Should pets no longer be considered ‘objects’?

dogs should they have rights - particularly if they are stolen
dogs should they have rights - particularly if they are stolen?

In the past few weeks, a Parliamentary petition has really picked up names, it is a petition on making dog theft a specific offence.

Since the Government banned puppy farming, a sad side effect on the rise has been an increase in the theft of dogs all over the country. For many pet owners, losing their dog is like losing a family member so a theft is traumatic. Additionally it can be traumatic for the animal itself.

The crime of theft carries a sentence of up to seven years but as we all know, many thieves receive a suspended sentence these days – a good telling off and asked not to do it again! So you can see why pet owners are keen to seek justice for their beloved animals.

However any change to law can have a wider impact (as seen above with the puppy farming ban!) should all pets be under such legislation, if so should pets all be microchipped by law so we know who owns what akin to other countries like New Zealand.

While a dog can be covered by insurance and any theft of a dog can be pursued under current legislation, many right confirm that a replacement dog through insurance would be completely different.

So what are your thoughts?

Dogs should not be categorised as objects when considering theft

  • Dogs are living and breathing, they feel joy, pain and loneliness and so should be considered akin to theft of a child.
  • They are considered by many as part of the family, a ‘fur baby’
  • They cannot be replaced like other property so any theft seems more ‘personal’
  • It is clear the current law is not reflecting the harm to both the owner and the animal after a theft.

Dogs are objects for law purposes and should stay that way

  • Law is already in place no further legislation is necessary though it should be used and recognised more often.
  • If dogs are considered sentient beings in law, many more laws would have to be adapted for them (eg, no putting down healthy unwanted animals)
  • Some do not want dogs to be treated like people, this could affect working dogs.
  • If one dog attacks another, the owner pays for the damage to property, would an owner go to prison if the law were to change on the sentience of dogs?

So where are you on the debate? Do fur babies have rights? Should thieves just actually be brought to justice more often? Or does a hybrid need to be put in place for intelligence pets?

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