Our Personal Story:
I've always grown up & have had pets in my life. When I was younger, I believed that one of our dogs was my "sister". We look back at it now and laugh. I've always taken care of my pets as if they were family.
Late last year while taking some photos at an event we noticed a puppy from a local rescue. Little did we know just how much our lives would change by adopting him. We already had a hand full of cats we considered our "children" and they are a lot of work, how would we have enough time to train and love a new family member? We discussed it and thought, we will make it work, this little guy needs our help and a loving forever home. Three days later we signed the paperwork.
We've certainly had our challenges with him and each other. We've gone through the typical training, eating, playing, etc. Much like a child he needs to be taught social manners, potty training, he needs guidance, comforting when he's not feeling well, he needs regular medical checkups, playtime and attention. We're not going to send him back to the shelter if he's bad or isn't getting along with one of the cats or has any other problems. He knows when he's done something bad and he knows when he's done something good. He has a conscience a personality far beyond just the one we project upon him. He depends on us just like a child and will for the next 15 to 20 years. We know he will never surpass the mental state of a 5 year old child, we know that none of our pets ever will. It's not something I just made up, it has been scientifically documented. If you're not ready to take care of a 5 yr old for the next 15 to 20 years....then don't adopt a pet!
Like many, we've always been huge animal supporters. Helping out, donating where and when we could, we've even gotten more involved since adopting Ruxtin last year. We've donated our professional services, we've donated our time in helping to get other animals adopted and much more. Wanting to know more about Ruxtin's history and background we tracked down his actual rescue group. His story is heartbreaking and it just makes me want to hold onto him a little tighter so he knows just how much he's loved.
Like many of the horror stories we see daily come across our news feeds, timelines, tweeter pages or other social media accounts, you want to do the same thing to the abuser that they did to hurt the animal, the whole (eye for an eye) instinct kicks in. You may just sit there and cry or you may unfollow that page because you can bear to look at that "stuff" anymore.
We've felt all of those things.... WE STILL DO! But looking away doesn't solve anything! How can this still be a problem in today's society? If someone is willing to hurt an animal that way, they are sure to hurt a human too. What can be done! I've asked other people, people I don't even know, I've signed a lot of useless petitions as well. Still no justice for these animals...still no changes. After much brainstorming we came up with Ruxtin's Law.
Ruxtin's Law: Adopting my pet/s as a "Family Member" they will be protected under the child law. No, you can't marry a child or have sex with a child. The punishment for abusing or neglecting a "family member" will be the same as if you have abused or neglected a child. We are aware that a recent law has passed making animal abuse a class A felony, we just don't think that's enough.
Under this law, adopting a pet will be much more stringent. There will be background checks, there will be required education courses/classes. The fees could even be raised. The point being that if the adoption laws are more strict then only the serious ones will adopt and hopefully there will less animals surrendered to the shelters and less senior pets surrendered to the shelters.
The point is not to do away with shelters all together, we will still need them. The point is to greatly reduce the number of pets being dumped at the shelters.
A database of registered animal abusers and those who neglect animals should be established and kept current.
Breeders, groomers, sitters, etc. will all be required to hold licenses and continued education.
By a certain year all those who are being adopted out must come with a "birth" certificate. Where and by whom was he/she born. This will cut down on bad cross breeding.
Unless you are a licensed breeder, all pets must be spayed and neutered.
There could also be some provision for them to be a dependent of sorts in the tax law as well.
Again, these are most of our personal thoughts. We look to you for additional information and opinions. We just read today that in mid June of this year that Quebec Canada now classifies pets as a sentiment item, they are no longer personal property. France did this earlier. We had no idea and when we read it this morning it was like a huge weight was lifted. We were teary eyed with joy that it's already begun. We know that we can make this happen and help all of the animals in need.