The Press recently asked readers to give us their views about their pets. Are they considered members of the family, or as personal property, as Ohio law regards them.
Here is what they said.
Members of the family
My opinion is that all pets should be considered a family member. Believe me, mine are. I love them dearly. Thank you from all my pets.
Not used up
My canine companion, friend and part of my family is Molly, a small terrier mix who has been with me for 13 years.
I sometimes refer to her as my “used” dog. She came from another family that had her for three years. They had to move and could not take her along. Since I did not want to train a puppy, I called my vet and he told me about her. Since they had her for that long, I was pretty sure she did not chew things up or have other pesky traits or health concerns.
Molly has been with me through surgeries, deaths, weddings and new grandchildren. She senses my every mood, knows my daily routine and goes almost everywhere with me.
She watches me all the time and will wake from a sound sleep to excitedly go for a walk with me. Or if she sees me having a quiet day, she senses that, too.
Molly has given me so much unconditional love and companionship, and some of my heartiest laughs. She offers comfort when I’m lonely and I reassure her through nature’s thunder and lightning.
She adapted very well from having a huge fenced yard to run after squirrels, bunnies and birds. We live in a one bedroom apartment, but you know, she is just happy to be with me.
I’m hoping since this is the second time I’ve gotten my “used” dog through my vet and it has worked out so well for all concerned, it will encourage others who are hesitant to try a dog – these puppies are not used up, just finely polished and a blessing to have in my family.
I have many strong feelings on this subject, but I will limit it to what I feel are three important issues.
When I was younger, I trained and showed dogs until I realized that fancy pedigrees no longer made a difference to me. One of the best dogs I ever had was a Dobe-mix, Sparky. He was found by a woman who heard his cries, rescued him after some cruel person had crudely cut off his tail, dumped him off in a blizzard and then left him to die. He was only 5 or 6 weeks old at the time. She took him to a local vet, where I then adopted him.
1. Ohio state law and others should be revised to provide more protection (for the animals). Dogs are a lot more than replaceable objects and they are proving just how valuable they are, not only as pets, but by the increased number of breeds that are being trained in various areas such as assisting the handicapped, working with police, fire, EMS, etc.
2. While East Toledo has many fine veterinarians, none that I have encountered will make house calls or return to their own clinics to provide emergency care or service after hours, on weekends and holidays. The only option is to make the long drive through all the road construction to the emergency clinic in West Toledo – time wasted that could possibly save a pet’s life and shorten its discomfort.
In my opinion, East Toledo residents really need a centralized clinic or a reliable vet to provide services on this side of the river, where we can take our pets during off hours, weekends and holidays.
Only days after I returned from having major abdominal surgery, my old and sick beloved friend Sparky collapsed and was dying. I could not bend over, and spent hours on the phone desperately trying to get anyone to come and help me. He suffered needlessly – I still get upset thinking about it. We have two mixed-breed dogs left and neither is expected to live much longer due to advanced age and illness. I worry about it constantly because I don’t want them to suffer the way Sparky did – they are family members in my eyes.
3. It totally astonishes me when I see “designer” pups for sale by greedy owners, backyard breeders and puppy mills at ridiculous prices. These are “cross breeds, or mutts,” bred by people who are in it for the money only. I am referring to the cock-a-poos, peke-a-poos, puggles, labra-doodles, etc. My recommendation: do not pay those extreme prices or buy from them – it only encourages others to do the same.
“My daily life”
I agree 100 percent that my cat Cupcake is a member of my family. She was born March 30, 1992, and on June 19, 1995 I adopted Cupcake from the Bowling Green shelter.
Cupcake is my daily life. She knows my voice and has a verbal routine to eat, open the door to see outside, etc. To me, she is very valuable, keeps my spirits cheerful and, at my age (85), gives me exercise up and down to feed her, clean the litter box, etc.
The best companion
I wish state law would change about how valuable a pet is.
My dog brings me so much happiness every day. We play, we walk, and she understands me. She makes me laugh, and if I cry, she licks my tears. She certainly is a member of the family. She is one of the best companions I could have.
If you love your pet, you will take care of him or her. My Bichon Frise, Angel, goes to the groomer and to the vet for her regular check ups. She pays her way by all the love she gives back to me.
-Compiled by Tammy Walro