Pets aren’t just our best friends, they are also very beneficial to our health.
After just returning from a week-long ski trip, the one I found myself missing the most was my dog, Gunner. And with what seems to be a recent “trend” of ESA’s (emotional support animals), I wished I could have taken Gunner with me when I noticed a lady with a cat on the plane on my trip back home. Unfortunately, another passenger had to move seats due to her allergies. This caused me to think, where do we draw the line? Can any animal be a support animal?
It’s definitely not news that animal companionship provides many emotional benefits to humans. The bond between humans and animals has been proven to reduce depression and anxiety in humans. Caring for an animal can give people a greater sense of purpose and reduce loneliness, especially for the elderly. The American Heart Association has also linked pet ownership to reduced risk for heart attack.
Companion animals most often are dogs, but cats and other pets can be companion animals, also, as long as a person has a verifiable physical, emotional or mental disability and a medical professional has determined this to be true, as well as that the animal is in fact beneficial to this condition.
Gunner won’t be going on a ski trip with me anytime soon, but I still consider him my emotional support friend (Gunner featured in photo above).
Americans have always prided themselves on their many rights.
And as time passed, we eventually prided ourselves on our equal rights.
Today we like to think that our laws are meant to treat everyone equally and to protect everyone equally. For example, it is against the law to beat someone, no matter their race, gender, or age.
But what about their species?
It’s human rights that we pride ourselves on. But what about an animal’s rights?
I recently came across an article on the Animal Legal Defense Fund website that ranked states on the strength of their animal protection laws. And while I was proud that my state (Minnesota) was ranked as a top tier state, with better than average animal protection laws, I was slightly disgusted to see that the states that border Minnesota are some of the nations worst.
Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota all rank among the worst states when it comes to legislature concerning the rights of animals and punishments for the breakers of those laws.
So I pose these questions to my readers. Why the disparity within neighboring states? How can some Midwestern states like Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois rank so well and yet our neighbors rank amongst the worst? And what can my fellow Minnesotans do to help better the laws in our bordering states?