St. Louis Missouri Recognizes Animal "Guardians"
(St. Louis) On Monday, August 9th, the City of St. Louis, Missouri legal ordinances now recognize individuals as the "guardian" of their animal companions, rather than just the "owner." St. Louis joins twelve American cities, one county, and one state in passing this important ordinance. Almost three million Americans are now officially recognized as animal guardians.
The effort to change the City of St. Louis's language was spearheaded by Stray Rescue of St. Louis, its founder Randy Grim and Quentin. Quentin, the only dog to survive the City"s gas chamber one year ago almost to the date and is now the National Spokesdog for the guardian campaign in conjunction with In Defense of Animals in Mill Valley California.
St. Louis city is just the latest example of a growing trend towards modernizing the terms society uses to describe the relationship people have with the animals who become so much a part of their lives. A growing number of people now see the term "owner" as outdated since it does not reflect the human-animal bond that exists in our culture today. The term "guardian," however, acknowledges a deeper level of respect, compassion, and responsibility toward animal companions and more accurately reflects the close relationship that often develops between humans and animals.
Stray Rescue will soon be putting up billboards encouraging people to adopt and save a life and be a guardian – not an "owner."
"I don"t feel comfortable using the phrase being "their owner." The word "guardian" makes the connection of respect, love, and care that I share and owe to my companion animals. Being an animal guardian helps ensure that the mindset of our society of discarding the rights of animals or to be part of a throwaway society when it comes to all living things is not acceptable. It is a mindset that mirror"s respect and will help the next generation to be responsible with their pets and each other." says Randy Grim, Founder of Stray Rescue.
Veterinarian Elliot M. Katz, president of In Defense of Animals, the animal advocacy organization coordinating the effort to recognize people as animals' "guardians" instead of "owners," praised the ordinance change. Founded in 1983, In Defense of Animals is a national animal protection organization dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals by protecting their rights, welfare and habitats.
Stray Rescue, under the stewardship of Quentin the miracle dog-has given $18,000 was given to Animal Regulation to cover costs of the ridding the gas chamber and switching to lethal injection, the more humane and Veterinarian recommended way to euthanize. Stray Rescue also pledges another $10,000 for five years to raise the level of care at the Animal Regulation Center so necessary drugs and first aide materials are accessible. Lethal injection is now being highly considered by St. Louis City.
"I would like to thank Rich Stevson of the city"s Health Department for helping me every step of the way at changing the ordinances. His progressive leadership in such a demanding position is very admirable” says Grim.