A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Ohio City Says We’re Guardians, Not Owners

City Council members in Parma, Ohio, have voted unanimously to change the city’s animal related ordinances to recognize pets as part of the family by adopting the term “guardian” instead of “owner.”

The move was initiated by high school student Brandon Yanak, and Councilwoman Mary Galinas worked with the city council to have the new language adopted.

“More people are thinking and acting as ‘guardians’ of their animal companions,” said Yanak. “I expect to see higher levels of animal care and appreciation, thus helping to end many animal-related problems such as people breeding animals and keeping too many in inadequate conditions on their property in Parma.”

In Defense of Animals (IDA) began the Guardian Campaign in 1999, and 18 cities have adopted its language into their codes and legislation. The campaign promotes an understanding that “guardian” denotes a higher level of responsibility, caring and respect toward the animals with whom families share their lives.

For more information, see IDA’s Guardian Campaign.