Archive for April, 2014

Much ado about the legal status of pets

DVM360 Magazine

Veterinary profession, industry would be heavily affected by changes.

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Readers of this blog are aware of my fondness for the Wall Street Journal, so it will come as no surprise that today’s blog is triggered by an April 14 Wall Street Journal guest article by author David Grimm: “Should Pets Have the Same Legal Rights as People?” Grimm is the author of a new, heavily publicized book, Citizen Canine (PublicAffairs, 2014), and is featured in recent interviews in Wired and National Geographic.

The issue has been around for decades, but the buzz is picking up as to whether modern society needs to reconsider how political systems and courts treat animals. Last year the Nonhuman Rights Project filed a lawsuit in New York on behalf of four chimpanzees contending that they should be legally recognized as people. The Texas Supreme Court recently reversed a lower court’s ruling that had thrown out the common law classification of animals as personal property for purposes of legal damages.

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Are storm clouds rising in shelter-veterinarian relationships?

DVM360 Magazine

More shelters offer full veterinary services, compete with private practices.

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Most animal shelters and local humane societies enjoy strong working relationships with private veterinarians. Area doctors often volunteer at shelters, veterinary colleges provide externs for learning and shelter assistance, often at intake, and veterinary clinics routinely advise the community that great pets may be found at local shelters. So where are these storm clouds?

At least two states, Alabama and South Carolina, are considering legislation that would place restrictions on the scope of veterinary services being delivered at shelters or humane societies. But this may be just a spring shower before the real storm begins.

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U.S. demographics should put a smile on the face of every veterinarian

DVM360 Magazine

Rising population of pet owners poised to inject $5 billion yearly into veterinary market.

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Last week this blog examined the question of where Americans will find healthy dogs to meet our needs as the human population grows from 310 million people to 420 million people in less than 50 years.

The absence of meaningful dialogue about this topic is predictable, given the volatility of issues surrounding sourcing of dogs; nonetheless, it is alarming given that no one in industry, the veterinary profession or animal welfare organizations knows the answer to this question. Imagine any other consumer sector marching into the future ignorant of how it will meet even basic needs. Imagine Apple or Samsung having no clue where they will develop or produce smartphones.

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