REXANO Editorial By Zuzana Kukol , www.REXANO.org

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Las Vegas, NV, September 21, 2007–In the last few years, private owners of wild and exotic animals have been under attack from extreme animal rights movement and naïve legislators. Slogans like ‘wild animals belong in the wild’ and ’It is not natural for them to be in captivity’ are common place. Never mind that wild habitat as we know is disappearing due to human population boom, and the only way to escape extinction is to save many species in captivity, with private owners having the majority of available habitat for these magnificent animals.

But lets’ look at how ‘natural’ is the life of our best friends, the dogs.
Just browse thru any animal catalog to see what is available for the dogs: college team bandanna collar, cartoon character pet sweaters, college team pet sweaters, sweet dreams pajamas, outlaw cowboy hat and Doggles eyewear….

Many people who are against exotic pets because they don’t see it as natural to have ‘wild’ animals in captivity (never mind all animals used to be wild) find it perfectly OK and extremely cute to dress their dogs in pajamas and cowboy hats; but try to dress the chimpanzee in the same cute clothing and the same people scream ‘animal abuse’.

Just how natural is it for a dog to sleep in pajamas or wear a cowboy hat or pink biker caps? I think it is funny, cute and I don’t think it is abusive for any animal, but it sure is not natural for any animal to wear clothes, regardless of domestication. Then there is a ‘Doggie Jogger’ with ‘stylish spooked wheels for a smooth ride’ so the small pets can ’jog’ with their owners.

Here comes the smell. The pet stores are full of doggy odor killers, waste terminators and burned grass savers. We give them pills to stop the doggy breath, shampoo baths to stop them from smelling like dogs, more pills to make their poop taste bad to avoid late night ‘snacking’.
We put collars and leashes on them to make them go where we humans want them to go, we potty train them to be like us, be civilized and have a bathroom. We make them eat brown pellets from a dish.

The worst part is many of the people who scream that captivity is unnatural for exotic animals and want to ban private possession of them are the very same people who push for MANDATORY and harmful EARLY AGE spay and neuter laws.

Think about it, neuter is just a nice word for castration, how natural is that guys? And spaying is just a nice word for hysterectomy, a rather invasive potentially dangerous procedure resulting in a big belly scar.
If dogs were to have a ‘natural’ existence, most of the products and activities above wouldn’t exist in their lives.
The world according to dogs would be:

  • no doggy breath pills and shampoos, dogs are supposed to smell like dogs
  • no odor killers, house with dogs is supposed to smell like a dog even if used as a bathroom, with hair all over sofas
  • no ‘poop smell bad’ pills, dogs deserve to have a late night snack too
  • clothes wouldn’t be for wearing, they would be for shredding and playing with
  • there would be no collars and leashes, dogs would have free access to the yard 24/7; eating plants, digging holes and  spraying grass would be encouraged as one of  the best enrichment
  • fridge would have a special doggy door
  • leg humping and chasing cats or unruly kids would be a rewarded behavior
  • absolutely no training, dogs can poop, run, eat, shred, and misbehave any time they want to with zero interference from humans
  • and most of all, no fences and absolutely no castration surgery; male dogs should have a free access to female dogs at all times

Now, would I really want a world according to dogs? Of course not. But if we accept all of these unnatural procedures and products to be used on our dogs, why is it not OK to keep wild and exotic animals in captivity, many of whom lead a much more natural life even in captivity than their domesticated cousins.

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