State & Local Issues - Ownership vs. Guardianship

AVMA position

Other views

  • Missouri statutory language
    No political subdivision of the state nor any local government, city or county, or any agency, authority, board, commission, department or officer thereof, shall enact any ordinance or promulgate or issue any regulation, rule, policy, guideline or proclamation describing the relationship between persons and domestic animals as other than persons may or can own domestic animals.
  • Ownership v. guardianship (National Association for Biomedical Research)
    The effort by activist groups to change the term "owner" to "guardian" in local ordinances and state laws relating to pets is marketed as a feel-good exercise, but this "simple" change in language elevates animals above their current status as property – with potentially enormous legal implications. 
  • "Owner or Guardian?" (Trends Magazine, March/April 2005)
    What's afoot with movements to define pet owners as guardians? Do the changes bode well for veterinary practices and their clients?
  • "Pet Owner or Guardian" (Animal Health Institute, November 2005)
    Pets play an important role in our lives, and it is common to refer to them as "companion" animals. Increasingly, in fact, Americans think of pets as members of their extended family. But should pets be treated legally as if they were people?
  • "Now, it's the lawyers' turn" (JAVMA News, March 2005)
    Over a crisp New England weekend in November 2004, some 200 people convened in the hallowed halls of Yale Law School with a singular purpose: identifying ways of strengthening animal protection laws through the legislatures and courts.