Ohio Adds Term “Guardian” To Animal-related Ordinances
Defense of Animals applauds progressive move led by high school student
Ohio (July 6,
2011)– In Defense of
Animals (IDA), an international animal-protection organization with over
100,000 members, applauds the Parma, Ohio City Council for voting unanimously
yesterday to replace the term “owner” with “owner/guardian” in its
animal-related ordinances. Parma joins 17 other cities in officially
recognizing the value of the term "animal guardian" in reference to cherished animal companions.
IDA activist Brandon Yanak with Parma City Council members after Parma, Ohio
became the 18th Guardian city by incorporating the term
“guardian” into animal-related ordinances, just days after Brandon’s 18th
Those cities include Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, San
Francisco, Sebastopol, and San Jose, California; St Louis, Missouri; Woodstock,
New York; Bloomington, Indiana; Boulder, Colorado; Sherwood Arkansas, and
Amherst, Massachusetts; plus California’s Marin and Santa Clara Counties, and
the state of Rhode Island.
“In Defense of Animals acknowledges the caring, dedication and compassion of high
school student Brandon Yanak and the generous assistance of Councilwoman Mary
Galinas for bringing the guardian issue before the full council,” said Anita
Carswell, IDA’s Guardian Campaign Director. “Thank you, Parma, for recognizing
the important role language plays in creating a more compassionate, peaceful
and just society for animals and their guardians.” Carswell quoted actress Mary
Tyler Moore, who said: "I like the term ‘guardian’ as opposed to
‘master’ or ‘owner’. It is an honor that is bestowed on some of us and we need
to treat it that way."
high school student who led this effort in Parma, Brandon Yanak, said: "As
more people begin to think and act as 'guardians' of their
animal companions, I expect to see higher levels of animal care and
appreciation, thus helping to end many animal-related problems such
as people breeding animals and keeping too many in inadequate conditions
on their property in Parma.”
In Defense of Animals created the
Guardian Campaign in 1999 to reflect and nurture the growing sentiment that
“owner” does not reflect the bond that develops between people and animals.
“Guardian” denotes a higher level of responsibility, caring and respect toward
the animals with whom we share our lives. As more people use the term "animal
guardian" more animals will be adopted instead of purchased, and fewer
dogs and cats will be killed in our nation’s shelters.
Edwin J. Sayres, President of the American Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), says “The term ‘guardian’ accurately describes the
relationship of perpetual care that is needed to teach children respect,
compassion and kindness for domestic pets. Studies show that children who learn
compassion and respect for animals have a better chance at becoming compassionate
adults, responsible community members, and are less likely to behave violently
For more information about the Guardian Campaign, visit www.guardiancampaign.org.
In Defense of Animals, located in San Rafael, Calif., is an international animal protection organization with more than 100,000 members and supporters dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals by protecting their rights and welfare. IDA's efforts include educational events, cruelty investigations, boycotts, grassroots activism, and hands-on rescue through our sanctuaries in Mississippi, Mumbai, India, and Cameroon, Africa.
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