Tag Archives: ethics

Run, Spot, Run – book review

Run, Spot, Run -The Ethics of Keeping Pets by Jessica Pierce takes its name from the black and white puppy of the Dick and Jane early reader books that were used from the 1930s until the 1970s.

Spot is a stand-in for all the animals that are kept as pets; this is not just cats and dogs but also exotics and other animals.

Run Spot Run by Jessica Pierce

The scope of this book is a mixture of information which is enlightening, challenging and thought-provoking.

Pierce, a bioethicist, aims to answer the fundamental question, “Is it ethical to keep pets?”  And the issue isn’t nearly as black and white as Spot the dog was.

She covers the implication of care needs such as spay/neuter, enrichment and feeding, for example.  The feeding chapters canvas the issues of what we choose to feed, and how these feeds are sourced – powerful stuff that is often missed in the ever-present “raw vs kibble” debate.  Food for thought, definitely.

Cruelty and neglect are also covered, as are the hard-hitting facts of other animal abuse such as sexual abuse of animals (this chapter comes with a warning about offensive and disturbing content).   Exotic pets and their plight are also discussed.

This book is not a light read; but for any true pet lover, you owe it to yourself to look at the wider ethical issues around pet care and responsibility.  Pierce’s final words are a fitting closure to this book:

“I leave you with a call to action.  Change starts with awareness.”

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand


Paw Justice

For those of you in New Zealand, Paw Justice is an animal welfare organisation fighting for the rights of our pets.  Their mission statement is:

“Listening and talking to pet owners about their problems and their pet’s concerns

And, until this day comes, Paw Justice will be seeking justice against those who hurt our animals.”

Paw Justice was successful in its attempt to gain signatures from around the country supporting tougher sentencing for offenders who abuse animals.  They are now fundraising to continue the pressure on our society to treat animals properly.  They operate a Facebook page and sell Paw Justice products on their website.  You can also make a donation on their website.

Best of all, the folk at Paw Justice now have the Patch Up Your Pet campaign.  For $10, you buy a Paw Justice tag for your pet.  This has a unique identification code and you register your contact details against this number.  If your pet is found with their Paw Justice tag, people can log onto the website to get your contact details and return your pet to you.  When you register your pet against the number, you can also upload their photo to the Paw Justice website.

The idea is to grow the number of people supporting the movement and to keep pressure on to ensure animal abuse is stopped.

Daisy is now patched!

Show your support for Paw Justice by following this link:

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand