Proposed Quebec Law Says Dogs Are Not Property!

Family Lying on Grass ca. 2002

A prospect law in Quebec is putting hefty punishment to animal abusers, stating that dogs are ‘’sentient being’’ and ‘’not property.’’ Many of us treat our dogs like family members while at the same time thinking that we own them, like one would own a furniture or a car, though we don’t quite treat them the same as an inanimate object.

As far as law is concerned, dogs have been occupying an awkward middle ground for a long time now.

But a cooking law in Quebec is properly putting an end to this blurred line. Proposed by Agriculture Minister Pierre Paradis and dubbed as Bill 54, the double standard towards pets will finally come to an end, saying that “animals are not things. They are sentient beings and have biological needs.”

This law doesn’t only apply to four-legged pets such as cats and dogs and horses but all animals in one’s care. “If you have a goldfish, you have to take care of it,” he said. “Don’t get a goldfish if you don’t want to take care of it.”

You shouldn’t take this law lightly. It looks to punish animal abusers with $250,000 fine on first offense and 18 months imprisonment on second offense.

It also outlaws cockfighting and dogfighting, and imposes permit to fur- and stable- farms with 15 horses or more. What’s more is that it’s committed to protecting whistle blowers.

jail time

The bottom line is that this law aims to change the status of our furry companion–from pet owners, we will become pet guardians. Organizations such as ‘’In Defense of Animals’’ have been fighting to change the term pet owner to pet guardian for years now.

pet guardian

Quebec is not the first city to implement such law. Some cities in the US, such as Boulder and San Francisco, have adopted the term “pet guardian.”


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