- No shelter animal will be killed solely on the basis of its breed, its status as an abused pet or for population control.
- Every shelter pet will receive a fair evaluation by at least one qualified individual.
- Any dog deemed "dangerous" will receive an individual evaluation by a behaviorist, the results of which will be duly considered in determining the most humane outcome.
- Euthanasia will be used to end suffering of pets deemed medically hopeless by a Veterinarian.
- Euthanasia will be performed only by a Veterinarian, using the gentlest method modern medicine has to offer - currently, sedation followed by intravenous injection.
- Shelters will keep accurate, detailed records which will be accessible to the public.
- No laws will be enacted which require the forfeiture of a pet due to breed, reproductive status, or unreasonable burdens which the owner could not bear.
- All pet breeders will be ethical and responsible in word and deed.
- All pet owners will provide appropriate care for the life of their pets unless unforeseen circumstances prevent that, in which case they will responsibly rehome the pet.
- In cruelty cases involving the mentally ill, provisions will be made to allow for mental health treatment of the abuser. Each case will be evaluated on an individual basis to determine if circumstances exist which might allow for the person to own a pet in future, under close supervision by family, friends and authorities.
- Pet food companies will manufacture their products with quality ingredients using NRC guidelines and feeding trials, test their food with transparency to consumers, label with COOL and advertise honestly.
- Any organization claiming a mission to help animals will raise funds and/or lobby for legislation with complete and easily accessible transparency to the public.
- Any organization claiming a mission to help animals will first, do no harm.
Yeah, there are challenges. I know. To name a few:
- How do we fund the advancement of these goals?
- How do we define the terms so that we are all on the same page (or at least reading from the same book)?
- How do we legally enforce the mandates while maintaining a balance with our individual rights as American citizens?
- How do we educate and assist pet owners in remote areas with high poverty levels?
I don't have all the answers. I have ideas though - and a blog! So I got that goin' for me.
I would love to read your personal wish list for the pet community. I'm sure there are important things I left off mine. I consider it a work in progress.