Are you an owner or guardian?

Owner vs Guardian

Something that always makes me sad is that in law animals are considered property. They are lessened to a state where instead of being recognised as sentient being they have as much value as a football.

Whenever I see a patient it is not just an animal, it is a member of a family. If that is wildlife then it is a member of a family outside in the wild somewhere. If it is a pet then it has the family of people that it lives with.

Yet when a dog is taken from a yard it is theft. The family may be devastated, may be broken, yet there is no hunt to get it back. A report is taken by the police. That is all.

When a cat is shot, it ends up on an operating table. There is no manhunt for the shooter. The police take a report. That is all.

Over the weekend a cat rescue was broken into. Some elderly cats were taken from their home. They were tortured and killed with their bodies dumped. What is the charge likely to be? Breaking and entering? Burglary? Criminal Damage?

I hate the word owner. Can you really own a living breathing sentient being that can feel and think? And yes when I say think I mean it – everything up from a snail has been proven to be able to feel and think (now ever plants have been shown to be able to feel as well). You may give an animal a home; however that animal gives you unlimited love. You are responsible for looking after that animal. Yet do you really have the right to own that animal? Or have you just been trusted with guardianship and responsibility to look after it.

What are you? An owner? Or an guardian?

EDIT: South Wales Police released this statement Monday:

“Overnight we charged two males, aged 15 and 18, following a burglary which occurred at Ty Nant Cat Sanctuary in Cymmer, Port Talbot on Saturday 30th July 2016.

The 18-year-old has been charged with burglary and criminal damage and is due to appear at Swansea Magistrates Court this morning.

The 15-year-old has been charged with the same offences and bailed to appear at Swansea Youth Court on 11th August.”

As I guessed – they are being charged with criminal damage and burglary…