In Defense of Our Four-Legged Companions

It’s time to stop discriminating against dogs — and their owners

By Fransi Weinstein

Dog Discrimination - Get Leashed Magazine

Bob Dylan sang, “The times they are a-changin’.” An understatement compared to the revolution Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are promising. While I’m not suggesting anything nearly as dramatic, I do think pooches, and their human pals, are treated unfairly.

There’s no small number of them, by the way. The latest survey conducted by Colin Siren of Ipsos Reid revealed there are approximately 5.9 million dogs (about 35% of households) in Canada1. If you think that’s something, there’s about 78.2 million in the U.S.2 More than double Canada’s human population.

More than a quorum to be sure. So I think a peaceful protest is in order.


Just or unjust, what do you think?

A Mayo Clinic article published in 2015 states that “animal-assisted therapy can help healing and lessen depression and fatigue; and it’s gaining fans in health care and beyond.” Why, then, do so few companies, and office buildings, allow employees to bring dogs to work? You can’t tell me it wouldn’t reduce stress and tension, making for healthier, happier, more productive staff.

And what about all those apartment buildings and condos with no-pet policies? How is that legal?


What really drives me crazy is when I see dogs tied to lamp posts or fire hydrants outside cafes and grocery stores. What would the authorities say if your two year old was hitched to a tree?

My question is, if you can bring a child with you, why not man’s best friend? In France there are almost as many dogs in restaurants as there are people.

Some airlines still use pet allergies as an excuse for not allowing them onboard. Why, then, aren’t planes fragrance free?

They also say barking dogs annoy other passengers. I don’t want to offend any parents, but I’ve rarely been on a flight where there aren’t babies or toddlers wailing or bored six-or-seven-year-olds running up and down the aisles.

Nobody’s making them stay home or travel in the hold. At least dogs can’t leave their crates while onboard.

Dog Discrimination - Get Leashed Magazine

There’s more to animal rights

No question being cooped up at home for long, lonely stretches and waiting outside for mommy or daddy while strangers pet you is stressful and scary. But as we all know that’s the least of the trauma dogs, and other animals, are subjected to. And you’ll be hearing more from me on this topic in the weeks and months ahead.

A few months ago Canada’s province of Quebec kicked it up a notch when they “passed legislation granting animals many of the same rights of children.” The laws were also changed in New Zealand and France. Read the Huffington Post article here. And the FBI has made animal abuse a class A felony in all 50 states.

No reason why these changing attitudes, ideas and laws about how we treat animals can’t happen elsewhere.

1 Wikipedia,2 Statista