extra care they are giving? Would we see pet food companies leave the industry due to not being able to this as a profitable line of work? Would, overall, the quality of food on the market get better, and at what costs?

Another aspect of this legislative change is what boundaries it would have. It seems that anything that deals with pets would be affected by this. This can include pet toy manufactures, pet care products and even breeders. I’m sure the benefit of this would curb a lot of the BYB’ers that we see operating out there, which is a good thing, but the legitimate breeders would also be affected. With the health guarantees that come along with a purchase from them, I’m sure the legal aspect will increase dramatically just so they can be protected.

These are just a few examples I came up with and I know there are many others to consider that are not mentioned. To us, our pets are more than just property. They are part of our everyday lives and are members of our family. Should the law treat them that way? We can’t have it both ways. What do you think?
 

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One of the last things you said says it all to me: "You can't have it both ways"

I think it would be a disaster of gigantic proportions if we changed dogs status from property. Only the rich would be able to afford veterinary care as their cost of doing business would skyrocket if they had to buy malpractice insurance at the same cost a medical Doctor does.

Sad to say, our society has become a sue happy "something for nothing" kind of place. People will sue for anything and are encouraged to do so by all the ads put out by the glut of attornies out there trying to drum up business.

No matter how much we love our animals, they are animals and we should not elevate them to the status of humans for our own ego. There are laws in place everywhere that protect animals from cruelty - they just need to be enforced. Making more laws is not going to help if they are not even able to enforce the ones that are already on the books.

I don't imagine that the company that used tainted wheat intended to harm our pets. People demand a cheap food to feed their pets, US produced wheat is not cheap .......... hence imported wheat. Who's fault is it? I don't know if you can really assign clear fault here. Why would you? It is a tragedy, but sueing for pain and suffering is not going to bring the pet back.

The fact of the matter is - no matter how much we love our pets, they don't live a long life. When they die, we cry and mourn, and then most of us go and get another one to love. We hope that they live a long life and die of old age. If someone is liable for their death, then fairness dictates that they should pay for a new one AND pay the costs associated with the death of the lost one. If they were criminally neglegent, then that should be dealt with as well.

I guess as a mother of two children, I know the difference between my children and my pets. I love both of them deeply, but would lay my life down for my children. They are irreplaceable, and to even think of giving animals the same status is ludicrous.

Anyone who knows me knows that my love for my dogs is deep. I don't feed cheap food and I don't skimp on vet care. I do draw the line at the idea of blurring the line between people and animals........... IMHO that would be the beginning of the end of animal ownership as we know it.
 

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We can't have it both ways but you can also bet that those whose pets died due to the tainted wheat used in the pet foods will be suing for 'emotional pain and suffering', and rightly so. How awful would you feel if you unknowingly poisoned your pet?

If anything, I would like to see breeders more closely scrutinized, or at the very least licensed. An individual who happens to mate to dogs should not be allowed to call himself a 'breeder', when we all know those who breed animals responsibly, ensuring that the dam and the pups get good care.
 

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We can't have it both ways but you can also bet that those whose pets died due to the tainted wheat used in the pet foods will be suing for 'emotional pain and suffering', and rightly so. How awful would you feel if you unknowingly poisoned your pet? ...............
We of course would all feel awful........... but would money for "pain and suffering" bring them back??? I just don't get the whole mentality of getting money for our suffering. It won't bring them back, it won't change what happened. The company did not intend for this to happen.......would putting them out of business and therefore causing many people to lose their jobs make anyone feel better? It IMHO would be a lose-lose situation (except for the lawyers of course). There is no win-win possible. The company has recalled the food and seems to be doing what is possible to fix the problem. I don't have any inside knowledge of the situation, but unless they tried to cover it up or did something criminal, I think that they are already paying a big price for the whole problem. This will cause them huge bucks already and I would imagine that financially they might already be in trouble because of it.

What I would expect would be fair compensation for the cost of my pet AND the cost of my vet bills. Would it be enough? Of course not, but our pets are priceless and no amount of money could ever change that.

The only good I see coming out of this whole thing is more of a public awareness about what we feed our pets. Maybe the real benefit will be the millions of animals who might start getting better quality kibble now because their owners found out that a lot of what they were feeding was crap.
 

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The only good I see coming out of this whole thing is more of a public awareness about what we feed our pets. Maybe the real benefit will be the millions of animals who might start getting better quality kibble now because their owners found out that a lot of what they were feeding was crap.
I guess now that there are kibbles not rated as "crap" among the numbers it will give "crap" feeders an excuse to keep feeding it. I can hear them now..."People who paid 40.00 a bag got sick dogs just the same as people who paid 10.00 a bag, makes no difference! I'll stick with 10.00!"

UGH!
 

