Some visitors to St. John recently witnessed 8-week-old puppies being thrown around like footballs. They intervened and rescued the puppies from this abuse.
This incident is a reminder that there are certain rights and responsibilities to owning a pet.
The following is an excerpt from "Pets --part of the family" magazine:
The Pet's Bill of Rights
1.We have the right to be full members of your family. We thrive on social interaction, praise and love.
2. We have the right to stimulation. We need new games, new toys, new experiences and new smells to be happy.
3. We have the right to regular exercise. Without it, we could become hyper, sluggish...or fat.
4. We have the right to have fun. We enjoy acting like clowns now and then; don't expect us to be predictable all the time.
5. We have the right to quality health care. Please stay good friends with our vet!
6. We have the right to a good diet. Like some people, we don't know what's best for us. We depend on you.
7. We have the right not to be rejected because of your expectations that we be great show dogs or show cats, watchdogs, hunters or baby-sitters.
8. We have the right to receive proper training. Otherwise, our good relationship could be marred by confusion and strife -- and we could become dangerous to ourselves and others.
9. We have the right to guidance and correction based on understanding and compassion, rather than abuse.
10. We have the right to live with dignity...and to die with dignity when the time comes.
Dr. Laura Palminteri practices veterinary medicine at Cruz Bay Canines, Cats & Critters on St. John. A 1991 graduate from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicne, she practiced small animal and equine medicine in New York before opening her practice on St. John.