Dedicated: Protecting Animals: It's the Law

Dedicated: Protecting Animals: It's the Law

We care about and have so much love for animals all over the world - whether they’re our pets or part of wildlife. We understand that the well-being of animals is just as important as the well-being of humans, which is why there are many steps taken to sustain their health. 

Congress protects our animals under the Animal Welfare Act, which was established in 1966 in response to the growing concern for dogs and cats used in research. The U.S. Secretary of Research set up a program that licenses dealers in dogs and cats, registers animal research facilities, and establishes, through systems of inspections, humane treatment of all animals. The animals covered by the original Act include dogs, cats, monkeys, guinea pigs, hamsters, and rodents. The original bill did not regulate how animals were used for research purposes but instead set a standard for how they were obtained and cared for at these facilities. 

There have been several amendments to the Act over time. In 1970, the definition of “animal” was expanded to include warm-blooded animals used for research or as pets, but still excluded farm animals like horses, livestock, and poultry. The expanded coverage also included the well-being of animals in zoos and circuses, and wholesale pet dealers.

There have been other changes to the bill the last few decades. For instance, after 1976, It became a crime to sponsor or promote animal fights. Other regulations from the ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s state that researches have to justify why their research requires the use of animals, dogs held at the facilities have to be exercised, and shelters are now required to hold dogs or cats for no less than five days before being allowed to sell the animal to a dealer.

To summarize, the more up-to-date bill states:

-        Permits are required to sell animals or to buy them from research facilities

-        There are limitations on the environmental conditions

-        Research facilities can only purchase animals from licensed dealers

-        Animal fighting is illegal and will be treated as a serious crime

-        There are rules on how animals are obtained in order to eliminate the use of stolen animals 

Although there are measures to keep animal welfare and health positive, it’s important to acknowledge that our environment is always changing, so we must keep ourselves up to date on how to help animals in the natural world. Environmentalism, or environmental ethics, is a philosophy on how humans should interact with nature, which is directly related to animal rights. The laws for animal welfare were created to decrease their suffering during research, but many believe that that isn’t enough: Animals should not have to die at all just to benefit humans, and we should be protecting their lives, not just minimizing their pain.

It’s hard to separate the desire to save the environment with the desire to help animals, as they go hand-in-hand. By saving natural resources and controlling climate temperatures, you’re also helping animals survive in their surroundings. Saving trees is also saving where certain species live, and managing weather conditions affects the food they eat. To take it a step further, those who become vegetarian aren’t just saving animals from being eaten,  they’re also helping lower greenhouse gases. Meat production has a large carbon footprint, and 18% of global emission come from livestock. A vegetarian’s foodprint is about two-thirds of the average American’s and almost half of a meat eater’s, and a vegan’s foodprint is even lower. In the average diet, animal products make up 60% of carbon emissions even though it only accounts for a quarter of food energy, and consuming beef causes almost half of the carbon emissions from just a tenth of food energy.

Although the Animal Welfare Act mainly deals with animals commercially used for research, and vegetarianism and environmentalism deals with nature and animals in the wild, we also must think about the health of our pets. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) defines animal welfare as “how an animal copes with the conditions in which it lives.” According to this, an animal’s well-being relies on:

-        Freedom from hunger, malnutrition, and thirst

-        Freedom from fear and distress

-        Freedom from physical and thermal discomfort

-        Freedom from pain, injury, and disease

-        Freedom to express normal patterns of behavior 

Those with pets understand the important role they play in our lives and treat them as if they were their child. Our dogs need exercise, our cats need plenty of space to roam, and our rodents and reptiles need clean enclosures with easy access to food and water. 

Dog owners know that having a dog is a long-term commitment, but there are plenty of options out there if they need a night away. is the nation’s largest resource for pet sitting and dog boarding. They can help pair you with one of their sitters, whether you’re going on vacation or need a sitter while you are at work during the day. There are many great sitters on in the New York City area. If you know in advance that you’ll need somebody, you can set up meet-and-greets to get to know them before you commit. However, Rover also understands that things come up last-minute, so their Quick Match program can help you find an instant dog walker. The Quick Match dog walker will receive a notification on their phones that somebody in the area is looking for an immediate walker, and they can accept the request and head straight over to help you out! cares for the well-being of your animal and makes owning a dog more accessible and makes their lives better. 

All animals need love and care, and there are many ways to keep them healthy and happy, whether it’s exercising your pet, increasing their comfort levels while being researched, or saving them by maintaining their living conditions. If we all pay attention to our surroundings and stay informed on how to save our planet, we can sustain the well-being of all creatures.