THE BLOG
07/14/2011 05:45 pm ET Updated Sep 13, 2011

Pets are Not Property! Parma Ohio Recognizes Animal "Guardians"

Wendy and Lucky are family, period. Wendy has always considered herself a pet parent, never a pet owner, and she's encouraged all of her fans and followers to do the same in the name of fairness and puppy love! Now, Parma, Ohio (Cleveland's Largest Suburb), the hometown of Drew Carey, has further nestled its way into Wendy and Lucky's hearts by joining 17 other cities across the nation in recognizing the term "animal guardian". Despite their New York roots, Wendy and Lucky are Cleveland girl's at heart and they couldn't be happier to see their home turf go to the dogs!

Parma partnered with In Defense of Animals and the Guardian Campaign in order to bring this change into effect. And While it may seem like a simple matter of semantics to some, the recognition of the term guardian is incredibly important in that it elevates pets from being mere property. Animal Guardians are certainly more accountable to their pets than they are to the material objects they own and now the law, and the official terminology reflects that. Advocates of the switch are hopeful that the psychological impact of this decision will encourage people to think more compassionately about animals and perhaps other people as well. Animal fairness advocate Mary Tyler Moore says it best, noting, "I like the term 'guardian' as opposed to 'master' or 'owner'. It is an honor that is bestowed on some of us and we need to treat it that way.

The campaign was initiated and followed through by a local high school student named Brandon Yanak, proving that the greatest change can come from the humblest of hands (or paws). With only 17 cities under their belt, the Guardian Campaign's work is far from over, so get passionate, get involved, and get "guardian" recognized by your local government.