Ethicists’ commentary on attitudes towards pet ownership among people experiencing homelessness
Ethical question of the month, June 2023
As a veterinarian working for a nonprofit that provides sup- port to both people and their pets, I often encounter situations where people with low or no income are looked down upon for not relinquishing their pet. Specifically, I have seen situations where people who are experiencing homelessness or are seek- ing help to escape domestic violence struggle to keep their pet. If we assert that pet ownership is a privilege, are we denying the benefits of this relationship to entire groups of people who are frequently marginalized because of the social and economic inequalities in society?
Clare Palmer, Peter Sandøe, & Dan Weary comment on this dilemma and you can read it here: Ethicists’ commentary on attitudes towards pet ownership among people experiencing homelessness (pdf)