But there seems to be hope, if the amount of space on the Internet devoted to animals is any indication of the public's awakening to the fact that they do have rights. The enactment of animal protection laws has been slow but it is showing promise in several states across the country. The Animal Legal Defense Fund has ranked U.S. states in their order of protection based on 20 different categories of protection.
It seems that a lot of southern states, which also have low ratings in the care of their human populations, also neglect their animals. These, along with other states like Alaska, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho make up what is called the "Bottom Tier" of protection. The "Top Tier" includes states like California, Washington, Illinois, Colorado and eleven more. The in-between "Middle Tier" has Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii plus others.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund: All Our Clients Are Innocent...
The number one state for animal protection is Maine; number fifty is New Mexico. Here's the scenario...
"The disparity in various jurisdictions’ animal protection laws demonstrates the unfortunate reality that, in many places, the law significantly underrepresents animals’ interests. However, the Rankings Report also presents an opportunity to improve laws everywhere. New animal protection laws continue to be implemented around the country by motivated lawmakers and their constituents — just like you."
Some notations from ALDF...
Maine maintains its top rank
New Mexico ranked last for third year in a row
Most improved: Maryland
Major trends: Animals included in protection orders and laws prohibiting sexual assault of animals
But, yes, I feel, at least from Internet activity, that the public is becoming more conscious of the rights of animals. And they are finding out just how much love and affection pets can contribute to your household. They become family and hope they have found their forever home. We cannot let them down!