Companion animals are growing in numbers not only in the West but also in many Asian countries (e.g., China). In some respects companion animals receive special treatment (as compared with other animals used by us). In other respects, however, they suffer as a direct result of the way we use them. Some companion animals, for instance, develop health or behavioural problems caused by social and physical factors in their environment.
Our awareness of the importance of companion animals in many people's lives is growing; in fact such animals are frequently used for therapeutic purposes. At the same time, many companion animals are abandoned, given up to shelters, or euthanized. Companion animals thus seem to be viewed both as individuals to be respected in their own right and as disposable sources of enrichment for humans.
Go to the introductory text 'Companion Animals'
You can find more research publications on companion animal ethics here