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The idea of this is silly to me. I do not doubt that our government will have to waste alot of time and money looking onto this but a law like this would have to many implications for them to actually pass a law. I know people who feel the same way about their horses as we do about our dogs, then there are cats and birds and snakes and mice and ...
 

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I have many thoughts on this topic, but it is getting late and right now I am just going to throw something else out here for everyone to think about. You guys have said you can't have it both ways, and if we change the laws no one but the rich can afford a pet etc. It might put BYB's out of business etc. Think about this:

Changing the laws COULD actually HELP the BYB's, a law like this could potentially make for a huge black market on puppy's - seriously. If you can't afford to get something the legal way what happens? (From a societal point of view folks - I'm not making any claims about any individual here!)

Society always finds a way to meet the needs of its individuals and in our society individuals need pets. Some of us need them as companions and others need them as service animals. We need pets to love and care for, to be parts of our family or to BE OUR FAMILY when we don't have family nearby. I fully believe that if we elevate animals to the status of humans there will be a very intricate black market develope.

:emo10: MamaTeak
 

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Such a drastic change would have a negative impact on owners and businesses. As a pet owner, you ARE responsible for what you feed your pet. Silly thought but fun to think about from a psychologicalk perspective.

Humans are superior animals, although we can learn a lot from other animals, but even if such a change occurs- what would you call your dog? I think this is more of a battle between humans (companies) and humans (pet owners)- no reason to through your pets in there.

If you do not agree with a law than the best thing to do is find ways to fight back with legislation or decrease. The only thing I see coming out of this is more lawsuits and greeders.
 

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Dammed if you do and dammed if you do not. Allot of seniors can't afford vet care now just the rich would have pets. You just cannot win in this world guess you just have to leave things as they are. Becoming a very sad world when it comes to pets.
 

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Animals as property

Sadly, I don't think that most people care that much about their animals. Pets are just that... pets - like goldfish, mice, hamsters, dogs, cats, turtles, and chameleons. Prices are bad enough now, who could afford the medical care of animals if the costs were equivalent to a child's.

You can't insure the life of a pet either... too many people would be 'knocking off' fido for the money!!

I'm on my second Service Dog... I don't get them free, get money from the government, or anything like that... BUT I sure do wish I could insure their lives! The costs of purchase, training, and equipment are quite steep added to all the other regular costs.

RE: Recalls - - Manufacturers recall products all the time for people... drugs, baby products, food, autos... might as well recall pet food and treats, too!
 

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Well, if pets aren't property, then could we own them? I think if they aren't property, then they have to have the right to vote, have affordable housing, get a free education and be allowed to go where they want. I'm pretty sure that Jersey is in favor of Free Love , so the end of dogs as property would be the end of selective breeding too.... LOL. Just yesterday she was pretty sure she wanted to marry a poodle.


Seriously though, I do think that price of purchase should be supplemented by the cost of the predictable consequences of the tainted food. Not punitive damages or pain & suffering but rather, replacement cost ( which would cover those service dogs) and cost of vet bills etc, directly incurred as a result of the product.
 

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should this legislation be changed?

It would be horrid to watch an animal die from what we thought was good food. I cannot fathom that and hope I never have to. I would expect to be reimbursed for the dog and the vet bills. In my opinion legislation should put thier money where thier mouths are and pass some laws about the aafco doing testing on foods and the QUALITY of the ingredients in ALL dog foods, not just the expensive dog foods. I wouldn't want to see a bunch of people lose thier jobs, but come on,something has to give! I may not be an Einstien when it comes to politics, but there has got to be some new rules about this. The company responsible for those pets deaths may not have intended for all that happened, but if the grain would have undergone some strict inspections none of this may have happened in the first place. Yes i know it is a bunch of "ifs" and "whats". Still again this is just my opinion.
 

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Replacement value?

It would be horrid to watch an animal die from what we thought was good food. I cannot fathom that and hope I never have to. I would expect to be reimbursed for the dog and the vet bills. In my opinion legislation should put thier money where thier mouths are and pass some laws about the aafco doing testing on foods and the QUALITY of the ingredients in ALL dog foods, not just the expensive dog foods. I wouldn't want to see a bunch of people lose thier jobs, but come on,something has to give! I may not be an Einstien when it comes to politics, but there has got to be some new rules about this. The company responsible for those pets deaths may not have intended for all that happened, but if the grain would have undergone some strict inspections none of this may have happened in the first place. Yes i know it is a bunch of "ifs" and "whats". Still again this is just my opinion.
I think you make a good point here. A pet is the only posession that is ALIVE and therefore not just impossible to replace but it's one and only life is of great value in and of itself. Harsher sanctions should be put directly on the pet food companies in order to make it worth their while to test all of their ingredients for safety. They got off way too cheaply recently.
 
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