They are my property and I own them.
I’m not a pet “guardian” or pet “parent.” I paid money to acquire my dogs; I own them, I didn’t adopt them and I can do what I like with them.
Seems rather a harsh statement, doesn’t it? I have good reason for it. Dogs have no rights in our legal system. The law considers them property, so I do, too.
This way I’m the only one with authority over their treatment, care, and whereabouts. I know what’s best for my dogs and try my best to achieve it.
The most prominent “animal rights” organizations have begun referring to pet owners as “pet parents” or “guardians.” I find this very scary. One group is talking now about “adopting” pets, not only from shelters, but from responsible breeders. I know, having dug deep into the innards of these groups, that their ultimate goal is a world in which humans and animals have no interaction. Their objective is not only a completely vegan human society, but one in which all animals are “left alone.” No pets, no farm animals, no zoos, no animal sanctuaries, no veterinarians. No contact. Completely separate worlds for animals and people.
I don’t know for sure about your dogs, but only one of mine is capable of finding her own food – and she really didn’t care for the rabbit once she’d caught it. None of mine would survive a winter in the wild. You’ll find them curled up in front of the heat vents all winter.
While I do believe that every animal (and person!) should live free from suffering, I don’t think that animals suffer merely by being in human care. I think most pets are appreciated, well-cared-for and indulged. Their lives, as well as those of their owners, are improved by the relationship.
In casual conversation I do refer to my “kids.” But I know they’re not – they’ll never “grow up” to lead independent lives and be taxpayers. I didn’t adopt my dogs – I bought them, under contract. That is our legal relationship. And that’s fine – because I know what’s best for them.