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Not All Pets Have Fur: The Headlines Project

December 25, 2015Will Leffert
The Headlines Project

I will admit, I am a bit more biased than usual in this issue, but I think most can agree that my position is valid.

Recently, a new IL law was passed protecting cats & dogs from abuse by neglect in living conditions (you can read Senate Bill 125 here). While that sounds great in theory, it has numerous flaws.

The largest flaw I would like to focus on, though, is the fact that it is limited to dogs & cats. The world is full of animals that make great pets, even service animals, that aren't dogs, nor cats.

I am a reptile pet parent. Knobbins, my bearded dragon, is my best friend, and I treat her like my child. She's been with me for over 3 years, and I plan on taking care of her for many more years to come.

She comes with me to downtown festivals during the summer. She's great with kids. When she was a teenager, she used to curl up on my chest and take naps with me. She's gentle, and more loving than you might expect. She's also potty trained.

She requires some special care, though. UVB lights, temperature control, low-humidity, and a proper diet. Forget taking her out in the cold; her tank can't drop below 60 degrees on the cool side, otherwise she could become ill.

So, when I see laws passed just to care for the common kind of pets, without any consideration for more exotic animals, I get more than a little upset.

Birds. Rodents. Reptiles. Fish. These sorts of pets rarely get any consideration in the legal system. If one dies due to neglect or mistreatment, you're not going to hear about it on the news, and the owner most certainly isn't going to get much of anything in the way of legal consequences.

These animals are service animals. Emotional support animals are a real thing, and to deny them the same protections we afford dogs and cats is to deny what they do for us in our daily lives.

Please, take the time to talk to your representatives about protection for our non-furry friends.. Because not all pets have fur.

If you would like to show your support for our alternative furry & not so furry friends, download the temporary tattoo of "Not All Pets Have Fur" here. As always, feel free to remove my logo!

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The Headlines Project is a social experiment where I print (using temporary tattoos) short "headlines" on my bald head with a web address on the back of my skull linking back to these posts. View the other Headlines.